Soccer on TV: Barcelona-Real Madrid, Chelsea-Manchester United, Dortmund-Schalke
This weekend in world soccer is headlined by some of the sport’s great club rivalries in England, Spain, Germany and Italy. MLS also has its share of rivalry games, with two big games on national TV.
This weekend in world soccer is headlined by some of the sport’s great club rivalries in England, Spain, Germany, and Italy. MLS also has its share of rivalry games, with two big games on national TV.
Here’s your viewer’s guide to the best action to watch:
Nottingham Forest vs. Derby County
Friday, 2:45 p.m. (ESPN+)
Nottingham and Derby are just 17 miles apart, and their histories are forever linked by the legacy of famed manager Brian Clough. He coached Derby from 1967-73, and Forest from 1975-93, winning the league at each club and the European Cup twice with the latter.
The Brian Clough trophy is awarded to the winner of each meeting in this series. Nottingham currently holds the prize, and Derby’s American midfielder Duane Holmes will try to help the Rams win it back.
Aston Villa vs. Leeds United
Friday, 3 p.m. (Peacock)
A former European Cup winner from England’s second-largest city (Birmingham) hosts a former finalist and three-time semifinalist from the fourth-largest city (Leeds). Yes, these teams have decorated histories, even though they’ve struggled in recent years.
Barcelona vs. Real Madrid
Saturday, 10 a.m. (beIN Sports, beIN Sports Español)
The first Clásico of the season comes at a moment that’s dramatic even by these clubs' high standards. Barcelona had a summer of turmoil, with Luis Suárez leaving, and Lionel Messi threatening to. But Ansu Fati and American Sergiño Dest have given the club a much-needed jolt of new energy. Fati had a goal and an assist in Tuesday’s Champions League win over Ferencváros.
Real Madrid started the season with a tie and three wins, then went stunningly off the rails in the last week. Los Merengues lost at home to newly-promoted Cadíz last Saturday, then were upset in the Champions League at home by Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday. No one’s on the hot seat yet, but a loss to the eternal rival will certainly raise the temperature.
» READ MORE: This weekend's full La Liga schedule
Borussia Dortmund vs. Schalke 04
Saturday, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
Germany’s fiercest rivalry is one that American fans have gotten to know well. Gio Reyna will be in the spotlight again for Dortmund, and while Schalke doesn’t have Weston McKennie anymore, it has a notable prospect in midfielder Nick Taitague.
Unfortunately, the 21-year-old Virginia native is playing with the reserves right now. And with Schalke having just one point through four games, relegation pressure might mean Taitague doesn’t play for the first team soon.
» READ MORE: This weekend's full Bundesliga schedule
Chelsea vs. Manchester United
Saturday, 12:30 p.m. (NBC10, Telemundo)
Fans sick of Peacock won’t have to look hard to find this game. Christian Pulisic gets the big spotlight for a clash of Premier League titans. And while United is stuck in 15th place in the Premier League, the Red Devils are coming off a statement win at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. Expect Marcus Rashford to be just as fired up for this game.
» READ MORE: This weekend's full Premier League schedule
Inter Miami vs. Orlando City
Saturday, 3:30 p.m. (Univision, TUDN)
Orlando’s unbeaten streak is up to 12 games now, and the fourth-place Lions are within two points of third. They’ll be favored in this Florida derby game, not least because Miami star Gonzalo Higuaín is suspended. He got a red card after the final whistle of last Saturday’s loss to Montreal for arguing with a referee. But playmaker Rodolfo Pizarro will be back after a quarantine following his return from Mexico’s national team earlier in the month.
» READ MORE: This weekend's full MLS schedule
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Newcastle United
Sunday, 12:30 p.m. (NBC10, Telemundo)
NBC’s broadcast network has a rare Sunday game thanks to the United Kingdom moving its clocks back this weekend. Telemundo might get the bigger audience, though, thanks to Wolves' Mexican star striker Raúl Jiménez. Newcastle will hope for a spark from Atlanta United alum Miguel Almirón, who has a goal and three assists in seven games.
Los Angeles FC vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
Sunday, 3:30 p.m. (6ABC, ESPN Deportes)
ABC’s first MLS regular season game since 2008 is the latest chapter of the league’s most glamorous rivalry. LAFC is fourth in the West, led by forward Diego Rossi and winger Brian Rodríguez. Their combined 17 goals and 8 assists have helped make up for Carlos Vela’s absence with a MCL injury.
The Galaxy are a mess, mired in last place. A narrow win over Vancouver last Sunday was the team’s first victory since Sept. 6, coincidentally over LAFC. Javier Hernández still has just one goal in 10 games, and has been so bad that he didn’t start the Vancouver game.
AC Milan vs. AS Roma
Monday, 3:45 p.m. (ESPN+)
A decade since Milan’s last Serie A title, the Rossoneri are the only perfect team in the league through four games, and not just because of Zlatan Ibrahimović. But there’s no doubt the big man has played a big role, with four goals, including two against rival Inter last Saturday.