Worried about the lack of Premier League on TV this weekend? Think again! Africa Cup of Nations has thrown up some mammoth last-eight ties, there are huge Championship clashes... and the Scottish title race is heating up too

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The Premier League takes a break this weekend due to international fixtures  However, there is still a raft of top fixtures on TV across the UK for fans to enjoy The Africa Cup of Nations is into a pivotal weekend with the quarter-finals on The Championship continues, while there are big games in the Scottish top flightThere are also other matches on across the continent with French Cup action 

A weekend without Premier League action is usually a cause for despair amongst football fans in England. 

Dominating the TV schedule each week, it’s absence is normally keenly felt, with a lack of quality action to fill the void.

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That is not the case this time around, however. Despite the top flight breaking due to the added round of international fixtures for South American, Asian and North American countries, there is still a jam-packed schedule on the box this Saturday and Sunday.

Here, Sportsmail takes you through the best of the action to enjoy over the next 48 hours.  



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Ross County v Rangers (Sky Sports Main Event) 12.30pm

For the hardcore footballing enthusiast, there is an opportunity to start your Saturday binge with the A-League clash between Western United and Carl Jenkinson-featuring Melbourne City at 8.45am on BT Sport 2.

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For those of a more sensible persuasion, and who appreciate the virtues of a weekend lie in, the action gets underway in Dingwall in the north of Scotland at lunchtime. 

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Rangers side scraped to victory midweek against Livingston to maintain their four-point lead over Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership. 

With the re-arranged Old Firm fixture penned in for next Wednesday, victory over struggling Ross County will be key in maintaining the upper hand ahead of their trip to Parkhead. 

There is also the possibility of the first viewing of Amad Diallo in blue, after the league leaders secured a loan move for the Manchester United youngster earlier this week.  

Giovanni van Bronckhorst will be hoping Rangers can maintain their lead over Celtic at the top

Giovanni van Bronckhorst will be hoping Rangers can maintain their lead over Celtic at the top

Gambia v Cameroon (BBC Two and iPlayer) 4pm

The biggest competition on show this weekend is undoubedtly the Africa Cup of Nations.

We’ve reached the quarter-finals, with many of the pre-tournament favourites still involved and many big names.

The hosts Cameroon kick off the last-eight fixtures when they take on the little-fancied Gambia, who will have taken heart from the exploits of goalkeeper-less Comoros in the previous round. 

Reims v Bastia (Mola TV) 5.30pm

Despite the internationals window, there is no rest for top teams in France, who will be competing in the Round of 16 in the French Cup this weekend. 

Little-known Indonesian streaming service Mola TV have the exclusive UK rights, and those interested in watching can register for free to watch the action this weekend. 

First up is Reims against Ligue 2 side Bastia. The top-flight side reached this stage courtesy of a late winner by former Everton striker and Scotland Under-21 international Fraser Hornby.

Also on show could be teenager Hugo Ekitike, who’s phenomenal form this season in front of goal had seen him linked with a move to Newcastle amongst other Premier League sides earlier this window. 

An opportunity for armchair fans to carry out their own scouting mission, then.  

Hugo Ekitike has had a breakout season with Stade de Reims and been linked with Newcastle

Hugo Ekitike has had a breakout season with Stade de Reims and been linked with Newcastle

Burkina Faso v Tunisia (Sky Sports Premier League) 7pm

The second AFCON semi-finalists will be decided on Saturday evening.

With Aston Villa’s Bertrand Traore leading the line, Burkina Faso overcame Gabon in a tense shoot-out in the last round, eventually triumphing 7-6.

They’ll be up against Tunisia, who knocked out Nigeria in the last-16. The sides will head into the match knowing their semi-final opponent, too.  

Marseille v Montpellier (Mola TV) 8pm

While not a household name in England just yet, you get the feeling Stephy Mavididi could just be heading that way.

The former Arsenal youth product left the club for Juventus and has since settled in France at Montpellier after a loan spell at Dijon. 

The left-sided winger has been flying for La Paillade in Ligue 1 this season, scoring eight goals and assisting a further three. The 23-year-old has also been tentatively linked with a return to England this winter. 

You might catch a glimpse of him leading the line once more for his side as they take on fellow Ligue 1 side Marseille in an eye-catching clash at Stade Veledrome on Saturday evening.  

