The soccer world gives you another feast of reasons to stay home this weekend. There are big games in England, Spain, Germany and France, plus the Concacaf Champions League semifinals.
Here’s your viewer’s guide to the top action to watch.
Barcelona vs. Valencia
Saturday, 10:15 a.m. (beIN Sports, beIN Sports Espanol)
Barcelona made a big statement Wednesday with a 2-1 win over first-place Real Sociedad. Next up is a matchup that pits Sergino Dest (and maybe Konrad de la Fuente?) against fellow U.S. national team top prospect Yunus Musah.
Everton vs. Arsenal
Saturday, 12:30 p.m. (NBC10, Universo)
Whenever Arsenal loses even once, the joke is to say Arsenal is in crisis. But right now, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the Gunners really are. They’re winless in their last six Premier League games, and have fallen all the way to 15th place. Everton, meanwhile, is up in fifth after back-to-back wins over Chelsea and Leicester City.
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich
Saturday, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
First place meets second in the Bundesliga, and the first-place team isn’t Bayern. Leverkusen is undefeated so far in the season with 8 wins and 4 draws, thanks in part to Jamaican winger Leon Bailey. This will be the biggest test yet, as newly-crowned FIFA Player of the Year Robert Lewandowski brings the eight-time-reigning champions to town.
Tigres UANL vs. Olimpia
Saturday, 8 p.m. (FS2, Univision, TUDN)
Tigres isn’t just the favorite to win this Concacaf Champions League semifinal, it’s the favorite to win the entire tournament. Star attackers Andre-Pierre Gignac and Javier Aquino showed why in the quarterfinal win over New York City FC on Tuesday, scoring a goal each to lead a 4-0 rout.
Olimpia, of Honduras, will relish being the underdog. It’s the first Central American team to reach the CCL semifinals since 2015. But it’s no slouch: Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to the Montreal Impact in the quarterfinal second leg (Olimpia advanced after winning the first leg) was its first defeat in any game since it resumed playing in early September. Forward Jerry Bengtson used to be a New England Revolution regular.
Los Angeles FC vs. Club America
Saturday, 10:30 p.m. (FS2, Univision, TUDN)
LAFC is the last MLS team standing in the CCL, and this matchup is a Hollywood dream. Carlos Vela, the star of L.A. and and Mexico’s national team, faces Mexico’s version of the Yankees. So it’s not too surprising to hear whispers from the Mexican media that America wants to sign Vela – who grew up at arch-rival Chivas, by the way – in the offseason.
Are the rumors true? LAFC manager Bob Bradley said Thursday that he hadn’t heard about them. Perhaps Vela should ask America goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, a longtime Mexico teammate.
As for which team is favored, history tells us it’s America, because no MLS team has ever won the CCL. But LAFC knocked out Mexican powerhouses Leon and Cruz Azul in the first two rounds. In Vela and Diego Rossi, the Black-and-Gold have the firepower to make it three straight.
» READ MORE: The Union will play in next year's Champions League
Arsenal vs. Everton
Sunday, 7:30 a.m. (atafootball.com)
A day after these clubs’ men’s teams meet in Liverpool, their women’s teams meet in suburban London. Arsenal’s women’s team is in third place, led by star striker Vivianne Miedema. But like their male counterparts, the Gunners have doubters. Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Manchester City was yet another defeat to a big team. Everton is in fifth, led by former Washington Spirit and Portland Thorns midfielder Hayley Raso.
Manchester United vs. Leeds United
Sunday, 11:30 a.m. (NBCSN, Telemundo)
Ask a Manchester United fan who the team’s biggest rivals are, and you’ll probably be told Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal. Ask a Leeds fan who the team’s biggest rival is, and you’ll get an even longer list of candidates.
But ask fans who’ve been around a while, and you’ll hear of this matchup plenty. While the teams haven’t met since 2011, they have a long history of detesting each other.
In the 1960s, Leeds’ Jack Charlton, Billy Bremner and Norman Hunter faced Manchester’s Bobby Charlton (Jack’s brother), Denis Law and the great George Best. In the 1990s, the legendary Eric Cantona made Leeds his first English home, then crossed the Pennines Hills to become a Manchester all-timer. In 2001, Leeds’ Robbie Keane and Manchester’s David Beckham fought on the field at Old Trafford. 10 years later, they won MLS Cups together with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
There probably won’t be as many raised tempers this time. There’s no bad blood between Manchester’s Bruno Fernandes and Leeds’ Jack Harrison, who scored an outstanding goal against Newcastle on Wednesday. Still, as with so much in Leeds’ return to the Premier League, this game matters as much for its history as its present.
Lille vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Sunday, 3 p.m. (beIN Sports Connect)
A big goal from American forward Tim Weah helped Lille jump to the top of France’s Ligue 1 on Wednesday. PSG is in second, still stinging from last Sunday’s loss at home to Lyon. There’s drama off the field too: Lille’s ownership just sold the team. The collapse of French soccer’s flashy new TV broadcaster – which promised more money than it could deliver – left Lille and other clubs facing huge losses.