Welcome to your TV guide, in a week where we try to put lipstick on a pig by trying to convince you that the Carabao Cup is as exciting as the Champions League. There’s no Europa League either, which makes me very sad. Let’s get to it.
Tuesday 24th October
As mentioned we have Carabao Cup action this week, and the televised offering is Swansea vs Man Utd. Swansea have been pretty terrible at home but Man Utd suffered defeat at Huddersfield last time out. That’s Sky’s offering, whereas BT have an Edinburgh derby between Hibs and Hearts. I’ll let you decide which is more exciting. Both games are at 7.45pm so you’ll have to choose I’m afraid. It’s cup action in Germany too, and BT Sport 3 are kindly showing us FC Magdeburg vs Borussia Dortmund. Goodness me.
Wednesday 25th October
This is slightly better. More Carabao Cup, this time it’s Tottenham against West Ham. The Hammers seem to always provide something hilarious, though I imagine we’ll see Llorente rather than Kane for Spurs. BT once again opt for an SPL alternative, with Celtic’s nearest challengers Aberdeen going head to head at Pittodrie. That German cup action continues on BT Sport 3, this time it’s RB Leipzig against Bayern Munich – now that actually will be a good game. There’s Serie A action too, with Juventus against SPAL and AC Milan’s trip to Chievo both on the BT Sport schedules. If French cup football is your thing, Strasbourg vs St Etienne is also on BT Sport at 8.05pm
Thursday 26th October
Have I talked to you about FreeSports yet? It’s the type of channel I would have adored when I was a student. As it’s name suggests, it’s a channel that shows FreeSports, and that includes a selection of mid-range European Leagues. You know, the Portugese, Belgian, Spanish 2nd Division leagues. As luck would have it, on a lean Thursday, we have Antwerp vs Standard Liege to keep you enterained. That’s a 7.30pm kick off and honestly, I swear down that is the most enthusiastic I can be about the Belgian league.
Friday 27th October
FreeSports have Benfica vs Feirense, just to continue that conversation. It’s a 7pm kick off. There are other things though, some might say better things. The Championship returns to our screens, as Leeds United take on Sheffield United. Leeds impressively took care of Bristol City last Saturday and are back on track after a tricky few weeks. They are 4th, behind Friday’s opponents, whose story is even more impressive. Chris Wilder is doing an excellent job and so as 4th face 3rd, this is a Yorkshire derby with an extra edge. I’m looking forward to it. Elsewhere, moneybags PSG host Mario Balotelli’s Nice, or you can see Rio Ave vs Sporting Lisbon at 9pm on FreeSports, who I promise I do not work for.
Saturday 28th October
The weekend is a welcome arrival and as usual there’s football everywhere to be enjoyed. The Premier League leads the way, giving us Manchester United vs Tottenham at 12.30pm. That’s a huge game, even this early in the season. That’s a 12.30pm kick off, which is also the same time as Hearts vs Rangers. Yep. That leads you into the 3pm’s, which you will no doubt either enjoy in person or at a ground…but never by illegal stream. Anyway, once 5pm rolls around it’s time for AC Milan vs Juventus. That’s a game that maybe isn’t quite as big as it used to be but still a huge match in Serie A. Your two offerings at 5.30pm are Chelsea’s trip Bournemouth on BT or Sky’s alternative which is Hull vs Nottingham Forest. Also at 5.30pm you can see Bayern Munich, Feyenoord and Atletico Madrid in action across Sky and BT’s numerous channels, whilst the 7.45pm fixtures include Ajax’s trip to Willem II and Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona. A nice variety. Oh and the clocks go back in the UK.
Sunday 29th October
Sky are billing this as “the return of Steve Bruce.” Which I can’t fault in terms of being factually correct, but I doubt anybody really cares. Anyway, it’s a Midlands Derby between Birmingham and Aston Villa with a high noon kick off on Sky. That will lead you into Super Sunday, though the term is being stretched here as it’s Brighton vs Southampton. This is not a derby, in my opinion. They are an hour and a half apart and I don’t think there’s any real hatred there. Prove me wrong. The alternatives offered by BT Sport are not much better – Napoli vs Sassuolo or Lyon vs Metz at 2pm. Real Madrid are in action away to Girona at 3.15pm, so you can enjoy that before Sky’s other Super Sunday offering of Leicester vs Everton. What, really? Crikey. Still, as of this writing neither club has a manager, so it could be a double debut. With it being a Champions League week next week there’s not many of Europe’s elite in action on Sunday, but we’ll make the most of it I’m sure.
Monday 30th October
Monday. Night. Football. Should be something to celebrate, but it’s Burnley vs Newcastle. Halloween is the following day, so expect a boat load of horror puns, or maybe just Sean Dyche talking. Verona vs Inter Milan is BT’s alternative, or Spain have a double offering with 8pm kick offs – Espanyol vs Real Betis and Las Palmas vs Deportivo. I wonder if Spain make a big deal of Monday Night Football?
It’s not a vintage week, I seem to say that a lot. Still, there’s football to be watched, and that’s what I will do. Have a good one people.