Barcelona vs. Wolfsburg
Last month, Barcelona drew the largest crowd for a game in modern women’s soccer history when 91,553 fans filled the famed Camp Nou stadium for a Champions League quarterfinal against arch-rival Real Madrid. Now the reigning European champions, led by Caroline Graham Hansen and Alexia Putellas, will try to set another record in first leg of this semifinal series.
Barcelona is favored to win, but Wolfsburg could be a tricky opponent. The German club is a two-time Champions League winner (though not since 2014) and three-time runner-up, including in 2020 when it beat Barcelona in the semifinals. In fact, Wolfsburg has won all three of its all-time games against the Blaugrana.
This season, a squad whose big names include Jill Roord and Dominique Janssen got a 3-3 tie and a 4-0 win against Chelsea in the group stage, then knocked out Arsenal 3-1 on aggregate in the round of 16.
“Wolfsburg is also one of the biggest clubs in the world, and they’ve shown [it] in the past,” Janssen said. “Obviously Barcelona has a really big team coming up and playing very attractive football. But I think this is going to be a very attractive [Wolfsburg] team, because we are kind of the team that’s very surprising this year, and I also think that maybe we are surprising ourselves. ... We are in for a big challenge, and we’re really excited.”
Saturday, 7:30 a.m. (USA Network, Universo)
It’s been a while since this matchup was this big of a game. Arsenal is coming off a gutsy 4-2 win at Chelsea that put the Gunners level on points with fourth-place Tottenham, but behind on goal difference. United is three points behind them both.
Inter Milan vs. Roma
Saturday, noon (Paramount+)
It’s been 21 years since a team from Rome won Serie A. But at least for this weekend, Italy’s capital will have a big say in the title race. After second-place Inter hosts Roma on Saturday, first-place AC Milan visits Lazio on Sunday (2:45 p.m. Paramount+).
» READ MORE: The rest of this weekend's Serie A schedule
Brentford vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Saturday, 12:30 p.m. (NBC10, Universo, Peacock)
This isn’t a big game, but it is one of three that will be on American network television at the same time Saturday. That’s a feat on its own.
Saturday, 12:30 p.m. (6abc, ESPN Deportes, ESPN+)
Bayern can clinch an unprecedented 10th straight Bundesliga title by winning the latest edition of Der Klassiker, German soccer’s biggest game. ESPN will have its broadcast teams on site at a Bundesliga game for the first time, with Derek Rae and Lutz Pfannenstiel calling the game in English. There will also be an on-site studio team with host Archie Rhind-Tutt and analysts Arne Friedrich and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
All three analysts have ties to not just the Bundesliga, but MLS. Pfannenstiel is the sporting director for next year’s MLS expansion team St. Louis City SC, and Friedrich and Schweinsteiger played for the Chicago Fire.
» READ MORE: The rest of this weekend's Bundesliga schedule
North Carolina Courage vs. Washington Spirit
Saturday, 1 p.m. (CBS3, Paramount+)
On the last weekend of the NWSL Challenge Cup’s group stage, CBS gets lucky with having this game in its big slot. The winner here clinches first place in the mini-group of four eastern teams, and North Carolina would seal first with a tie. There will be plenty of dynamic attacking talent to watch: young Americans Trinity Rodman and Ashley Sanchez for Washington, and Brazilian playmakers Debinha and Kerolin for North Carolina.
FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo
Saturday, 3 p.m. (Univision 65, TUDN, twitter.com/MLS)
Dallas playmaker Alan Velasco is enough of a reason to tune in to the latest edition of the Texas Derby.
It’s rare for the biggest rivalry in European women’s club soccer to play second fiddle, but that’s how big of a deal Barcelona has become. Lyon, including American stars Lindsey Horan and Catarina Macario is favored to advance. The seven-time Champions League winners know, though, that this game is likely a must-win because the second will be in Paris.
Liverpool vs. Everton
Sunday, 11:30 a.m. (USA Network, Telemundo 62)
Liverpool needs to win the latest Merseyside Derby to keep pace in the title race. Everton needs to win to stay out of the relegation zone. It seems unfathomable that the Toffees will go down, but they’re just four points above danger with seven games to go.
» READ MORE: The rest of this weekend's Premier League schedule
Orlando City vs. New York Red Bulls
Sunday, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN Deportes)
ESPN deserves a lot of credit for putting three MLS games on its big channel this weekend. Unfortunately, only one of them looks like it’s going to be a good game, and it’s not Minnesota-Chicago on Saturday (5 p.m.) or Miami-Atlanta earlier Sunday (1 p.m.).
Orlando and New York are second and third in the east, and neither is a fluke. The Lions are just two points behind the first-place Union, albeit with one more game played; and the Red Bulls are three points farther back, level with Atlanta and Toronto.
FC Cincinnati vs. Los Angeles FC
Sunday, 5 p.m. (FS1, Fox Deportes)
» READ MORE: The rest of this weekend's MLS schedule
Angel City FC vs. Portland Thorns
Sunday, 9 p.m. (Paramount+)
The weekend wraps up with the last game of the Challenge Cup group stage. Portland can advance to the semifinals with a win. That would leave the Thorns either as the best second-place finisher across the three groups, or potentially as the group winner on goal difference if OL Reign is upset at San Diego on Saturday (10 p.m., Paramount+).
» READ MORE: The rest of this weekend's NWSL schedule