While many MLS fans across the United States are prepping for the return of men’s soccer early next month, the German Bundesliga continues along this afternoon along with a restart for the English Premier League.
And… as if that isn’t enough. Sprinkle in an Italian classic: Napoli vs. Juventus in the Coppa Italia aka the Italian Cup final, an annual domestic cup competition nearing its 100th birthday in 2022.
The football action begins as early as 12:30 PM this afternoon with a Bundesliga clash on FS2 featuring FC Shalke and Eintracht Frankfurt. Schalke sits in 9th while Frankfurt is a point behind them in 10th. Both clubs are desperate for W’s considering that 6th seed and a future Europa League qualifying bid is currently inhabited by VfL Wolfsburg with 41 points.
30 minutes after the Bundesliga kick-starts the day’s action, the English Premier League will restart their 2019-2020 season after a three-month suspension.
Aston Villa host Sheffield United at 1:00 PM on NBCSN. Villa, a bottom dweller in the EPL table, will hope to find a way to avoid relegation with only 25 points earned prior to the league-wide halt. Sheffield United are in a much better position in the table. They may be considered a bit of a surprising powerhouse so far this season. They sit comfortably in 7th place with 43 points.
La Liga, over in Spain, only resumed six days ago and is next on the schedule this afternoon. A pair of matches own the 1:30 PM time-slot. Eibar, with just 27 points, will play Athletic Bilbao, the 10th place team with 38 points and a very slim chance of climbing in the table. Real Valladolid plays Celta Vigo, both bottom dwellers in La Liga with less than 60 points combined. You may be able to catch the Spanish action if you have Bein Sports or a FUBO TV subscription.
An hour later, a large slate of Bundesliga games fills the 2:30 PM time-slot. See schedule below:
Only two of those matches will be broadcast by FoxSports. Dortmund vs. Mainz is watchable via FS2 while RB Leipzig vs. Dusseldorf is accessible via FoxSports Plus. Both Mainz and Dusseldorf are scratching and clawing there way to safety in an attempt to avoid relegation. On the other hand, Dortmund is chasing a top-two finish while Leipzig are hoping to play the role of spoilers while finishing in the top four with a UEFA Champions League berth.
Also worth mentioning, Hoffenheim recently parted ways with both Head Coach Alfred Schreuder and assistant coach Dick Schreuder (former Philadelphia Union assistant coach). The brother coaching duo was battling for a Europa League qualifying spot before being terminated. Hoffenheim enter the day as favorites over struggling Augsburg.
The 3 o’clock time-slot is perhaps the most exciting of the day. Two giant matches are set to kick-off in a span of just 15 minutes.
First, the Italians take center stage. Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus – eliminated in surprising fashion last year in the quarterfinals – hope to regain their spot as annual Coppa champions having won four out of the last five years. Napoli will hope to earn their first Coppa Italia since the 2011-2012 season.
The cup final will mark just the third match since the return of Italian football. But fans across Italy and the globe will be glued to their TVs with such a high-profile match occurring midweek. You can catch that clash on ESPN or ESPN+.
At 3:15 PM EPL powerhouse Manchester City host an inconsistent Arsenal club. There’s not much else to say other than this: try your best to watch both 3 o’clock matches at once. You won’t want to miss either.
Currently, Liverpool owns the league. It’s not even close. The league title is basically theirs.
But in second place sits Manchester City with 57 points… 25 shy of first-place Liverpool. Arsenal has only 40 points, five shy of 5th place Manchester United and that coveted Champions League spot. Arsenal will have to swing above their weight class if they hope to get a W let alone escape with a draw.
Wrapping up the day’s action is a 4:15 PM clash featuring the 20-year old Portuguese wunderkind Joao Felix and Atletico Madrid. They’ll take on a mid-table Osasuna club. Felix is looking for his fifth goal of the year and a W considering Atletico is just one point shy of a top-four spot and a Champions League berth. The match will be on Bein Sports or FUBO TV.
No matter which league you prefer, there’s plenty of football action waiting for you this afternoon!
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Mandatory Credit: Mandatory Credit: Reuters & Getty Images
Graduate of Pennsylvania State University ’16. Interests include sports and history. Follow on twitter for Philly sports news – @MMcClain_PSN
Philadelphia Union writer.