The midweek action was about as good as one could hope for, and there’s a pretty good slate of action this weekend to follow it up. The highlight is Der Klassiker taking center stage on ABC on Saturday. Let’s see what else we have:
Schalke v Mainz - 2:30p on ESPN+
Get your weekend started with some super exciting relegation action. In the battle of the bottom two clubs, it’s Mainz who seem to have the most to play for. While a win for Schalke would still leave them six points back of relegation playoffs (and six points is a pretty huge number when you’ve managed less than a half a point per game), Mainz could jump Arminia Bielefeld and Hertha Berlin with a victory to move out of the relegation zone. The best spin for this game from a USMNT perspective is probably that it’s a chance to see what Matthew Hoppe will face next year against 2 Bundesliga sides.
Looking through the paywall:
- Yunus Musah and Valencia need to continue to pick up points themselves to avoid a relegation scrap in a pretty crowded lower tier of La Liga where just eight points separate the bottom nine teams. They will face seventh place Villarreal on Friday at 3p on beIN Sports and Fanatiz USA.
Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund - 12:30p on ABC
Der Klassiker comes to broadcast television on Saturday afternoon when Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund meet with both teams having quite a bit to play for, though in different categories. Bayern currently sit in first place but just two points ahead of RB Leipzig, who will play earlier Saturday morning. So, Leipzig could technically be ahead of Bayern at kickoff. Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund are 13 points back of Bayern Munich, but more importantly for their current season, they are also three points behind Eintracht Frankfurt for fourth place and the final Champions League qualifying spot.
The 13 point gap between the teams is pretty indicative of what this rivalry has looked like in the recent past with Bayern having won five straight matches and 10 of the past 13 league matches between the two, including some pretty significant drubbings.
Giovanni Reyna started last weekend against Arminia Bielefeld, but was fairly ineffective and did not make it off the bench midweek in BVB’s 1-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach in DFB Pokal play.
- Owen Otasowie got a minute off the bench in Wolverhampton’s 4-1 loss to Manchester City and immediately coughed up the fourth goal in what was his first appearance since January 2nd. The club face Aston Villa at 12:30p on NBCSN this weekend.
Looking through the paywall:
- Tyler Adams and RB Leipzig can (at least temporarily) gain first place position in the Bundesliga with a win over Freiburg Saturday morning in a match that can be seen at 9:30a on ESPN+.
- John Anthony Brooks and Wolfsburg face Chris Richards and Hoffenheim at 9:30a on ESPN+ in what would be the first time what many see as the ideal centerback pairing for the USMNT has been starting on the field together.
- Pellegrino Matarazzo and Stuttgart face Eintracht Frankfurt at 9:30a on ESPN+. Stuttgart are solidly midtable at this point while Frankfurt look to hold on to their fourth place spot.
- Weston McKennie and Juventus have fallen ten points back of Inter Milan for first place and are just two points ahead of Roma for Champions League qualifying. They face Lazio this weekend at 2:45p on ESPN+.
- Sergiño Dest has been playing a bit more advanced in the last couple of games for FC Barcelona, who remain five points back of Atletico Madrid, who also have a game in hand. Barcelona could get a hand from Real Madrid this weekend as the two Madrid sides meet up. Barcelona will look to control what they can when they meet Osasuna at 3p on beIN Sport and Fanatiz USA.
Liverpool v Fulham - 9a on NBCSN
Based on name recognition alone, everything about a Liverpool v Fulham matchup screams blowout. But Fulham have quietly been getting some half decent results lately and have moved within three points of safety, while Liverpool have been a bit shocking in their own form, particularly at home where they have suddenly lost five straight.
Antonee Robinson started and played 75 minutes in Fulham’s 1-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday. While the team has picked up five points from their past four matches, they have been struggling to score goals, with just two over that same period.
Looking through the paywall:
- Josh Sargent hasn’t developed, will never score again, and there is no point watching Werder Bremen play Köln at 9:30a on ESPN+. Am I doing this reverse jinx thing right? Or does it cancel it out when I speak its name?
- Timothy Weah is getting regular playing time, including the start on Wednesday for Ligue 1 leading Lille who hold a two point lead over PSG. Lille face fourth tier Gazelec Ajaccio in French Cup action on Sunday at 12:30p on beIN Sport and Fanatiz USA.
Chelsea v Everton - 1p on NBCSN
It’s some bonus Monday action as Chelsea, who have moved their way up to fourth place, face fifth place Everton. Christian Pulisic is still looking to find his role under Thomas Tuchel, and came off the bench again on Thursday as Chelsea defeated Liverpool 1-0. Pulisic is still looking for his first league start under Tuchel and has seen just 130 league minutes under the new manager since he took over in late January. While it hasn’t been all roses for Pulisic, the club is headed in the right direction under the manager, they are undefeated, and have picked up 18 points in 8 league games.
Chelsea face an Everton side on Monday that are just one point back and have a game in hand. The club also come in on a hot streak, having won three straight including Thursday’s 1-0 win over West Brom.
Let us know what else you’re watching in the comments section below.