Soccer on TV: Arsenal-West Ham is the Premier League’s game of the week
West Ham is in fourth, the place that gets the last Champions League berth. Sixth-place Arsenal can overtake the visitors with a win.
VfB Stuttgart vs. Bayern Munich
Tuesday, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
Although Jesse Marsch is gone from RB Leipzig, there’s still an American manager in the Bundesliga: Wayne, N.J.’s Pellegrino Matarazzo. His team faces its biggest home test of the season as it tries to stay out of the relegation zone.
Brentford vs. Manchester United
Tuesday, 2:30 p.m. (Peacock)
This game is notable because it won’t happen. It was postponed Monday night after Manchester United became one of many Premier League clubs hit by a rise in COVID-19 cases. The team shut its practice facility on Monday due to an outbreak among its players and staff.
It’s the second Premier League game that has been postponed in the last three days, after Sunday’s Brighton-Tottenham contest. Spurs’ Europa Conference League group stage finale against France’s Rennes last Thursday was also postponed.
Andratx vs. Sevilla
Wednesday, 1 p.m. (ESPN+)
The second round of Spain’s Copa del Rey is this week, with ESPN+ carrying 16 of the 28 games. This one will feature La Liga power Sevilla traveling to the Balearic Islands east of Spain’s mainland, to face a fourth-tier team whose 2,000-seat Sa Plana stadium is surrounded by green hills and not much else.
“We are sorry for the inconvenience to people who wanted to attend and can’t,” Andratx’s club statement announcing a sellout said. Our little Sa Plana doesn’t give us room for any more.”
» READ MORE: The rest of this week's Copa del Rey schedule
Qatar vs. Algeria
Wednesday, 2 p.m. (FS1)
Raïs M’Bolhi has still got some gas left in his tank. The 35-year-old former Union flop was Algeria’s hero in a penalty shootout win over Morocco in the Arab Cup quarterfinals, making the save that gave Les Fennecs the edge to prevail. Now Algeria faces the tournament’s host nation, which rolled through the group stage undefeated, then routed the rival United Arab Emirates in the quarters.
Bayer Leverkusen vs. TSG Hoffenheim and Union Berlin vs. Freiburg
Wednesday, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
While Bayern runs away with the top spot, there’s a lot of drama elsewhere in the Bundesliga, and we’ll see it in two simultaneous games on Wednesday. Florian Wirtz and third-place Leverkusen (27 points) host American Chris Richards and fourth-place Hoffenheim (26), while sixth-place Union (23) hosts fifth-place upstart Freiburg (25) — a team that has played in Europe just four times in its history.
» READ MORE: The rest of this week's Bundesliga schedule
Barrow vs. Ipswich Town
Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. (ESPN+)
In the second round of the FA Cup, fourth-tier Barrow went to third-tier Ipswich Town and got a scoreless tie. That means a replay at Barrow’s home on England’s far Northwest coast — a 300-plus mile journey for Ipswich, which this spring will mark 20 years since it was relegated from the Premier League.
Arsenal vs. West Ham United
Wednesday, 3 p.m. (NBCSN, Universo)
Whenever two Premier League giants face each other, it’s understandably hyped as a big game. But even some Chelsea-Manchester City clashes over the years haven’t mattered too much for the standings when both teams are secure in Champions League spots.
This game matters a lot. West Ham (28 points) is in fourth place, which gets the last Champions League berth, narrowly ahead of fifth-place Manchester United (27) and sixth-place Arsenal (26).
The Gunners haven’t claimed a place in the top four during the heart of a season since late in the 2018-19 campaign, and a former Champions League regular hasn’t been there since 2017. On the other side of London, West Ham is trying to reach Europe’s biggest stage for the first time in its history.
Liverpool vs. Newcastle United
Thursday, 3 p.m. (Peacock)
There’s still a long way to go in the Premier League campaign, including the winter transfer window. But it would be quite a sight if Newcastle gets relegated in its first season under its new wealthy new Saudi Arabian owners.
» READ MORE: The rest of this week's Premier League schedule
Wolfsburg vs. Chelsea
It seems hard to believe that Chelsea, last year’s Champions League runner-up and one of Europe’s most dominant teams, could fail to get out of this season’s inaugural group stage. Or Wolfsburg, a two-time champion and three-time runner-up — most recently 18 months ago. But it could happen if Wolfsburg wins this game and Juventus beats Switzerland’s winless Servette Chênois in a simultaneous kickoff (YouTube, DAZN).
That would leave Chelsea, Wolfsburg and Juve tied in the standings on 11 points. The first tiebreaker is head-to-head points among all tied teams, and they’d each have five. Next up is goal difference in those results: Juventus is set at +1, Chelsea enters the week at +1, and Wolfsburg is -2. If that ends up level, then comes goals scored in head-to-head games — and all three teams have totaled five so far.
Two of the teams will advance, and one won’t. That one could be any of the three. Buckle up for what could be some great drama.