It’s a pretty quiet week across Europe, but one of the big games is really big. And in South America, the marquee games are huge.
Here’s your viewer’s guide to the top action to watch.
Tuesday, 11 a.m. (ESPN+)
After losing at Real Madrid on Saturday, former Union midfielder Eduardo Coudet’s Celta de Vigo team returns to action with a Copa del Rey game in Spain’s most famous beach town. Ibiza’s 4,500-seat stadium isn’t anywhere near the town’s tourist attractions, but then again, during a pandemic that doesn’t really matter.
This is the second round of the Spanish cup, with 28 games spread from Tuesday through Thursday. Fourteen of them will air on ESPN+. As is tradition, the lower-league team hosts them all. Twenty-three of the home teams are in the third tier, including Ibiza. The other five are in the second division.
Tuesday, 2:45 p.m. (ESPN+)
The EFL Cup still matters as little as ever to most English soccer fans. But it’s worth something to Tottenham, which hasn’t won a major trophy since claiming this title in 2008. And it’s certainly worth something to Brentford, the only lower-division team of the four semifinalists.
Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. (beIN Sports, beIN Sports Español)
Both Copa Libertadores semifinals feature a team from Argentina facing a team from Brazil. River is coming off a wild 2-2 tie with crosstown archrival Boca Juniors. Now it turns back to trying to win South America’s biggest club prize for the fifth time, and the third in six years — and it would be River’s third straight time in the final. Palmeiras, whose alumni include Rivaldo and Cafu, won the Libertadores in 1999.
Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes)
This is the game of the week in Europe. It’s a huge test for Milan, which holds first place in Serie A by one point and is trying to win its first Italian title in a decade. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still out with a calf injury, and while he’s almost back, he isn’t ready yet. Fifth-place Juventus is coming off a 4-1 rout of Udinese in which Cristiano Ronaldo had two goals and an assist.
Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. (ESPN+)
A Manchester Derby in the EFL Cup will get attention from fans who care more about the teams’ Premier League standing. It might also be another start for Downingtown’s Zack Steffen, who’s coming off his first win in his first ever Premier League game for City.
Wednesday, 3 p.m. (beIN Sports Connect)
France’s Ligue 1 returns from its winter break this week, and Lyon gets top billing for being in first place. But the margin is tiny: just a +1 goal difference over second-place Lille, and one point in the standings over third-place Paris Saint-Germain.
All three teams play at the same time Wednesday, all on beIN Sports’ streaming platform. Lille, featuring American forward Tim Weah and Canadian Jonathan David, hosts Angers; and PSG visits Saint-Etienne.
Wednesday, 5:15 p.m. (beIN Sports, beIN Sports Español)
The second Copa Libertadores semifinal is as evocative as it gets: Diego Maradona’s old club vs. Pele’s old club. Boca, led by Carlos Tevez, has won the Libertadores title six times — but not since 2007. It’s been trying to tie fellow Buenos Aires club Independiente’s record of seven ever since. Santos has won the tournament three times, most recently in 2011.
Thursday, 3:05 a.m. (ESPN+)
Yes, it’s in the middle of the night here, but women’s soccer fans who watch it will have a chance to witness the pursuit of history. Canberra’s Michelle Heyman is three goals away from tying Australian superstar Sam Kerr’s all-time W-League goals record. Former Portland Thorns and Houston Dash defender Claire Polkingorne will be among the players trying to delay Heyman’s quest.