Good afternoon to you. Remember when people used to buy the TV magazine and at Christmas it had two weeks worth of TV goodness in it? Well I’m shamelessy ripping off that idea, just without the goodness. We’ll start with this week, where the Carabao Cup is coming to town
Tuesday 19th December
Carabao! Somehow, as a sponsor, they have made the League Cup more hilarious than ever with dodgy draws, both in terms of time, the infamous delayed draw, the graphics not matching the WORDS COMING OUT OF PEOPLE’S MOUTHS. I’ll never forget the beads of sweat forming on John Salako’s forehead as he live on TV drew balls out of a bag. Nevertheless, we’re at the Quarter Final stage and the good news is, there are some tasty treats to look forward to. The TV offering is Leicester vs Man City. I am concerned that the sheer number of games in December will mean we see reserve teams all round, but Man City have so many good players I don’t think it’ll matter who they field. Leicester might be forced to play £30m former Man City man Kelechi Iheanacho, and wouldn’t that be awful? The other game, though not on TV in the UK, is Arsenal vs West Ham. There’s a Spanish game on too, but it’s Levante vs Leganes. So, you know.
Wednesday 20th December
More Thai Energy Drink quarter finals for you, starting with Bristol City against Man Utd at 8pm. Bristol City have been quite impressive for a while now and you know they will have a go, whilst Jose Mourinho may well shuffle his pack. This looks like a Daley Blind kind of game. Bayern Munich are also in action against Borussia Dortmund in the 3rd round of the German Cup, which would be a plum tie except Dortmund seem to be very much in the bust part of a boom and bust cycle. That’s on BT Sport 1, or BT Sport 3 can offer you PSG vs Caen in the French League. Real Sociedad vs Sevilla is a La Liga alternative, that, like the Carabao games, is on Sky.
Thursday 21st December
I can only assume over in Spain that their sports coverage is doing some sort of 10 in 10 deal, only without Ian Holloway getting off a bus in 10 different cities. That’s my way of saying there are yet more La Liga matches on, starting with Eibar vs Girona at 6.30pm then Alaves vs Malaga at 8.30pm. Wow. Gent take on Charleroi in the Belgian league, that’s on FreeSports at 7.30pm. Not a vintage night.
Friday 22nd December
Massive game it has to be said as Arsenal take on Liverpool at the Emirates. They still 4th and 5th which kind of sums up entirely what this match is about, neither team is gonig to win the league but the Champions League place is absolutely vital, even if there are 5 months still to go. As usual there’s a La Liga match, this time we have Espanyol vs Atletico Madrid, or BT have Serie A actino for you – Cagliari vs Fiorentina. That though is merely a warm-up for Saturday…
Saturday 23rd December
When your day starts with Real Madrid vs Barcelona, you know you’re in business. That’s a 12pm kick off, and Sky have gone all out by making it available on Sky 1. Sightings of Bob Cratchett at Sky towers have been unconfirmed. It goes up against Everton vs Chelsea on Sky at 12.30pm, Allardyce seems to have a long history of getting results against Chelsea, if memory serves, so that might be an interesting game. BT have Kilmarnock vs Rangers, which is…yeah. Watch that if you want. After you’ve negotiated the 3pm games, there’s a bumper evening of action too. Why you ask? Well it was decided not to make any Premier League teams have to play on Christmas Eve, so we’ve got a tea time kick off and an evening kick off. Hubba hubba. Burnley vs Tottenham is on BT at 5.30pm, that’s not bad. Incidentally Aston Villa vs Sheffield United are on Sky at the same time if the Championship is more your thing. Back over to Sky and Leicester vs Man Utd awaits you at 7.45pm, so we’re very excited by that. Juventus vs Roma is your BT alternative at 7.45pm, it’s just a mammoth day where I plan to sit in my own filth watching football and eating.
Sunday 24th December
The Dutch care not for Christmas Eve plans so you can still watch Ajax vs Willem II (1.30pm) followed by Feyenoord vs Roda JC (3.45pm) if you watch to have a Dutch Super Sunday.
Monday 25th December
Christmas Day. Or as I like to call it, Boxing Day Eve.
Tuesday 26th December
Happy football day to you all. Tottenham vs Southampton is a nice way to start, though Tottenham’s Wembley games have often been disappointing in the Premier League I’m sure Pochettino will try and get one over his former employers. That’s on Sky, BT offering Dundee vs Celtic at the same time. It’s a Tuesday so they can even show games at 3pm, so they’ve rather oddly opted for Burton vs Leeds over at Sky. In the evening, you can see Liverpool dismantle Swansea whilst eating your Turkey sandwiches, that’s at 5.30pm and also on Sky, then Brentford vs Aston Villa rounds the day off (also Sky) at 7.45pm. Football day is not actually that impressive this year.
Wednesday 27th December
Part of the reason that is the case is because the Boxing Day fixtures are strung out, so there is on one apiece for Wednesday and Thursday. First up is Newcastle vs Man City, I don’t know why Sky have picked this but it will probably hurt. That’s at 7.45pm, the same time as Hearts vs Hibs in the Edinburgh derby. So many choices.
Thursday 28th December
The last of the Boxing Day games (you know what I mean) is Crystal Palace vs Arsenal. Sky have a monopoly over these games but this one is an 8pm kick off. I’m sure it’ll be a wonderful time.
Friday 29th December
No Premier League game on the Friday but we do have Cardiff vs Preston in the Championship. I feel like Cardiff are on TV a lot. BT have presumably thrown the towel in and their only offering is St Mirren vs Dundee Utd in the Scottish Championship. Wow. They do however have Crotone vs Napoli, so there’s that.
Saturday 30th December
Another weekend means another full programme of fixtures, and there’s the small matter of the Old Firm Derby between Celtic and Rangers at midday on Sky. There isn’t an early English Premier League game, but there is Aldershot Town vs Maidstone United on BT. Do you think BT’s producers sit down and question their choices? They aren’t coming out of this festive period in a very good light. Anyway, they do have Inter Milan vs Lazio at 5pm, or more importantly Man Utd vs Southampton at 5.30pm. Sky have Bristol City vs Wolves at the same time, and your day can end with Serie A action between Verona and Juventus on BT at 7.45pm
Sunday 31st December
The New Year does not get given the same respect as Christmas Eve, with two Premier League games held back for essential Super Sunday viewing. Crystal Palace vs Man City is on BT at Midday, which is reasonable, but for some reason WBA vs Arsenal kicks off at 4.30pm. Yep, make it as late as possible lads. The second game is on Sky and is the last TV action of the year. Kerala Blasters vs Bengaluru is on FreeSports at 12pm if you want to watch the Indian Super League.
Monday 1st January
More games! New Year’s Day is a whole new set of fixtures, and Sky have perhaps predicted mass hangovers and opted to show Brighton vs Bournemouth so nobody notices. They have Leeds vs Forest at 3pm too, before finishing the day with Everton vs Man Utd at 5.30pm, if you’re still awake by then.
That’s a whole lot of TV coverage. I’ll be back on the 2nd with the remainder of the New Year’s programme and what will then be FA Cup weekend, poor cup doesn’t stand a chance of being prioritised with all these league games. Have a pleasant Christmas and New Year everybody!