The last weekend of club soccer action before the November FIFA window serves up some tasty games across Europe. Here’s your guide to the best action to watch:
Saturday, 7:30 a.m. (NBCSN)
What had just been quiet concern about Manchester United exploded into true alarm on Wednesday when the Red Devils lost, 2-1, at İstanbul Başakşehir in the Champions League. Things could get even worse this weekend if James Rodríguez leads fourth-place Everton to a win.
Saturday, 12:30 p.m. (NBC, Universo)
It’s been a rough week for Chelsea. Kai Havertz tested positive for the coronavirus, and Christian Pulisic remains sidelined by a hamstring injury that could rule him out of next week’s U.S. men’s national team camp -- and the program’s first games since March. But this game should be winnable anyway. Sheffield United has just one point from seven games so far.
Saturday, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
It’s just six games into the season, but you can’t ask for much more than Germany’s biggest teams crossing paths while tied atop the standings. Bayern has won nine straight games in all competitions. Dortmund, not always known for its defense, has conceded just once since the start of October.
If you’re hoping to see an all-American duel between Dortmund’s Gio Reyna and Bayern’s Chris Richards, you’re likely to be disappointed. Richards has spent his last three games with Bayern’s reserves instead of the first team.
Saturday, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
A few hours after Manchester United plays in the Premier League, a semi-pro club formed by fans protesting the giant’s corporate ways takes the field in the FA Cup. United plays in English soccer’s seventh tier, and in the FA Cup’s first full round it gets a shot at a higher-level opponent. Doncaster plays in the third tier.
ESPN+ will carry eight of the round’s 40 games, each featuring famous old teams or lower-league Cinderellas. Here are the other seven:
Friday, 2:45 p.m.: Harrogate Town (4th tier) vs. Skelmersdale United (9th tier)
Saturday, 7:30 a.m.: Tonbridge Angels (6th tier) vs. Bradford City (4th tier)
Saturday, 10 a.m.: Ipswich Town (3rd tier) vs. Portsmouth (3rd tier)
Sunday, 7:45 a.m.: Hampton & Richmond Borough (6th tier) vs. Oldham Athletic (4th tier); Maldon & Tiptree (8th tier) vs. Morecambe (4th tier)
Sunday, 9:30 a.m.: Eastbourne Borough (6th tier) vs. Blackpool (3rd tier)
Monday, 2:45 p.m.: Oxford City (6th tier) vs. Northampton Town (4th tier)
Sunday, 6:30 a.m. (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes)
A clash of two of Italy’s big teams is worth waking up for. Weston McKennie and Juventus are undefeated through six games, but with three wins and three ties it’s in third place instead of first. Lazio is in 10th, but it’s a sign of how competitive Serie A is this season that Ciro Immobile and Co. are just two points back of Juve.
Sunday, 7 a.m. (NBCSports.com)
At the end of September, Everton upset Chelsea in the women’s FA Cup semifinals. A week after Everton lost to Manchester City in the final, Valérie Gauvin leads the Toffees into suburban London to duel with Sam Kerr and Pernille Harder.
Sunday, 9 a.m. (ESPN+)
Atalanta is in fourth place in Serie A but has had some ugly losses in recent big games: 4-1 at Napoli last month, and 5-0 at home vs. Liverpool in the Champions League on Wednesday. Sixth-place Inter has won just one of its last seven games in all competitions despite a loaded attack led by Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martínez.
Sunday, 9:30 a.m. (NBCSports.com)
The game of the weekend in England’s women' league has Tobin Heath and Christen Press leading United against Vivianne Miedema, Daniëlle van de Donk and an Arsenal side that’s surprisingly in first place.
But the Gunners' 5-0-0 start to the campaign comes with a big caveat. They haven’t beaten any other big teams yet. This will be their first chance to, and if they don’t, their 29-4 scoring margin combined so far won’t count for much.
Sunday, 11:30 a.m. (Peacock)
It’s a good thing for NBC’s programming executives that Manchester City is in 10th place in the Premier League, because they face another outcry over putting this game on Peacock. City and Liverpool are the last two Premier League champions, and the Reds are once again atop the table.
If you’re a fan of either club, or just a fan of Premier League soccer, you’ll find a way to watch. But if you’re a casual fan, you’ll miss a big-time game. And it’s not like there’s something else big on NBCSN at that hour. The time slot is filled by a car show and American Ninja Warrior.
Sunday, 3 p.m. (beIN Sports, beIN Sports Español)
For once, the headline in a Real Madrid game isn’t Real Madrid – at least, not for U.S. men’s national team fans. Valencia’s 17-year-old midfielder Yunus Musah has been invited to the upcoming national team camp, and there’s reason to be excited about him.
Born in New York and raised in England, Musah has captained England’s under-18 team and has played seven times in La Liga this season. He’s also eligible to play for Ghana. If he picks the U.S., it would be a nice catch for the program.