Most of the UEFA Champions League’s Round of 16 tickets have already been punched, but there are still some up for grabs with two group stage games to go. This week also has two MLS playoff games in prime time, including a twist on Thursday Night Football.
Here’s your viewer’s guide to the top action to watch.
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Real Madrid
Tuesday, 12:55 p.m. (UniMas, TUDN, CBS All Access)
Real Madrid has gotten up off the mat in Group B thanks to back-to-back wins over Inter Milan, and is now in second place. Shakhtar has fallen to third after back-to-back blowout losses to Borussia Monchengladbach. But the Ukrainian team still has the group stage opening upset win at Real in its back pocket. Can it pull off another shocker? Inter and Borussia will be watching before their 3 p.m. game at Monchengladbach (CBS All Access, TUDN.com).
Group B standings: Borussia Monchengladbach 8 points, Real Madrid 7, Shakhtar Donetsk 4, Inter Milan 2
Liverpool vs. Ajax
Tuesday, 3 p.m. (CBS All Access, TUDN.com)
In Group D, Liverpool will clinch a Round of 16 berth and seal first place with a win. Ajax is in second place, tied on points with Atalanta but ahead on goal difference by +2 to +1. Atalanta hosts last-place Midtjylannd at the same time (CBS All Acces, TUDN.com). The whip-around shows on CBS Sports Network and TUDN.com should have plenty to talk about.
Group D standings: Liverpool 9 points, Ajax 7, Atalanta 7, Midtjylland 0
Seattle Sounders vs. FC Dallas
Tuesday, 9:30 p.m. (FS1, Fox Deportes)
This Western Conference semifinal is ripe with storylines. Dallas is loaded with marquee young prospects in forwards Jesus Ferreira and 17-year-old Ricardo Pepi, and right back Bryan Reynolds -- the last of whom has Juventus reportedly ready to write a $6 million-plus transfer fee check. There’s also a familiar face to Union fans in winger Fafa Picault.
Seattle roared past Los Angeles FC in the quarterfinals, with stars Jordan Morris, Raul Ruidiaz and Nicolas Lodeiro firing on all cylinders. The Sounders have quickly become the favorite to repeat as MLS Cup champion.
Istanbul Basaksehir vs RB Leipzig
Wednesday, 12:55 p.m. (UniMas, TUDN, CBS All Access)
Back to the Champions League this time in Group H. Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain are tied on points, but PSG is up by four in goal difference. So this is a must-win for Leipzig, and trips to Turkey are never easy. Basaksehir is still alive, too, three points back of the crowd. With PSG visiting Manchester United at 3 p.m. (UniMas, TUDN, CBS All Access), it’s possible that all three teams could be level on six points each at the final whistle.
Group H standings: Manchester United 9 points, Paris Saint-Germain 6, RB Leipzig 6, Istanbul Basaksehir 3
Ferencvaros vs. Barcelona
Wednesday, 3 p.m. (Galavision, CBS All Access)
This one is more for soccer romantics than it is for the standings. Barcelona has already qualified for the round of 16 from Group G, and is almost certain to finish first. But it will still be evocative to see the superpower visit Budapest, Hungary, to play of the grand old names of European soccer.
Ferencvaros won UEFA’s Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (what’s now the Europa League) in 1965, and the defunct Cup-Winners’ Cup in 1975. The club’s former stadium was named for the star of the Fairs Cup squad, Florian Albert, who was the top scorer in the 1966 European Cup and the European Player of the Year in 1967.
Internacional vs. Boca Juniors
Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. (beIN Sports, beIN Sports Espanol)
This Copa Libertadores game was originally scheduled for the day when Diego Maradona died, so it was naturally postponed. Boca Juniors, Maradona’s old club, will be in the spotlight, but keep an eye on Internacional’s American midfielder Johnny Cardoso. The Brazilian-American New Jersey native won his first U.S. national team caps a few weeks ago.
» From our archives: Diego Maradona scored his last World Cup goal in the United States
AC Milan vs. Celtic
Thursday, 12:55 p.m. (TUDN, CBS All Access)
Milan slipped out of first place in its Europa League group with a loss and a tie against Lille. A home game against struggling Celtic should help the Italian club get back on track, though it will have to do so without injured star Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Celtic wants to sign Union centerback Mark McKenzie to shore up its struggling defense, but that wouldn’t come in time to help here -- and the Union reportedly said no to a $3-4 million offer. With Celtic also struggling in the Scottish Premier League, the Union are probably right to think they can sell McKenzie to a better team.
AZ Alkmaar vs. Napoli
Thursday, 3 p.m. (TUDN, CBS All Access)
Group F has been tight all season thanks to AZ doing surprisingly well, including a 1-0 win at Napoli on Oct. 25. Napoli has won all three of its group stage games since then, and heads to the Netherlands in first place. AZ is in third place, behind Real Sociedad on goal difference. Watch out for AZ’s 22-year-old Dutch playmaker Dani de Wit, who scored that big goal at Napoli.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Minnesota United
Thursday, 8:30 p.m. (Fox29, Fox Deportes)
The NFL’s rescheduling of Ravens-Cowboys left Fox with a hole in its TV schedule. MLS jumped in to fill it, moving this Western Conference semifinal from Wednesday to Thursday. Players and coaches might have grumbled about having their plans upended, but they know the league had to take the shot to get a stage this big.