An era- defi ning piece of midweek football broadcasting. 35 years after Th e Big Match showed its fi rst live game, this week there are 39 live games on UK TV from Tuesday to Th ursday.
39. It’s a blend of Champions League, Europa League, Women’s Championship, Chinese Super League, Uefa Youth League and an Australian Cup tie, bulked up by an entire Championship programme.
Th at Mitchell & Webb “All the football, all the time” sketch was fi rst shown 12 years ago. Way ahead of its time.
Hold on. Th e entire Championship midweek programme is on TV? Correct. Th ere are eight full midweek programmes this season, every game of which is being broadcast live on Sky via the red button.
Th is week there are seven matches on Tuesday – meaning dedicated red- button fans can devote 13 minutes to each – and fi ve more on Wednesday. Any highlights, then? Leeds are well worth 13 minutes of anyone’s time. Th ey host Preston on Tuesday with pundits asking if the Marcelo Bielsa ( pictured) revolution can survive Patrick Bamford’s four- month layoff . Th ey were held 1- 1 yesterday at Millwall. Among the other top- end sides, Frank Lampard’s Derby – their offi cial title now – play Blackburn , looking to shake off yesterday’s 1- 0 defeat by Rotherham, and, on Wednesday, Middlesbrough host Bolton , who survived another administration scare last week. Sheffi eld United face Birmingham. And the other subplots? Th ere’s a chance to monitor Stoke’s bruising start to the second tier on Tuesday as Gary Rowett, on the rocks, takes on fellow former Premier League side Swansea. Elsewhere, West Brom, faring a bit better, play Bristol City; Reading play Norwich; and Millwall make the short, sparky journey west to QPR.