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Best Bets Dec. 21/22: What to watch/where to go

TUESDAY, DEC. 21

  • TELEVISION

FRENCH LIGUE 1

Montpellier at Lorient

Fox Soccer Plus, 11:55 a.m.

A matchup of mid-table clubs could offer some fireworks. There've been 15 goals in Lorient's last three games. Replay: 5 p.m. and 1 a.m.

SPANISH COPA DEL REY

Valencia at Villarreal

ESPN Deportes, 1 p.m.

Jozy Altidore might get a look for Villarreal in this round-of-16 first leg in Spain's primary competition, a clash worthy of a semifinal at least. The Yellow Submarine is third in La Liga, an Valencia is fourth. Replay: 4 p.m.

Also

Barcelona at Athletic Bilbao, ESPN Deportes, 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 22

  • TELEVISION

FRENCH LIGUE 1

Saint-Etienne at Lille

Fox Soccer Channel, 10 a.m.

Saint-Etienne, with Alta Loma's Carlos Bocanegra, is showing the kind of form that sent it atop the Ligue 1 standings earlier this season. First-place Lille is only three points ahead of Les Verts. Replay, 5 p.m.

Also

Auxerre at Lyon, Fox Soccer Plus, 10 a.m., 5 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Lens at Girondins Bordeaux, Fox Soccer Channel, noon and 8 p.m.

SPANISH COPA DEL REY

Levante at Real Madrid

GolTV, 1 p.m.

Real coach Jose Mourinho might be the most entertaining man in the game. Witness his tirade after Sunday's win over Sevilla, railing against the referees and getting in a dig at Rafa Benitez, the embattled boss at Inter Milan -- Mourinho's former club -- that he should “thank me for practically winning the title for him.” Then, on a scale of one to 10, Mourinho gave himself … you know it -- an 11. This is the first leg of a round-of-16 series. Replay: 5 p.m.

Also

Espanyol at Atletico Madrid, GolTV, 11 a.m.