Stephy Mavididi has enjoyed an incredible season with Montpellier and is in French Cup action

Stephy Mavididi has enjoyed an incredible season with Montpellier and is in French Cup action


Arsenal Women v London City Lionesses (BBC Red Button and iPlayer) 12.30pm

More cup action follows on Sunday lunchtime, as the women take centre stage.

Arsenal are flying high at the top of the Women’s Super League, consolidating their position after victory against Brighton on Thursday evening. 

Jonas Eidevall’s side will be looking to avoid a monumental shock then when they welcome Women’s Super League 2 side London City Lionesses for their fourth round tie. 

Arsenal will be looking to avoid an FA Cup upset when they host the London City Lionesses

Arsenal will be looking to avoid an FA Cup upset when they host the London City Lionesses

Derby v Brimingham (Sky Sports Main Event) 1.30pm

There is no denying the job that Wayne Rooney has done at Derby County. From a near impossible position of a 21-point deduction, the Rams are still well in the fight for survival. 

It is now getting down to the crunch however, and an eight-point gap still exists between Rooney’s men and that coveted 21st place in the table.

They host a Birmingham City side that have far from convinced this season, themselves languishing in 18th place.

If the former Manchester United striker is going to pull off the unthinkable, this is a game they simply have to win.  

Wayne Rooney is looking to produce a great escape with Derby County in the Championship

Wayne Rooney is looking to produce a great escape with Derby County in the Championship

Egypt v Morocco (Sky Sports Premier League) 4pm

Time for the big guns. Mohamed Salah and Egypt held their nerve against the Ivory Coast to book their spot in the quarter finals against a Morocco team who have so far impressed. 

Achraf Hakimi was their hero in the last-16, producing a thunderbolt of a free-kick to see off Malawi. 

Egypt have been on the backfoot for much of the tournament, having sweated over their qualification for the knockout rounds after losing to Nigeria in their opener.

They’ll be hoping the somewhat subdued Salah can finally come to the fore.  

Mohamed Salah and Egypt won through to the last eight after a penalty shoot-out victory

Mohamed Salah and Egypt won through to the last eight after a penalty shoot-out victory 

Cardiff City v Nottingham Forest (Sky Sports Main Event) 4pm 

A Championship game with huge implications at both ends of the table wraps up the weekend’s domestic offerings. 

Nottingham Forest have been unrecognisable since ditching Chris Hughton and hiring Steve Cooper. 

They’ve been beaten just three times in 22 matches since swapping coaches and are pushing hard for a play-off spot. Victory on Sunday could lift them as high as fifth. 

It’s a completely different story for Cardiff, who’s season started poorly and has gone downhill from there. 

Steve Morison’s men would be cut adrift in the relegation places without the points deductions handed down to both Reading and Derby. They currently look like a team waiting for other results to go their way, rather than taking a grasp of the situation themselves. 

If this doesn’t float your boat though, there is more French Cup action, and the biggest chance of a shock this weekend. Bergerac are in the fourth tier of the pyramid, but Ligue 1’s basement boys Saint-Etienne won’t be relishing the prospect of a visit to the Stade de Campreal (Mola TV, 5.30pm).

Senegal v Equatorial Guinea (BBC Two and Sky Sports Football) 7pm

The action comes to a close with the final Africa Cup of Nations quarter, which could produce a blockbuster of a semi-final if results go a certain way.

The tantalising prospect of Mohamed Salah versus Sadio Mane could become a reality should Egypt beat Morocco and Mane’s Senegal beat Equatorial Guinea.

It remains to be seen what part the Liverpool forward will play on Sunday evening after being removed from the last-16 victory over Cape Verde with concussion. 

If you are AFCONed out, then there is more French Cup action in the form of RC Lens versus Monaco (Mola TV, 8pm) or even a Portuguese offering, with Primeira Liga leaders Porto – the wound of losing star forward Luis Diaz to the Premier League still fresh – welcoming Maritimo to Estadio do Dragao (BT Sport 2, 8.30pm). 

Senegal could be without star man Sadio Mane after his concussion injury in the last-16

Senegal could be without star man Sadio Mane after his concussion injury in the last-16

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