Unless you’re willing to hold out for Monday (we see you Christian Pulisic), the network options are highly limited this weekend. So it’s a great time to make use of a free ESPN+ trial if you haven’t already subscribed. Given the balance of action, that’s where we’ll have most of our focus in this edition of the Weekend Viewing Guide.
Union Berlin v Borussia Dortmund - 2:30p on ESPN+
Borussia Dortmund kicked off the post-Favre era Tuesday with a 2-1 win over Josh Sargent’s Werder Bremen. There were no spectacular goals from Giovanni Reyna midweek, just a grind it out win with not much flash to it. The team will get a chance to build on that Friday when they face 6th place Union Berlin, who are coming off a 2-2 draw with Stuttgart and are looking for their first win in five matches. It would not be shocking to see Reyna get some rest given that it is the club’s second match this week, but it is their final league match prior to a holiday break, with just next Tuesday’s dfb Pokal match with second tier Eintracht Braunschweig remaining this year.
Barcelona v Valencia - 10:15a on beIN Sports
It’s a rare La Liga matchup of USMNT players as Sergiño Dest and Barcelona face now-and-forever-if-I-say-it-then-it-must-be-true American Yunus Musah and Valencia at 10:15a on beIN Sports Saturday morning. Barcelona are coming off their second straight win, a 2-1 victory over Real Sociedad, and now sit in fifth place. The La Liga schedule is pretty unbalanced at this point, so Barcelona have a game in hand that could see them move past fourth place Villarreal and two in hand compared to Sociedad (currently in second) that would see the clubs tied. However, they also have played one more game than sixth place Sevilla who are just one point back.
Meanwhile, Yunus Musah and Valencia are in 12th place in La Liga and avoided an early departure from the Copa del Rey at the hands of fourth-tier Terrassa thanks to a very late tying goal by our boy Yunus which tied things up and allowed the team to go on and win 4-2 in extra time.
Found video of Yunus Musah's goal today pic.twitter.com/Fa3u3T8YXS— Andrew Joseph (@AndyJ0seph) December 16, 2020
Looking through the paywall:
- Tyler Adams and RB Leipzig face off against Köln at 9:30a on ESPN+. Leipzig have won their past two matches and are currently third in league play.
- Matthew Hoppe made a third appearance for Schalke 04 Thursday. The team will face Arminia Bielefeld at 9:30a on Saturday looking for their first win in approximately forever.
- Josh Sargent and Werder Bremen are looking to get things back on track after suffering four straight losses. They play Mainz 05 at 9:30a on EPSN+.
- Timothy Chandler has not appeared in the past seven matches for mid table Eintracht Frankfurt, who match up against Augsburg at 9:30a on ESPN+.
- Chris Richards has just 6 league minutes since the first week of October but may get an extended chance for time with the short week as Bayern Munich face top of the table Bayer Leverkusen at 12:30p on ESPN+.
- Juventus have climbed their way back up to third place in Serie A with Weston McKennie continuing to play a key role. The club will face 14th place Parma who have drawn three straight matches.
Wolfsburg v Stuttgart - Noon on ESPN+
John Anthony Brooks missed Wolfsburg’s 2-1 loss to Bayern Munich Wednesday due to a back injury he picked up last weekend against Eintracht Frankfurt. It was the fifth-place clubs first loss in Bundesliga play this season. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious for Brooks, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him rested even if it is minor as the upcoming break would allow for extended rest.
Wolfsburg will be facing surprising Stuttgart led by American manager Pellegrino Matatazzo. Matarazzo has the club in 7th place nearly halfway through their return campaign in the first division.
- Timothy Weah came on as a substitute Wednesday and picked up his first league goal for Lille. The club is in first place and face Paris St-Germain at 3p on beIN Sports.
Chelsea v West Ham United - 3p on NBCSN
Christian Pulisic started Tuesday in Chelsea’s 2-1 loss to Wolverhampton. It was just his fourth start of the season and he’s had back-to-back starts just once so far so it seems unlikely they he’ll get the start again Monday as the team continues to monitor his health but he could see some minutes. Unlike their Bundesliga counterparts there will be no winter break for the EPL as they continue with two matches a week in this grueling season.
With back to back losses, Chelsea have fallen to 7th place in the Premier League and need to get the ship righted against the 8th place Hammers or risk falling into mid-table drudgery.
- 19-year-old Owen Otasowie got his Premier League debut and picked up his first assist in Wolverhampton’s 2-1 win over Chelsea. On Monday, the club faces Burnley at 12:30p on NBCSN.