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Soccer on TV: PSG vs. Man City, Chelsea vs. Juventus headline this week’s Champions League slate

Plus the latest episode of Barcelona's soap opera, the Europa and Conference Leagues, the Copa Libertadores semifinals, and a full slate of MLS games.

PSG's Lionel Messi looks at head coach Mauricio Pochettino after he was substituted during a league match against Lyon earlier this month.
PSG's Lionel Messi looks at head coach Mauricio Pochettino after he was substituted during a league match against Lyon earlier this month.Read moreFrancois Mori / AP

Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Inter Milan

Tuesday, 12:45 p.m. (UniMás, TUDN, Paramount+)

Both of these teams lost their Champions League group stage openers, Shakhtar at Moldova’s Sheriff Tiraspol and Inter at home to Real Madrid. So the pressure is on, especially for Inter. The Nerazzurri haven’t forgotten the two scoreless ties they played against Shakhtar last season that knocked the Italians out in the group stage.

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Manchester City

Tuesday, 3 p.m. (Univision 65, TUDN, Paramount+)

When you think of Europe’s great soccer rivalries, you might not think of this matchup. But you should, because it goes far beyond the field.

PSG is owned by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, while Man City is owned by a member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family in the United Arab Emirates. The two countries haven’t always gotten along, but they share a desire to use their soccer teams to bring fame to their nations — amid long-running accusations of using sports to distract from human rights abuses.

The assembled squads are as star-studded as they come: Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar for PSG, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish for Man City, just to name a few. The Champions League is the title they and their clubs’ owners covet most, but neither team has yet won it. City was the runner-up to Chelsea last season, and PSG to Bayern Munich in 2020.

» READ MORE: Union midfielder José Andrés Martínez on playing against Lionel Messi and Neymar, and his love for Philadelphia

Real Madrid vs. Sheriff Tiraspol

Tuesday, 3 p.m. (Paramount+, PrendeTV)

This is the first of two Champions League games this week that Univision is putting on PrendeTV, its free-of-charge online streaming platform. Real is coming off a scoreless tie against Villarreal in LaLiga. Sheriff is the ultimate underdog, but as the New York Times recently detailed, the club’s rise has been full of controversy.

Atlético Mineiro vs. Palmeiras

Tuesday, 8:30 p.m. (beIN Sports, beIN Sports Español)

After a scoreless tie in Palmeiras’ home game of this all-Brazilian Copa Libertadores semifinal tie, it’s advantage Atlético as the scene shifts from São Paulo to Belo Horizonte.

Juventus vs. Chelsea

Wednesday, 3 p.m. (Paramount+,

Christian Pulisic is still sidelined by the ankle injury he suffered in the United States’ World Cup qualifier at Honduras, but he’s almost back now. If he’s able to return for this game, he could play against fellow American star Weston McKennie.

Salzburg vs. Lille

Wednesday, 3 p.m. (Paramount+,

This game is likely to have two young Americans playing against each other: Brenden Aaronson for Salzburg and Tim Weah for Lille.

» READ MORE: Paxten Aaronson played a big role in the Union's win over Atlanta United

Benfica vs. Barcelona

Wednesday, 3 p.m. (Paramount+, PrendeTV)

If Barcelona was a Philadelphia sports team, this city would be having a field day right now.

After a 3-0 home loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Sept. 14, Barça president Joan Laporta reportedly gave manager Ronald Koeman three games to keep his job. The first of them was a dreadful 1-1 tie at home against Granada. The second was a scoreless tie at Cádiz in which Koeman was ejected for arguing with the referee, earning a two-game suspension. A day later, Laporta reportedly decided to withdraw the ultimatum and leave Koeman in charge.

Naturally, Barcelona’s first game with Koeman out was its best performance of the season: a 3-0 win over Levante on Sunday, capped off by an Ansu Fati golazo in his return from a 322-day injury absence.

It’s like any good soap opera: big stars, electric youngsters, and plenty of ugliness in the drama. And there’s a little Philly connection in it. Temporary bench boss Alfred Schreuder’s brother, Dick, used to be a Union assistant coach.

» READ MORE: The rest of this week's men's Champions League schedule

Barcelona S.C. vs. Flamengo

Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. (beIN Sports, beIN Sports Español)

Flamengo won the first game in this Copa Libertadores semifinal tie 2-0, with each team having a man sent off. Now the scene shifts to Ecuador. Flamengo will be favored again, but an early Barcelona goal could make things interesting.

Los Angeles FC vs. Portland Timbers

Wednesday, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN+)

There’s a full slate of MLS games Wednesday night, with 26 of the league’s 27 teams in action, and this might be the best of the bunch.

Los Angeles, which just signed former Union winger Michee Ngalina on loan, has slipped to eighth in the West after two straight losses. Meanwhile, Portland has risen to fourth with a six-game unbeaten streak, including a 2-1 home win over LAFC on Sept. 19.

The odd team out of league action Wednesday night is Columbus, but it’s playing a game too: hosting the Campeones Cup exhibition against reigning Liga MX champion Cruz Azul (8 p.m., ESPN2, Univision 65 and TUDN).

» READ MORE: The rest of this week's MLS schedule

Celtic vs. Bayer Leverkusen

Thursday, 3 p.m. (Paramount+,

When Cameron Carter-Vickers turned pro with Tottenham Hotspur in 2016, he was one of the U.S. national team’s top center back prospects. Unfortunately, at 23, he hasn’t yet lived up to the billing. Celtic is the seventh club he’s been loaned to. But he seems to be playing well for the Scottish powerhouse so far, and this will be a good test for him. Leverkusen’s 18-year-old playmaker Florian Wirtz is one of Germany’s top young talents.

» READ MORE: The rest of this week's Europa League schedule

Tottenham Hotspur vs. NŠ Mura

Thursday, 3 p.m. (Paramount+,

If you’re a neutral fan, the fun of the Europa Conference League is watching big teams play underdogs. But if you’re a Tottenham fan, and your club is coming off an abysmal 3-1 loss to Arsenal, you’re likely in a foul mood heading into this game against the reigning Slovenian champions.

Union Berlin vs. Maccabi Haifa

Thursday, 3 p.m. (Paramount+,

Union is in European competition for the first time in 20 years. Its century-old stadium on Berlin’s southeast outskirts, the Stadion An der Alten Försterei — “the Stadium at the Old Forester’s House” — is a lovely little venue, next to a city park and a block from the Spree river. This game should have a fun atmosphere, and could feature an American player in Maccabi goalkeeper Josh Cohen.

» READ MORE: The rest of this week's Europa Conference League schedule