|One of the original graphics. Designed by Chris Oakley|
This was a comprehensive guide to all the football games being transmitted on UK TV. The style of these previews was intended to be informative, brief and at time irreverent. Some of us used them as a platform to espouse opinions that for one reason or another were not sufficiently developed or relevant to justify a full blog post.
At its peak their were four of us writing them and we covered every game that was on the telly.
Those days are over but today I and attempted to bring them back albeit in truncated form and only when I have time to do them.
So without further ado I bring the triumphant return of the Weekend TV Preview (selected).
(All kick off times UK)
Friday 25th September
FC Köln v FC Ingolstadt, Bundesliga, 19:30, BT Sport Europe
Seventh play eighth respectively. FCK are, possibly for the first time since the 1960s being run by a sensible management team who understand that clubs like Köln survive with conservative tactics and ambitions. Despite a defeat to a slowly resurgent Hertha, during the week, Cologne are set fair for another prosperous second season in the top flight.
Ingolstadt are a newly promoted teeny tiny club who are doing what another newly promoted teeny tiny club, Paderborn, did last season: surprise and embarrass a few clubs in the early rounds. If they can overcome resolute mid table clubs like Köln tonight and for the rest of the campaign they have a chance. Unless of course their patrons, Audi, get some disappointing results back from the lab.
Fulham v Queens Park Rangers, Football League Championship, 19:45, SKY Sports 1
London is not big enough for all its club to be in the Premier League (as I fear Crystal Palace will rediscover in due time) and west London really only has room for one, neither of with are Fulham or QPR. So both clubs may come to relish these derby games in the seasons to come and are well suited rivals. That is assuming one or both don't hit the rocks financially and end up in the Conference.
Fulham (16th) cannot boast much by way of a home record but they have score 11 goals so far this season and can claim to be on a run if they follow up their win against Blackburn with one tonight. QPR (8th) have had their moderately encouraging start back in the Championship curtailed by a couple of draws with Blackburn and Hull. Definitely a game for the atmosphere rather than the football.
Saturday 26th September
Newcastle United v Chelsea, English Premier League, 17:30, SKY Sports 1
Oh the narrative. Steve McClaren's knack for hurling himself into red hot frying pans knows no bounds. Despite missing out on promotion, he'd assembled a Derby side to get behind. Even if he'd been given the boot he had surely restored his reputation. It's in severe jeopardy now after Newcastle's dismal start to the season and League Cup exit to a team from Sheffield.
But there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it comes in the shape of the blighted doctor botherer, Jose Mourinho. The Chelsea boss has only a Champions League win and a win against Arsenal in his recent plus column, neither of which count for much frankly. The Champions League is not much more than a preliminary round for the likes of Chelsea and they always beat Arsenal.
Oh yes I forgot about West Brom. Can't forget that.
Napoli v Juventus, Serie A, 19:45, BT Sport Europe
An antidote to the egg chasing (which I'll confess to enjoying). The champions Juve are struggling in 13th just a place behind their opponents. It could have been rosier for the Old Lady were it not for the pesky Leonardo Blanchard equalising for Frosinone in the final minutes, last Wednesday. Both teams may be struggling with the mid week fixtures and may welcome the forthcoming international break.
That said there is plenty of quality in this game and no little drive to kick start their seasons from both sets of players. A mid table game but which the heart of a top of the table clash.
Montreal Impact v DC United, MLS Eastern Conference, 22:00, SKY Sports 5
It's worth getting across the MLS now because there is about a month to go before the post season and the play off births are getting settled. DC are fourth in the Eastern Conference but haven't won in five. They have hitherto owned this fixture this season by playing Impact twice and winning both. Montreal are in the sixth and final play off place four points ahead of Orlando (or should that be "Kaka's Orlando"?).
Sunday 27th September
Middlesbrough v Leeds United, Football League Championship, 13:15, SKY Sports 1 and SKY Sports 5
A chance to get a good look at Aitor Karanka's team that probably should be in the Premier League by now. The return of Stewart Downing seems to have had the desired effect and it would be of no surprise if Boro were to disappear over the horizon this season. That being said, this home fixture against Leeds is the ideal litmus test. United are still a shadow of their former selves but are improving. A full house and a thundersome derby atmosphere is in store.
Watford v Crystal Palace, Premier League, 16:00, SKY Sports 1
Hardly a blue ribbon fixture but a tasty sort of London Derby twixt two teams that have surprised a few since their respective returns to the Premier League. Palace need to find the net in the league. Losing 1-0 to City and Tottenham is kind of understandable but the lack of goals could be a concern for Pardew.
Watford's impressive wins against Newcastle and Swansea make them favourites to win this, in my eyes. Although I hope that puts the kybosh on them.
Liverpool Ladies v Chelsea Ladies, FA WSL 1, 19:00, BT Sport 1
Two games left and Chelsea are two points clear of Manchester City. However City could be top by the time this game kicks off if they beat Bristol earlier in the day. But if City lose and Chelsea win then the title goes to the blues. All to play for as they say.