Remember a few weeks ago when I was waxing lyrical about how good the Champions League fixtures were? Well I have good news – it’s the same matches in reverse this week! That’s much better than the Carabao Cup action we had to sit through last week, even if Spurs/West Ham was a rollercoaster of emotion, in that I went from not caring to slightly caring in the space of 90 minutes. Let’s see what we’ve got this week…
Tuesday 31st October
Happy Halloween. Typically Benfica vs Man Utd was an absolute horror of a watch two weeks ago but now they are back at Old Trafford for the re-match I suspect Man Utd will be a lot more attacking. Bayern Munich will be looking to avoid a fright at Celtic Park, having won a very one sided contest in Munich a fortnight ago. Chelsea and Roma met in a classic at Stamford Bridge so neutrals, like me, will be hoping for more of the same in Rome on Tuesday. The best of the rest sees Barcelona travel to Olympiacos whilst in the same group, Juventus are off to Sporting Lisbon. As ever, BT Sport have all of your Champions League coverage and the kick offs are at 7.45pm. Elsewhere, there’s a full set of fixtures in the Championship and EFL Trophy, but they aren’t televised. You’ll notice that I ran out of spooky jokes quite early on, to the relief of everybody.
Wednesday 1st November
I should also point out that during the day on both Tuesday and Wednesday, BT Sport have coverage of the UEFA Youth, which is basically the Champions League for the bairns. In the fully grown world though Wednesday sees another set of Champions League fixtures, including Tottenham vs Real Madrid. Tottenham performed admirably in Madrid so it’ll be interesting to see how they get on at their temporary home. Elsewhere, Man City travel to Napoli with their 100% record still intact, whilst Liverpool will look to match the 7-0 win they achieved away to Maribor when they meet again at Anfield. If you don’t have BT and have a hankering for some football, I bring you good news. Preston vs Aston Villa is on Sky Sports at 7.45pm. If you are awake very early on Wednesday, or more accurately stay up until midnight on Tuesday, Columbus Crew vs New York City FC is also on Sky Sports. What a treat.
Thursday 2nd November
Europa League day is an underrated day in my view, though Everton fans probably despise it at the moment. They’ve managed 1 point from their opening 3 games and suffered defeat at home to Lyon last time out, so now with David Unsworth in the dugout they could do with at least a point in France. That’s at 6pm, and is followed up by Arsenal vs Red Star Belgrade at 8.05pm. Alternative viewings I would say the picks are AEK Athens vs AC Milan at 6pm then Lazio and Nice at 8.05pm
Friday 3rd November
As ever there’s all sorts to enjoy on Friday. 8.50am is an odd time for football but if you like Australian football with your corn flakes then Melbourne City vs Sydney FC is just the thing for you. Into the evening and offerings from the Belgian League and Bundesliga can be found on FreeSports and BT Sport respectively, but the Championship offering on Sky is Wolves vs Fulham which looks like it could be an entertaining affair. Rennes vs Bordeaux is the French offering on BT Sport 2 but the wildcard pick comes on good old terrestrial BBC, and the FA Cup 1st round proper kicks off with Hyde United vs MK Dons. The kick off is 7.55pm on BBC2, so that’s nice. You know it’s winter when the FA Cup starts.
Saturday 4th November
There’s on a double bill of Australian football, at 8.50am and 11am both on BT Sport 2. Bonzer. At 12.30pm you’ve got three choices. Well you probably have a lot more than three but I’m going to give you three. St Johnstone vs Celtic on Sky is your standard SPL affair. Stoke vs Leicester is quite an unusual choice from Sky and I think they know it, as it’s available on Sky Sports Mix. BT also have an FA Cup offering, as Shaw Lane take on Mansfield Town. ‘What’s a Shaw Lane?’ I hear you ask. They are a Northern Premier League side, which is level 7 of the English football pyramid. If you’re non the wiser, think of the Conference – that’s level 5. In other words, they’re canny low down the pyramid. Mansfield are a league side, but they’re managed by Steve Evans. I’m not trying to put you off. Anyway, into the 3pm games which of course you can’t watch legally on TV but get yourself to a ground and we’ll reconvene for the evening. That includes West Ham vs Liverpool at 5.30pm in the latest round of Slaven Bilic vs the people who seemingly dislike him. That’s on BT and is as ever rivalled by a Championship game on Sky, in this case Brentford vs Leeds. I don’t watch loads of Championship but Brentford seem to score and concede many every week. Borussia Dortmund vs Baynern Munich is also on at 5.30pm though, now that’s a good game of football (usually). After that it’s a bit naff in all truth. Nobody says naff anymore do they? I might bring it back.
Sunday 5th November
THERE’S GOING TO BE FIREWORKS IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE. Three games for you to enjoy, the worst of witch is on BT at 12pm, with Tottenham vs Crystal Palace. Why is this on TV? Anyway, let’s not dwell on it, because Middlesbrough vs Sunderland is Sky’s Championship game at 12.15pm. Brilliant. What we’re really waiting for is 2.15pm where Man City face Arsenal. If Per Mertesacker plays, Man City might run riot here. That would border on cruelty. Still, it’s always good to see how far away Arsenal are from being serious challengers. That’s followed by Chelsea vs Man Utd, and Mourinho’s bus making it’s way back to Stamford Bridge. I do worry that he will go for a point, and if recent form is anything to go by, he will probably get it. PSV, Ajax and Feyenoord are also all in action, seemingly Dutch TV are also going for the Super Duper Mega Sunday approach, whilst Juventus, AC Milan and Roma are also all in action over in Italy. It’s Internationals next week, so make the most of this whilst you can.
Monday 6th November
It’s a struggle, but we’ve got some Monday football for you. BT have kindly picked the FA Cup tie between Chorley and Fleetwood with a 7.45pm kick off. That might be a laugh. The alternative is Glentoran against Ballymena in the Northern Irish Premiership on Sky. Goodness me.
There’s plenty to get stuck into this week, it certainly seems like your final feast before the execution that is the November International Break. Expect a very cynical write up next week. Toodles for now.