Terry Duffelen
Mon 8 December 2008

Midweek TV Preview: 8 - 11 December

(All times UK)

Monday 8 December

20:00 Crystal Palace v Southampton, Championship, Sky Sports 1 & HD1

Palace moved up to ninth on Saturday after an impressive win at Pride Park. They'll fancy their chances of temporarily moving into the play-off zone with a win against the young Saints.

20:00 West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, Setanta Sports 1
Teetering hilariously above the drop zone, Spurs are at the same time contenders for relegation and the Carling Cup. They face a tough but short trip to Upton Park to face the Hammers. Fortunately, unlike their supporters, they won't need to take the District Line.

Tuesday 9 December

19:45 Chelsea v CFR Cluj, UEFA Champions League Group A, ITV1 & ITV HD

It's a measure of the expectations around English clubs that not qualifying for the knockout round with games to spare raises eyebrows. However, Cluj have been a surprise package this season and their intervention has prolonged the outcome of this group which is all to the good for the neutrals. As for Chelsea fans... well if you can't beat the Romanians at home then you don't deserve to qualify, surely.

19:45 Roma v Bordeaux, UEFA Champions League Group A, Sky Sports Xtra & HD3
Assuming there is a home win at the Bridge, the winner of this game goes through and the loser faces the ignominy of appearing on Channel 5 next year.

19:45 Panathinaikos v Anorthosis Famagusta, UEFA Champions League, Group B, Sky Sports Interactive
Famagusta are another team to have put the cat among the pigeons and will be desperate to stick it to the Greek giants and qualify at their expense.

19:45 Werder Bremen v Inter Milan, UEFA Champions League Group B, Sky Sports Interactive
Knowing Bremen, they'll win this game 5-3 and Diego will score a hat-trick. It won't matter a damn, of course, but Thomas Schaaf's men would be my favourite's to win the UEFA Cup if they can squeeze through at Famagusta's expense.

19:45 Barcelona v Shakhtar Donetsk, UEFA Champions League Group C, Sky Sports 2 & HD2
Barca are through by a mile and look good enough to win the whole thing. Shaktar need to win by a cricket score and hope that Basle can do something similar to Sporting...

19:45 Basle v Sporting, UEFA Champions League Group C, Sky Sports Interactive
... which ain't gonna happen.

19:45 Marseille v Atletico Madrid, UEFA Champions League Group D, Sky Sports Interactive
Not much to see here. A dead rubber deservedly relegated to the red button in favour of more meaningful games.

19:45 PSV Eindhoven v Liverpool, UEFA Champions League Group D, ITV4 & ITV HD
Not much to see here. A dead rubber deservedly relegated to ITV4 in favour of a more meaningful game. Not that that will stop analogue-only scousers from whinging mind. 'We've not all got Freeeview like.'

Wednesday 10 December

19:45 Kettering Town v Notts County, FA Cup 2nd Round Replay, Setanta Sports 1
You have to admire Setanta's chutzpa for putting on a Cup replay amidst all this Champions Leagary. An away fixture at non-league Fleetwood awaits the victor. Both teams will see this as a chance to get through to the fourth round and some much needed attention and revenue. As the league club, Notts should be narrow favourites. However, the fact that this tie has gone to a replay suggests that there is not much between the middle of League 2 and the top of the Blue Square Premier. Football fans who like to be contrary may be interested in this one.

19:45 Celtic v Villarreal, UEFA Champions League Group E, Sky Sports Interactive
Celtic need to win in order to have a chance at a UEFA Cup spot. However, they lost at the weekend and can't even beat Aalborg so...

19:45 Manchester Utd v Aalborg, UEFA Champions League Group E, Sky Sports 2 & HD2
Not much to see here. A dead rubber which deserves to be relegated to the red button in favour of more meaningful games.

19:45 Lyon v Bayern Munich, UEFA Champions League Group F, Sky Sports Interactive
A play-off for the top spot and it's the French with home advantage. Both teams are sufficiently vulnerable to go through as top seeds in the draw. Also, there may be some side interest of Franck Ribery wanting to stick it to the French champions.

19:45 Steaua Bucuresti v Fiorentina, UEFA Champions League Group F, Sky Sports Interactive
What a disappointing return to the Champions League for Fiorentina. At the very least they should be able to console themselves with a UEFA spot. For Steaua its been even worse. Perhaps the two teams can rouse themselves enough to claim their first win? Don't hold your breath.

19:45 Porto v Arsenal, UEFA Champions League Group G, Sky Sports Xtra & HD3
Not much to see here. A dead rubber which deserves to be relegated to the red button in favour of more meaningful games... oh wait, there are no meaningful games.

19:45 Dynamo Kiev v Fenerbahce, UEFA Champions League Group G, Sky Sports Interactive
Sky really did get the shit end of the stick didn't they? Even the games of minor interest are only of minor interest.

19:45 Real Madrid v Zenit St Petersburg, UEFA Champions League Group H, Sky Sports Interactive
Probably the most enjoyable part of Sky's coverage will be to see how Richard Keys will big up this assorted bag of nails while at the same time adopting that same blissfully ignorant and condescending tone when talking about non-Premier League players.

19:45 Juventus v BATE Borisov, UEFA Champions League Group H, Sky Sports Interactive
'After the break, we're off to Juve for another stunning strike by Alex Del Piero who is rapidly becoming Italy's answer to Cristiano Ronaldo. Don't miss that one.'

Thursday 11 December

And on the fourth day, we did rest.

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