Graham (follow on Twitter: @grahamsibley)
Fri 23 October 2009

Weekend TV Preview: 23 - 25 October 2009

Friday 23 October

19.30 Bayer Leverkusen v Dortmund, Bundesliga, ESPN
BVB's fourth Ruhr derby in a row sees them make the short trip to the current table-toppers. Readers of the Bundesbag will know of our resident expert's suspicion as to whether or not Leverkusen can keep hold of their lofty place - this could certainly be where they lose it.

19.45 Watford v Sheffield Wednesday, Championship, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Bumper weekend of domestic football with six matches from the Premier League and Championship. Both teams sit mid-table having won just one of their last four. Hmm, maybe you should forget the domestic stuff here and stick with the Ruhr derby on the other side.

Saturday 24 October

12.45 Wolves v Aston Villa, Barclays Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Get your clown shoes and swanee whistles out: it's a Black Country derby! Knockabout fun and hilarious pratfalls to no doubt ensue.

17.30 Chelsea v Blackburn Rovers, Barclays Premier League, ESPN/HD
Rovers have lost all their last eight away league games going back to their win at Fulham in March. They've also conceded 25 goals in those games. It's hard to see them stopping this trend against a team they haven't even scored against for over three years.

17.30 Derby County v Queens Park Rangers, Championship, BBC2
A fit and proper championship tie. Derby worryingly suffered their seventh defeat of the campaign midweek, QPR however are nowhere near as devastating on their travels as they are at Loftus Road so it should be a good contest.

19.00 Sporting Gijon v Real Madrid, La Liga, Sky Sports 3/HD3
Losing at home to Milan midweek must be considered a bit of an embarrassment for Pellegrini's men, especially in the manner in which it happened. Certainly every opportunity to put it right here; Madrid slammed eleven past Gijon across their two fixtures last season.

19.45 Inter Milan v Catania, Serie A, ESPN
While Mourinho's woeful run in Europe goes on - now 8 (OTTO) games without a win - Inter's Serie A form is as good as ever. Should be an easy three points for the home team.

21.00 Sevilla v Espanyol, La Liga, Sky Sports 3/HD3
Sevilla picked up their second defeat last week against a resurgent Deportivo. At home they are three wins from three but they'll have to work to keep that record up against the well-organised Catalans.

Sunday 25 October

12.30 Hamilton Academicals v Celtic, Scottish Premier League, ESPN/HD
No wins in four won't sit well with Celtic fans. Luckily the nature of the Scottish Premier League means that there's always a nice easy team to destroy just around the next corner.

13.00 FA Cup 1st round draw, ITV1 (not Scotland)
Paulton Rovers and Aylesbury could be two names in the hat along with 30 other non-league sides to face teams from Leagues One and Two on 7 November.

14.00 Liverpool v Manchester Utd, Barclays Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
England's equivalent of El Classico sees Liverpool (according to the press at least) in near meltdown. They suffered another Premier League defeat (in comical circumstances) last weekend and their defeat to Lyon has seen them installed as the favourites to win the inaugural Europa League title. That said, United have failed to really convince against decent opposition this season, unfortunately for the chasing pack they probably won't find decent opposition here.

16.15 West Ham Utd v Arsenal, Barclays Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
The Hammers league position looks very worrying, but it's hard to recollect a time where they've been embarrassed this season. Arsenal's midweek draw should provide them with enough of a kick up the backside to get the three points here, but as with most London derbies form counts for very little. Expect a close encounter with one goal probably settling it.

16.30 Schalke v Hamburg, Bundesliga, ESPN
Strathclyde Police prevented Hamburg from celebrating with their fans after their Europa League win against Celtic midweek, to the annoyance of the players. They should get a chance to celebrate in this fixture having won four of their last five visits to Gelsenkirchen.

18.00 Almeria v Valencia, La Liga, Sky Sports Red Button (1st half) Sky Sports 1/HD1 (2nd half)
Valencia's early season good form seems to have abandoned them, seeing them win just one of their last five. Almeria go into the game fresh from their victory in the Andalucian derby against Malaga last weekend.

19.45 Chievo v AC Milan, Serie A, ESPN
It would be just like Milan at the moment to follow up away wins at Real Madrid and Roma with an embarrassing defeat to Chievo. Both teams sit mid-table and both are struggling to find consistent form.

20.00 Barcelona v Zaragoza, La Liga, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Zaragoza have made a reasonable return to the top flight but have only managed one point from their three away games so far. They won't be adding to that here as Barcelona look to bury the memory of Tuesday's night's Champions League defeat to Rubin Kazan.

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