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Best Bets Jan. 25/26: What to watch

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 25

  • TELEVISION

ENGLISH LEAGUE CUP

Manchester City at Liverpool

Fox Soccer Channel, 11:30 a.m.

Steven Gerrard's early penalty kick boosted the Reds in the first leg, in Manchester, so staying even at home would be enough to reach the Feb. 26 final at Wembley. Replays: Fox Soccer Plus, 2 and 9 p.m. and 1 a.m.

SPANISH COPA DEL REY

Real Madrid at Barcelona

ESPN Deportes, 12:55 p.m./GolTV, 1 p.m.

Barca has lost just once in league play, yet the title might be out of reach, so good has Real been. The cup is the Catalans' to win after Carles Puyol and Eric Abidal provided a 2-1 comeback win in this quarterfinal's away leg. Replay: ESPN Deportes, 5 p.m.

COPA LIBERTADORES

UANL Tigres (Mexico) at Union Española (Chile)

Fox Deportes, 1:30 p.m.

Mexico's Apertura champs open preliminary-round play in South America's club championship. Victory in Independencia virtually assures group-stage play.

Also

Flamengo (Brazil) at Real Potosi (Bolivia), Fox Deportes, 9:30 p.m.

Brazilian Campeonato Paulista

Portuguesa at Palmeiras, GolTV, 4 p.m. and midnight

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY

United States at Panama

Galavision, 5:30 p.m.

A few of these “young” Americans (Geoff Cameron, especially) fared well in Saturday's victory over Venezuela, and now they head into hostile territory for another test.

Also

Venezuela at Mexico, Univision (KMEX/Channel 34), 6 p.m.

THURSDAY, JAN. 26

  • TELEVISION

ITALIAN COPPA ITALIA

Lazio at AC Milan

GolTV, 11:30 a.m.

Two of Italy's giants tangle in the cup quarterfinals, with unbeaten Juventus awaiting in the final four.

BRAZILIAN CAMPEONATO PAULISTA

Ituano at Santos

ESPN Deportes, 2:55 p.m.

One might expect more than .500 soccer from a side with Santos' talent -- Neymar, Borges, Elano, etc. -- but that's what they've been in Brazil, no matter their Copa Libertadores triumph. They were true to form in their state-league opener, a draw.

COPA LIBERTADORES

Once Caldas (Colombia) at Internacional (Brazil)

Fox Deportes, 6 p.m.

Internacional is the last of Brazil's five qualifiers for South America's club championship, so the club from Porto Alegre starts in the preliminary round, but let's not forget that it won the tournament two years ago. Once Caldas is the last from Colombia, but a year ago it was celebrating a league title.

Also

Caracas FC (Venezuela) at Peñarol (Uruguay), 2:30 p.m.