Hamburg vs. St. Pauli
Friday, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
Three days after ousting Borussia Dortmund from the German Cup, St. Pauli heads across town for the 43rd edition of the Hamburg derby. This is the fourth straight season in which both teams are in Germany’s second tier. Before 2018, they had met just four times this century, because Hamburg was in the Bundesliga for decades and St. Pauli only was occasionally. This season, St. Pauli won its home game, 3-2, on Aug. 13.
Lyon vs. Saint-Étienne
Friday, 3 p.m. (beIN Sports, beIN Sports Español)
Saint-Étienne is one of the great teams in French soccer history, a 10-time league champion and 1976 European Cup runner-up that was home to superstars Michel Platini, Johnny Rep and Dominique Rocheteau. But Les Verts have fallen on hard times, a mess financially for years and now in last place in Ligue 1 by five points.
The latest Derby Rhône-Alpes likely won’t help. Saint-Étienne has won just two of its last 10 matchups against Lyon, and hasn’t won at Lyon since 2014 — two years before the Groupama stadium, which hosted the 2019 Women’s World Cup final, was opened.
Saturday, 9:30 a.m. (ESPN+)
In the final weekend of European games before World Cup qualifying resumes, U.S. fans can spend this weekend watching the big American names across Europe.
First up is Ricardo Pepi, who not surprisingly has had a few growing pains at the start of his new life with an Augsburg squad that is one point above the Bundesliga’s relegation zone. But things should get better with time, and a good effort here will give him momentum when he comes home next week.
Brest vs. Lille
Saturday, 11 a.m. (beIN Sports, beIN Sports Español)
Tim Weah got back on the field for Lille on Wednesday after a month out injured. If he’s healthy enough to play for the U.S., that would give manager Gregg Berhalter a big boost.
» READ MORE: The rest of this weekend's Ligue 1 schedule
Inter Milan vs. Venezia
Saturday, noon (Paramount+)
(This item has been updated.)
Venezia’s Gianluca Busio unfortunately has contracted COVID-19. That will deny him taking part in Venezia’s visit to first-place Inter, whose midfield is led by terrific two-way player Niccolò Barella.
Atlético Madrid vs. Valencia
Saturday, 3 p.m. (ESPN+)
Yunus Musah had another strong outing for Valencia on Wednesday in a 1-1 tie at home against second-place Sevilla. He might not start in this game, but if he plays against Atlético’s stingy defense it will be a great test for him.
Club América vs. Atlas
Saturday, 10 p.m. (Univision 65, TUDN)
After Atlas tied León 1-1 on Wednesday in the rematch of last season’s Torneo Apertura final, the reigning Mexican champion visits Liga MX’s biggest powerhouse.
Sunday, 9:30 a.m. (ESPN+)
This matchup should feature Leipzig’s Tyler Adams and Wolfsburg’s John Brooks, and they might both fly to U.S. camp afterward. Adams has been consistently good for Leipzig, while Brooks has steadied himself for Wolfsburg after some struggles earlier this season.
That could be enough to earn a recall to the U.S. team, which will need a deep roster to play three games in seven days. Berhalter is expected to announce the squad on Saturday.
» READ MORE: The rest of this weekend's Bundesliga schedule
Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Sunday, 11:30 a.m. (Peacock)
The Premier League’s game of the weekend is this London derby, and of course all eyes in the U.S. will be on Christian Pulisic. In recent weeks, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has played Pulisic as a forward, a right wing-back, and occasionally in the attacking midfield role where Pulisic is best-suited. Tottenham is coming off a wild 3-2 win over Leicester City, which gave a shot in the arm to the team’s hopes of finishing in the top four.
» READ MORE: The rest of this weekend's Premier League schedule
Manchester City vs. Arsenal
Tobin Heath got back on the field for Arsenal on Wednesday after two months out injured, but couldn’t save her team from a 1-0 Continental Cup loss to Manchester United. Arsenal has now lost its last three games in all competitions, and four of its last five. But the Gunners are still holding on to first place in the FA Women’s Super League, and made a big signing last week in star Swedish forward Stina Blackstenius.
Nigeria vs. Tunisia
The Africa Cup of Nations’ round of 16 starts earlier Sunday with Burkina Faso vs. Gabon (11 a.m., beIN Sports Connect, Fanatiz), but this is the game to watch. Kelechi Iheanacho and Nigeria rolled through the group stage with three wins, Tunisia snuck in as one of the top four third-place finishers after a 1-0 loss to Gambia on a 93rd-minute goal.
AC Milan vs. Juventus
Sunday, 2:45 p.m. (Paramount+)
Weston McKennie is playing some of the best soccer of his career right now, including goals in his last two outings for Juve. This is always one of Italy’s biggest games, and should be again as Milan tries to keep pace with Inter atop Serie A.
» READ MORE: The rest of this weekend's Serie A schedule
Alavés vs. Barcelona
Sunday, 3 p.m. (ESPN+)
This could be a rare La Liga game with two Americans in it, or there could be none. Matt Miazga has played in Alavés’ last two games, but not all that well. Sergiño Dest has played just one La Liga game for Barcelona since the end of October, in part because of injuries and contracting COVID-19. He wants to stay and fight for playing time, but enough other big European teams want him that he might end up moving.
» READ MORE: The rest of this weekend's La Liga schedule
Monday, 2 p.m. (beIN Sports, beIN Sports Español)
Olivier Mbaizo finally made his first appearance of the tournament for Cameroon in its group stage finale, a 1-1 tie with Jamiro Monteiro’s Cape Verde. The good news for Union fans is the result made Cameroon the group winner and got Cape Verde get to the round of 16. The bad news is Mbaizo’s time on the field was as an 87th-minute substitute, 10 minutes after Monteiro was subbed off. But it was the first time two Union players played in the same game in a major national team tournament.
Now the event’s host nation faces its best Cinderella story. Comoros, an island archipelago off Africa’s east coast in the Indian Ocean, pulled off a wild 3-2 upset of traditional power Ghana at the end of the group stage. Not only was it Comoros’ first AFCON win in its first time in the tournament, the goals were the nation’s first in the tournament after going scoreless in the first two group games. And the result sent star-studded Ghana crashing out of the field.
Unfortunately, Comoros’ squad has been hit by a COVID-19 outbreak in recent days. There are 12 positive cases, including all three goalkeepers and the team’s manager. An outfield player will have to start in net, and the team has already made plans to be ready for it.