Chris O (follow on Twitter: @COakleyFtbl)
Mon 8 March 2010

Midweek TV Preview: 8 - 11 March 2010

Monday 8th March

19:45 Colchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion, League One, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Both teams have lost only one game in their previous six, and for Colchester that was their last game against Bristol Rovers - a game that slowed down The U's attempts to catch third-placd Charlton. Brighton, meanwhile, could do with the three points to pull further clear of the stragglers near the bottom. A draw looks likely here.

20:00 Wigan Athletic v Liverpool, Premier League, ESPN/HD
ESPN don't half pick 'em. Wigan haven't scored in their last three matches and Liverpool have failed to score in five of their last seven Premier League away games, including the last three in a row. This has '0-0' written all over it, which by our predictive capabilities means an eight-goal thriller lies in store.

Tuesday 9th March

19:45 Arsenal v Porto, Champions League Last 16 2nd Leg, Sky Sports 2/HD2
With The Gunners 2-1 down after the first leg, Wenger has the dilemma of whether or not to play Cesc Fabregas after he went off with a tight hamstring against Burnley at the weekend. A single goal could be all Arsenal need and with Bendtner looking frankly myopic at times, the Frenchman might find the decision is easier to make than he thinks.

19:45 Fiorentina v Bayern Munich, Champions League Last 16 2nd Leg, Sky Sports 3/HD3
Like Arsenal, Fiorentina are a goal down from the first leg but in truth both teams need to sharpen up a bit after their weekend domestic matches. La Viola haven't lost a home game in the Champions League this season while Bayern haven't lost an away game in any competition since their trip to Bordeaux over four months ago. Should be a cracking and somewhat unpredictable game.

Wednesday 10th March

10:30 Pohang Steelers v Sanfrecce Hiroshima, AFC Champions League, British Eurosport 2
Current champions Pohang (from South Korea) face the fourth-best team in Japan last season, Sanfrecce, in this Group H clash. Both teams lost their opening day games and will be looking to stay in touch with group leaders Adelaide United by picking up all three points today.

19:45 Real Madrid v Lyon, Champions League Last 16 2nd Leg, Sky Sports 1/HD1
An away goal for Lyon would make things a whole lot tougher for Real who already trail 1-0 after the first leg. A welcome boost for Manuel Pellegrini comes in the form of Barca's slip at the weekend which allowed Real to go top of La Liga, but they may need to rely on a similarly faltering Lyon if they're to get anything out of this match.

19:45 Man Utd v Milan, Champions League Last 16 2nd Leg, ITV1/HD
A thrilling first leg ended 3-2 to United to set up a fiery second leg in which Beckham may very well make an appearance to please the home fans. Milan failed to score against Roma at the weekend and will have to dig deep to find the two-goal-win they need to reach the last eight.

Thursday 11th March

18:00 Atletico Madrid v Sporting Lisbon, UEFA Europa League Last 16 1st Leg, ESPN
Atletico only scraped a 90th-minute equaliser against Real Zaragoza on Sunday while Sporting put four past Belenenses. Form suggests a win for the away team but Atletico are a different team now to the one they were, ooh, two weeks ago.

18:00 Lille v Liverpool, UEFA Europa League Last 16 1st Leg, Five
Lille featured in one of five 1-1 draws in Ligue 1 this weekend, there's being all the more surprising as it was against struggling Saint Etienne. That slight worry aside, this should be a fine match as Lille's style of play is by far the easiest on the eye in the French top flight and should bring out the best in Rafa's Liverpool too, with any luck.

18:00 Hamburg v Anderlecht, UEFA Europa League Last 16 1st Leg, ITV4
Anderlecht are twelve (TWAALF) points clear at the top of the Belgian Pro League and must be craving some decent opposition by this point of the season. A trip to Germany should sort that out. One of the hidden gems of this week's Europa League schedule.

20:05 Valencia v Werder Bremen, UEFA Europa League Last 16 1st Leg, ESPN
A tough ask for Werder. Valencia are a tough nut to crack at home but both teams are on similar form at the moment so a close match should ensue.

20:05 Juventus v Fulham, UEFA Europa League Last 16 1st Leg, ITV4
A proud day for The Cottagers as they travel to Turin for their toughest European challenge yet. Roy Hodgson's main concern is a lack of goals recently - just one in their last three games - but they'll settle for a 0-0 here if it means starting the second leg at home with half a chance of winning. If nothing else, this'll be a great opportunity for a Fulham player to make a name for themselves, or indeed the whole team if they can get under Juve's skin early doors.

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