We’ve made it! International weekend has been and gone and we now have four weeks to enjoy the domestic side of the game again. But what to watch? Let me take you through it…
Tuesday 5th September
The final day of International fixtures before we can pack it away for a month and you’ve got the rarely convincing but always passionate Welsh to enjoy, as Chris Coleman’s men travel to Moldova. It is a must win if they want to have any hope of qualifying. Wales are in pursuit of Republic of Ireland and Serbia, who clash at the same time. A Serbia win would make it very difficult for both Wales and ROI to qualify, if you care about that sort of thing. Sky Sports have you covered here, and the Wales game is on Sky Sports Mix. If you’re looking for an alternative, England Under 21 take on Latvia Under 21s on BT Sport 1 also at 7.45pm, or there’s a host of other European qualifiers featuring the likes of Italy, Spain and Iceland.
Wednesday 6th September
We shouldn’t mock International football, at least it’s something to watch. If you’re up early enough, Argentina take on Venezuela at half midnight. I admit that might be an ask, but Argentina could really do with a win. Or you can have Costa Rica vs Mexico at 3am, but Mexico have already qualified. If more sensible kick off times are your deal, the Copa del Rey has a full array of fixtures for you that are being streamed. Real Zaragoza vs Granada seems the most enjoyable, that’s at 9pm on Bet365
Thursday 7th September
It’s been a while since we plumbed the depths of the Finnish Veikkausliiga, but here we are. Remember Shefki Kuqi? Well he’s manager of FC Inter Turku, who sit 9th in the 12 team division. They are up against Ilves, who are a rather more healthy 3rd in the table but they have no manager or players that I can poke fun at. So it’s all about Shefki at 4.30pm on Bet365. Still, the weekend is coming.
Friday 8th September
Our cup doth overflow! Actual football to feast on. Sky’s Championship offering is Derby County vs Hull City, two sides who will be expecting to be in the promotion mix come the end of the season. BT meanwhile offer us Hamilton against Celtic, Hamilton the latest team to try and end Celtic’s domestic unbeaten run. Over on their ESPN channel BT also have PSG’s trip to Metz, where not only can you see Neymar but you should also see Mbappe’s debut. The new FreeSports channel have Benfica vs Portimonense at 9pm – FreeSports is, as it suggests, a free sports channel which I think should be applauded.
Saturday 9th September
SATURDAY! Whatever your pre-match ritual is, it will feel extra special on Saturday having had to wait two weeks for it. The first live action of the day comes at 12pm where you can watch Real Madrid vs Levante. It’s a nice half hour filler before Man City meet Liverpool, which is a huge fixture at the best of times but I’m really looking forward to seeing Liverpool’s pace trio on the break against Pep’s 100 attacking midfielders. There’s the usual blackout for 3pm kick offs, where you can take in the scores from Jeff and friends (other services are available) before the tea time games. In the Premier League BT have opted to travel to Stoke voluntarily again as Man Utd are in town, or Sky’s Championship offering is Sheff Wed and Nottingham Forest. It still sounds like a Premier League fixture to me. At 7.45pm we have the Catalan derby between Barcelona and Espanyol, which is a spicy fixture for a spicy day. Bayern Munich, Feyenoord, Ajax and Juventus are also in action on an action packed Saturday – you can even watch New York City FC against Portland Timbers at 10.30pm if you don’t fancy Match of the Day.
Sunday 10th September
We’re at that time of year where Sky are having to pick some quota fillers, and that is no more evident than their selection of Burnley vs Crystal Palace. To be fair, I am interested to see if Palace are as bad as everybody keeps saying they are. That’s at 1.30pm, and is followed up by Swansea against Newcastle at 4pm. Another quota filler, it is rather typical that two sides who enjoyed vastly contrasting transfer windows clash, where no doubt Bony and Sanches will have great game whilst Jonjo Shelvey finds new and inventive ways to get sent off. Away from the Premier League, you can see Inter vs SPAL at 11am on BT Sport as well as Bologna vs Napoli at 7.45pm.
Monday 11th September
We all love a Monday Night Football and to be honest it could be any two teams going at it, I would watch it. After a Monday at work any match is worth watching even if it is West Ham against Huddersfield. West Ham have lost all three of their games so far and Slaven Bilic is said to be under considerable pressure. Huddersfield meanwhile have made an impressive start and are yet to concede a goal. It’s West Ham’s first game in the London Stadium this season, which isn’t always good news for the Hammers but again, curiosity has got the better of me and I think it’ll be fascinating.
That’s it for another week, but the Champions League is back next week which really signals that the season is well and truly underway. See you then!