Hello! Here we are back again with another week of the football TV guide. The big news is that European football is back, which will certainly make our once empty Thursday’s whole again. The FA Cup also returns to our screens. Let’s get to it.
Tuesday 13th February
THE CHAMPIONS! do do do do. The Champions League is back and there are two English sides taking centre stage. Tottenham have had to run somewhat of a Champions League gauntlet to get this far, coming through a group that included Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, so it seems somewhat unfair that they now face Juventus. Tottenham will travel to Turin for the first leg with a 7.45pm kick off. Man City are also in action, they are off to Switzerland to face Basel. Good luck to them, I say. BT have all the Champions League coverage. There is also a Europa League game between Crena Zvezda and CSKA Moscow, but that’s a 5pm kick off. I don’t know why they can’t play Thursday like everyone else.
Wednesday 14th February
Happy Valentine’s Day. The football love god has put Real Madrid vs PSG on the menu which is bound to upset a few households, but it’s two of the most expensively assembled teams in history. So there’s that. Liverpool are also in action, away at Porto, so there’s plenty to look forward to there if football is your true love.
Thursday 15th February
Ahh the Europa League. I’ll never tire of you. Two British clubs will be playing, and thankfully the schedule has worked out so that Arsenal play away at 6pm before Celtic host Zenit St Petersburg at 8.05pm. Arsenal’s clash with Ostersunds will be notable because the Swedish side have Englishman Graham Potter in charge and nothing seems to rile the media up more than the mystery of somebody doing well abroad. AC Milan can also been seen away to Ludogorets of Bulgaria whilst Dortmund vs Atalanta looks like an attractive match. Both kick off at 6pm. The pick of the 8.05pm alternatives for me is Napoli against Red Bull Leipzig. There’s even a 4pm match, with FC Astana hosting Sporting Lisbon. There are matches everywhere. Love Thursday.
Friday 16th February
It’s FA Cup 5th round time, and BT have opted for one awful match to start their coverage. Does anybody want to see Chelsea vs Hull? It’s just not necessary. That’s an 8pm kick off on BT Sport 2. Sky can only offer up a La Liga match between Girona and Leganes, whilst BT have Monaco vs Dijon on BT Sport 1. It’s not the best Friday night, I’ll be honest.
Saturday 17th February
Maybe Saturday can save us? Don’t bank on it. Sky have to beef their weekend coverage out and the best they can give us to start with is Ross County vs Hearts at 12.30pm. That’s not a good start. BT’s is not loads better – Sheff Wed vs Swansea is at least slightly intriguing because of the Carvalhal going back to Sheff Wed factor but it doesn’t exactly get my pulse racing. The midday La Liga game is Las Palmas vs Sevilla. Yep. Into the evening and we’re back on BT again for Huddersfield Town vs Manchester United. At least this is like a Premier League game, and of course Huddersfield famously won this game earlier in the season. Sky continue to scrape the barrel with Alaves vs Deportivo followed by Malaga vs Valencia. Genoa vs Inter is BT’s 7.45pm offering from Serie A. Wonder if it’s too late to book a trip away this weekend?
Sunday 18th February
A pair of derbies! Torino vs Juventus at 11.30am, that’s something, right? Right. Norwich vs Ipswich at 12pm is Sky’s best football of the weekend which says it all, but the Old Farm derby could be feisty. On the other hand, it’s a midtable clash at best. More average European games are on the agenda, such as Feyenoord vs Heracles, Napoli vs SPAL and Nice vs Nantes before Sky try and pull a Super Sunday out of their backsides by pretending Hamilton vs Rangers is a big deal. It is however followed by Leeds vs Bristol City at 4.30pm as we have to rely on the Championship for some fun. The BBC are in on the FA Cup act at 4pm, they’ve plumped for Rochdale vs Spurs. Rochdale’s pitch is in hilarious condition so I don’t know if that will be the great leveller here but I guess we’ll find out. As ever you have a choice of European leagues for your evening viewing. AC Milan vs Sampdoria at 7.45pm on BT, Real Betis vs Real Madrid on Sky or Marseille vs Bordeaux on BT Sport 2. It’s slightly better.
Monday 19th February
The North West is the place to be on Monday night, as that’s where the BBC have chosen to pitch up for their final 5th round tie. This time it’s Wigan vs Man City in a repeat on the 2013 final, only this will be played in the rather less exotic surrounds of Wigan rather than Wembley. Probably fair. Sky have some white hot League One action from this part of the world, with Blackburn hosting Bury, or they also have Getafe vs Celta Vigo but that doesn’t reallt fit with my Lancashire narrative. Make of it what you will.
It’s a pretty awful weekend of football. The Champions League and Europa League games look pretty good but I’m really struggling to get enthused for those cup games. That said, I’ll do the preview for the 5th round on Friday and probably feel a lot different about it. We’ll see. Enjoy the week and I’ll be back again soon with more.