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Best Bets Jan. 7/8: What to watch

SATURDAY, JAN. 7

  • TELEVISION

ENGLISH F.A. CUP

Aston Villa at Bristol Rovers

Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Deportes, 9:30 a.m.

The third round of the F.A. Cup is where the Premier League joins the competition, and Villa -- Robbie Keane's soon-to-be teammates, perhaps? -- takes on a fourth-tier club in its opener. Replay: FSC, 5 p.m.

Also

Wolverhampton at Birmingham City, Fox Soccer Plus, 4:25 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Blackpool at Fleetwood Town, Fox Soccer Plus, 6:55 a.m.

Bolton at Macclesfield Town, Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Deportes, 7 a.m.

Wigan Athletic at Swindon Town, Fox Soccer Plus, 11 a.m.

SPANISH LA LIGA

Atletico Madrid at Malaga

GolTV, 1 p.m.

Malaga is battling for a spot in Europe. Atletico, five points further down the table, ought to be in that fight. Replays: 7 p.m. and midnight.

Also

Mallorca at Levante, ESPN Deportes, 8:55 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Granada at Real Madrid, GolTV, 11 a.m., 5 and 9 p.m., and midnight

Italian Serie A

Lazio at Siena, Fox Soccer Plus, 9 a.m. and 1 a.m.

Parma at Inter Milan, Fox Soccer Channel, 11:30 a.m. and midnight; Fox Deportes, 11:30 a.m.

Australian A-League

Central Coast Mariners at Sydney FC, Fox Soccer Channel, 9 p.m.

MEXICAN PRIMERA DIVISION

UANL Tigres at Cruz Azul

Azteca America (KAZA/Channel 54) and Fox Deportes, 3 p.m.

A wonderful matchup to begin the spring Clausura season, pitting Apertura champ Tigres against Mexico City's Cruz Azul, which comes close, it seems, every season.

Also

America at Gallos Blancos, Telefutura (KFTR/Channel 46), 3 p.m.

Jaguares at Monterrey, Galavision, 3 p.m.

Pachuca at Santos Laguna, Telefutura (KFTR/Channel 46), 5 p.m.

Atlante at Guadalajara, Telemundo (KVEA/Channel 52), 5 p.m.

Pumas UNAM at San Luis, Galavision, 6:30 p.m.

Liga de Ascenso

Toros Neza at Altamira, GolTV, 3 p.m.

SUNDAY, JAN. 8

  • TELEVISION

ENGLISH F.A. CUP

Manchester United at Manchester City

Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Deportes, 5 a.m.

England's two best clubs face off in their openers in the world's oldest (and most prestigious domestic) soccer tournament, and second-place United wants to make a statement after October's 6-1 loss to EPL leader City. Alex Ferguson says the Blues aren't playing the best soccer in the country at the moment -- and he has a point. In the two games before Tuesday's 3-0 win over Liverpool, City was shut out in a tie at West Brom and loss at Sunderland. Replays: Fox Deportes, 9:30 a.m.; FSC, 8 p.m.

Also

Sunderland at Peterborough United, Fox Soccer Plus, 7:25 a.m. and 5 p.m.

MEXICAN PRIMERA DIVISION

Atlas at Puebla

ESPN Deportes, 10 a.m.

DaMarcus Beasley and the Camoteros open their Clausura campaign against an Atlas side that needs points in its fight against relegation. That makes this a key game for Tijuana.

Also

Estudiantes Tecos at Toluca, Univision (KMEX/Channel 34), 10 a.m.

SPANISH LA LIGA

Barcelona at Espanyol

ESPN Deportes, 12:25 p.m.

The world's greatest team sits second in Spain's top division, three points behind Real Madrid. Their crosstown rival Espanyol is a .500 club, just two points (and two places) out of a European spot. Replay: 6 p.m.

Also

Sporting Gijon at Real Betis, GolTV, 10:45 a.m., 7 p.m. and midnight

Valencia at Villarreal, ESPN Deportes, 2:30 p.m.

Italian Serie A

Cesena at Udinese, Fox Soccer Plus, 3:25 and 9:30 a.m. and 1 a.m.

AC Milan at Atalanta, Fox Deportes, 7 a.m.; Fox Soccer Channel, 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Napoli at Palermo, Fox Soccer Channel, 11:30 a.m. and midnight; Fox Deportes, 11:30 a.m.