Wednesday, August 20, 2014
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Games to Watch: Premier League title race, MLS, UEFA Champions League

Norwich City at Manchester United

Games to Watch: Premier League title race, MLS, UEFA Champions League

Norwich City at Manchester United

12:30 p.m. Saturday (NBC, mun2)

Throughout Ryan Giggs' long career as a Manchester United player, the club has been defined by its stability and refusal to act on short-term impulses. But this season has been so bad that manager David Moyes was fired Tuesday after just 10 months in charge.

Giggs takes over on an interim basis for the rest of the campaign, as the club looks for a big name to attract big stars. Although the Welshman has never managed before, he'll be under pressure right away, as United aren't even in the Europa League places right now. They have four games to make up a six-point gap on Tottenham.

Chelsea at Liverpool

9:00 a.m. Sunday (NBCSN, mun2)

As Liverpool seeks its first ever Premier League championship, all the breaks are going their way. The first-place Reds, led by Luis Suárez, enter the weekend with a five-point lead over second-place Chelsea. They can all but seal the title with a win at home.

It would be only fitting if Liverpool's triumph accompanies the 25th anniversary of one of the club's defining moments: the Hillsborough disaster that killed 96 fans at a 1989 FA Cup semifinal in Sheffield. If you saw the brilliant ESPN documentary, you know the details; if not, click here to learn more.

All these years later, the truth is finally emerging. It just seems right that Liverpool is on the cusp of glory on the field just as it is on the cusp of justice for the 96.

Portland Timbers at Houston Dynamo

3:00 p.m. Sunday (UniMás)

With dynamic makers Diego Valeri and Darlington Nagbe leading the attack, Portland started the season as a trendy pick to win MLS Cup. But almost two months into the season, the Timbers are winless through seven games. This weekend will pose a tough test, as Ricardo Clark and the Dynamo are one of the league's toughest teams to beat at home.

Real Madrid at Bayern Munich

2:45 p.m. Tuesday (Fox Sports 1, Fox Deportes)

Bayern's attempt to becoming the first ever back-to-back Champions League winner hit a pothole on Wednesday, as the German powerhouse lost in Madrid, 1-0. Franck Ribéry and company should be able to overturn that at home, but Real's defense - led by Portuguese brawler Pepe - will be bunkered in to stop them.

Chelsea at Atlético Madrid

2:45 p.m. Wednesday (Fox Sports 1, Fox Deportes)

After the first leg of the other Champions League semifinal finished scoreless in Madrid, Chelsea should have the advantage coming home to London. But the Blues lost two stars to injury in that game: goalkeeper Peter Cech and defender John Terry. That could give Atlético, led by striker Diego Costa, hope of an upset.

Benfica at Juventus

3:00 p.m. Thursday (Fox Sports 1, ESPN3.com) 

Juventus is on the cusp of a rare feat in European soccer: the chance to play a championship game in its home stadium. Their fans might rather that it be the Champions League, but for now the Europa League will have to do. 

La vecchia signora - the team's Italian nickname is "The Old Lady" - lost the first leg of this semifinal series in Lisbon, 2-1. But that's certainly a manageable deficit for the explosive forward tandem of Carlos Tévez and Fernando Llorente.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
About this blog
The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, U.S. national teams and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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