Sports lovers can look forward to even greater sporting variety, with some thrilling action coming their way on ESPN and ESPN 2 from Friday 22 to Thursday 28 January 2021.
ESPN opens the weekend with a Turkish Super Lig clash between Genclerbirligi v Trabzonspor (14:55 LIVE on ESPN) on the afternoon of Saturday 23 January, followed by an Eredivisie clash between PSV and RKC Waalwijk later the same day (20:50 LIVE on ESPN).
PSV coach Roger Schmidt has called on his team to continue their improvement despite putting together a solid season thus far: “In possession, we could do a little better, normally we can keep the ball longer. We sometimes lose the ball a bit too easily. We also need to make sure we don’t give away so many chances. But in all I want the players to keep the same attitude and motivation.”
Sunday 24 January features more top-flight Dutch action with Fortuna Sittard v Ajax (13:05 LIVE on ESPN), while the evening of Monday 25 January sees ESPN swing over to Turkey for Fenerbahce v Kayserispor (17:55 LIVE on ESPN).
Fenerbahce are one of the clubs most strongly linked with Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, and the playmaker recently admitted that he was a fan of the Istanbul club as a youngster:“I grew up as a Fenerbahce fan as a kid in Germany – every German-Turkish person supports a Turkish team when they grow up in Germany. And mine was Fenerbahce. Fenerbahce is like Real Madrid in Spain. The biggest club in my country.”
Viewers can also end off their first working day of the week with live airings of The Jump (22:00 LIVE on ESPN) for all your news from the NBA, and NFL Live (23:00 LIVE on ESPN) where the playoffs and looming Super Bowl will take centre stage.
ESPN 2 viewers will be in for a basketball treat on the evening of Saturday 23 January right into the early hours of Sunday 24 January, with live thrills and spills from the NCAA College tournament across the United States (19:00 – 06:00 LIVE on ESPN 2).
Texas Longhorns coach Shaka Smart has explained that unity and a common purpose has united his team and contributed to their strong showing so far: “I think any team that is able to have team success, the No. 1 ingredient has to be the common goal and being connected around that goal.”
Sunday 24 into Monday 25 January sees all the focus turn to the NFL playoffs, with the AFC Championship (22:05 LIVE on ESPN 2) and NFC Championship deciders (01:40 LIVE on ESPN 2). The winners of the two matches will meet in the Super Bowl in two weeks’ time.
One of the biggest pieces of news coming out of the NFL in recent times has been Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson reportedly being unhappy with CEO Cal McNair’s hiring of former Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio as their general manager.
“I’ve come to understand that it’s been reported that Deshaun feels left out of the process, but he and I had several visits and I understood his point of view before meeting with candidates,” McNair said. “I’ve reached out to Deshaun about Nick’s hire, and I look forward to him getting back to me when he returns from his vacation.”
ESPN selected broadcast highlights
Saturday 23 January
14:55: Turkish Super Lig, Genclerbirligi v Trabzonspor – LIVE on ESPN
20:50: Eredivisie, PSV v RKC Waalwijk – LIVE on ESPN
Sunday 24 January
13:05: Eredivisie, Fortuna Sittard v Ajax – LIVE on ESPN
Monday 25 January
17:55: Turkish Super Lig, Fenerbahce v Kayserispor – LIVE on ESPN
22:00: The Jump – LIVE on ESPN
23:00: NFL Live – LIVE on ESPN
ESPN 2 selected broadcast highlights
Saturday 23 January – Sunday 24 January
19:00 – 06:00: NCAA College Basketball – LIVE on ESPN 2
Sunday 24 January
22:05: NFL Playoffs, AFC Championship – LIVE on ESPN 2
Monday 25 January
01:40: NFL Playoffs, NFC Championship – LIVE on ESPN 2