Real Madrid. Manchester United. Barcelona. Juventus. Bayern Munich. Chelsea. These are just some of the teams who will not feature in your TV guide this week. International bloody football eh? Still, on the bright side once we get through this there will be no more until next year. Hubba hubba. Let’s put lipstick on this pig of a week.
Tuesday 7th November
This is as bleak as it gets. There’s a load of EFL Trophy games but they aren’t on TV. You could go to one but it seems literally nobody cares about it so why should you? There is so little on, you know it’s bad news when you look at Bet365’s streaming schedule and the two results are at 5 past midnight and 1.30am. But that’s all we’ve got, so go on, get up at 12:05am and watch Velez Sarsfield vs Union Santa Fe in the Argentine Primera Division. It’s 17th vs 5th but they are only 8 games in, so who really knows?
Wednesday 8th November
Now we’re talking. How about some National League action on BT Sport? Chester vs Wrexham, which is kind of a welsh derby if you ignore the fact that Chester isn’t in Wales. It’s 7.45pm for that if you have ran out of pins to stick in your eyes.
Thursday 9th November
Oh good International football. To be fair, UEFA have realised we’re all desperate for football and at least split the playoff matches up to be on different days. On Thursday therefore you can enjoy a choice of games – Northern Ireland vs Switzerland from a British perspective, or Croatia vs Greece from a neutral point of view. Both are on SKy with 7.45pm kick offs, though Croatia vs Greece is on Sky Sports Mix so anyone can enjoy that. Scotland are also in action on Sky, they host the Netherlands in a “no World Cup” party at 7.45pm
Friday 10th November
ENG-ER-LAND. Tired of having not been taught a footballing lesson for a short while, England have invited Germany to come to Wembley on a Friday night where no doubt we will be richly humiliated again. I can rarely remember the country being on such a low ebb about the national side but that’s where we are at the moment, we’ve got 7 months to make friends again. Gareth’s called up more players who don’t deserve it to make things better. Your playoff alternative on Friday is Sweden vs Italy, which is very intriguing. South Africa and Senegal face off on BT at 5pm, and you might think “so bloody what?” but it’s more interesting than it sounds. South Africa originally won 2-1, but it turned out the referee was corrupt so they’re having to replay. If Senegal win, they qualify, South Africa have to win to keep their hopes alive. Oh the tension. Wales are also in action in a friendly, away to France at 8pm on BBC One Wales.
Saturday 11th November
It’s that time again where Sky pretend to care about League One. Doncaster vs Rotherham is their fixture of choice, kicking off at 12.30pm. It’s a Yorkshire derby so they might kick lumps out of each other. BT have opted for the old National League/World Cup Qualifier double feature at 5.30pm, where you can enjoy Ebbsfleet vs Leyton Orient or Ivory Coast vs Morocco. The winner takes it all in the latter, or Morocco will qualify with a draw. They haven’t conceded yet in their 5 games in this group stage, so it would be a bad time to start now. The evening entertainment is Denmark vs Republic of Ireland in a playoff 1st leg, it is still a mystery to me how Ireland have made it this far but here they are, two games away from the World Cup.
Sunday 12th November
More League One action to savour, this time coming at AFC Wimbledon as they host Portsmouth. A tale of two clubs who have been through the mill somewhat. The BBC are showing some WSL action, as Reading Women host Chelsea Ladies. Bit of a contrast in how they refer to the lasses but they can settle that debate on the pitch. Switzerland vs Northern Ireland gets underway at 5pm, and as that’s the second leg one set of fans is going to be distraught come full time. Greece vs Croatia is the evening affair, that kicks off at 7.45pm. Both games are on Sky.
Monday 13th November
Only one game, and it’s that intriguing contest between Italy and Sweden. Again, it’s a second leg so all to play for and we’ll have another qualifier. A World Cup without Italy is almost unthinkable.
That’s your lot this week. Try and make the best of it and we’ll reconvene next Tuesday to celebrate that it’s nearly over. Toodles for now.