Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Borussia Dortmund
Tuesday, 2:45 p.m. (ESPNews, ESPN Deportes)
The German Cup quarterfinals are this week, or at least three of the four are. Second-division Jahn Regensburg’s game against Josh Sargent’s Werder Bremen was postponed because of a COVID-19 outbreak at Regensburg.
So this is Tuesday’s only game in the tournament, and it’s a good one: a duel of star scorers in Mönchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram and Dortmund’s Erling Haaland. But the biggest spotlight will be on Mönchengladbach’s Marco Rose, who’s taking over the Dortmund manager job next season. Will he get a win over his future employer?
Rot-Weiss Essen vs. Holstein Kiel
Wednesday, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN Deportes, ESPN3)
You’ve probably figured out by now that this column is a fan of cup tournament Cinderellas. If you prefer the big-time teams, well, that’s your choice. But it’s March, and German soccer gets its own taste of madness in this game. Essen, of Germany’s fourth tier, beat Bundesliga titan Bayer Leverkusen in the round of 16 to earn a quarterfinal berth. Now it gets to host second-tier Holstien Kiel, which ousted Bayern Munich on penalty kicks two rounds ago.
Either Essen or Kiel will reach the DFB Pokal’s final four. It’s a story good enough that you could set the highlights to an emotion-stirring piece of music. Just an idea.
RB Leipzig vs. VfL Wolfsburg
Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. (ESPNews, ESPN Deportes)
Let’s hope this quarterfinal has Leipzig’s Tyler Adams playing against Wolfsburg’s John Brooks, for a matchup of U.S. national team starter.
Barcelona vs. Sevilla
Wednesday, 3 p.m. (ESPN+)
A few days after these teams met in La Liga - with Barcelona earning a 2-0 statement win in Seville - they reunite in the Copa del Rey semifinals. Sevilla won the first leg at home, 2-0, on Feb. 10, and now Barcelona hosts the second leg.
Barcelona isn’t out of the league title race. But while Lionel Messi and company are in second place, the gap behind first-place Atlético Madrid isn’t small: five points and Atlético has a game in hand. And with even bigger odds against Barcelona in the Champions League, the Copa del Rey could be Messi’s last shot at a trophy with the club he’s called home for 21 years.
Bordeaux vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Wednesday, 3 p.m. (beIN Sports, beIN Sports Español)
There’s a full round of games in France’s Ligue 1 on Wednesday, which means all four title contenders are in action. Before second-place PSG (57 points) visits Bordeaux, beIN’s English channel televises third-place Lyon (56) hosting Rennes. Also in the 3 p.m. slot, fourth-place Monaco (55) visits Strasbourg; and first-place Lille (59) hosts traditional power Marseille, which is down in seventh.
Monaco-Strasbourg and Lille-Marseille will be available on beIN’s streaming platforms. It’s best to follow the network’s Twitter account for the links as kickoff approaches.
Liverpool vs. Chelsea
Thursday, 3:15 p.m. (Peacock)
Christian Pulisic still hasn’t started for Chelsea since Thomas Tuchel took over as manager. That’s a storyline to watch here. The other is that both of these teams are competing for Champions League berths, but are currently on the outside looking in. Fourth-place upstart West Ham United (45) is trying to hold off Chelsea (44), Liverpool (43) and Everton (43).