Italy’s Serie A kicks off this weekend, and there are some huge games in the Premier League and La Liga.
Here are the top games to watch.
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Friday, 3:15 p.m. (NBCSN, Universo)
This game is always a big one, but this edition has special significance. Tottenham’s palatial stadium was transformed into a medical hub during London’s coronavirus lockdown, offering hospital services for women and testing for staff of England’s National Health Service.
Spurs will be led by Harry Kane and Song Heung-Min. Manchester United will be led by Marcus Rashford, who recently led a public campaign to get the British government to extend free school meals for poor children through the summer. Rashford called out Prime Minister Boris Johnson on social media for stopping the program at the end of the school year, and Johnson backed down the next day.
Saturday, 9:30 a.m. (FS2, Fox Deportes)
It’s been just over a month since the Bundesliga resumed, and we’re already into the next-to-last week of the season. This week and next, all games leaguewide kick off simultaneously.
Newly crowned champion Bayern Munich’s game against Freiburg gets the better TV coverage (FS1, UniMás), but this is the more interesting contest — especially to American fans. Tyler Adams’ Leipzig would clinch a UEFA Champions League berth with a win. And could we see Adams and Dortmund’s Gio Reyna play against each other for the first time?
Saturday, 1:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
Italy’s Serie A resumes this weekend, after an appetizer over the last few days with the Coppa Italia semis and final. There will be games most days of the week into late July, leading up to the season’s conclusion the first weekend of August.
The first game back has two teams with great pasts but not much in the present.
Fifteenth-place Torino is led by forward Andrea Belotti and veteran goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu. Ninth-place Parma’s big name is former Arsenal and Roma winger Gervinho. The team has an outside shot at reaching the Europa League, which would be its first European qualification since a bankruptcy five years ago forced it to be wound up and relaunched in Italy’s fourth division.
Saturday, 2:45 p.m. (Peacock, NBC Sports Gold)
It’s a matchup of two of the Premier League’s lesser lights, but it will go down in sports broadcasting history in both the U.S. and England. Over here, it will be the first-ever game on Peacock, NBC’s new streaming platform. If you have a Comcast X1 box, you can watch for free through the Peacock X1 box. If you don’t, you can watch on NBC Sports Gold, the network’s subscription sports streaming service, which is $9.99 for the rest of the season.
In England, this will be the first-ever live Premier League game on the BBC, the nation’s biggest TV channel. For all its history with the FA Cup and national team tournaments, the BBC hasn’t televised a league game since 1988 — four years before the Premier League launched. Palace’s attacking stars Christian Benteke, Andros Townsend, and Wilfried Zaha weren’t born yet.
That last game, it so happens, is on YouTube: Arsenal vs. Tottenham on March 6, 1988. Here’s what the coverage looked like back then.
Sunday, 2 p.m. (NBC, Telemundo)
Liverpool fans have waited 30 years for their team to regain the title of champions of England — and they waited an extra 100 days when the coronavirus stopped games. Officially, Mo Salah’s Reds need six more points to clinch the club’s first championship in the Premier League era. Unofficially, the party will start if three of them come from a win at the team’s crosstown rival.
At least Everton, led by Richarlison and Moise Kean, won’t have to watch the big moment happen in its stadium.
Sunday, 4 p.m. (beIN Sports, beIN Sports Español)
This could be a tricky game for Madrid in the Spanish title race. Fifth-place Sociedad has a big-time rising talent in 21-year-old Norwegian midfielder Martin Ødegaard — and he’s on loan there from Madrid. When these teams met in the Copa del Rey in February, Ødegaard scored the opening goal in Sociedad’s 4-3 upset on Madrid’s home turf.