Monday, July 14, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Games to Watch: UEFA and CONCACAF Champions Leagues, Liga MX, Serie A, English Premier League

Manchester United at Sunderland

Games to Watch: UEFA and CONCACAF Champions Leagues, Liga MX, Serie A, English Premier League

Manchester United at Sunderland

8:30 a.m. Saturday (ESPN2)

After taking a few days off for World Cup qualifying, leagues around the world return to action this weekend. Led by Robin van Persie, United has a commanding 15-point lead atop the Premier League. With just nine games to go, a win in this game would all but wrap up an unprecedented 13th championship. 

Juventus at Inter Milan 

9:55 a.m. Saturday, beIN Sport 

The famed San Siro stadium plays host to Italian soccer's signature rivalry, the Derby D'Italia. This will be the 214th game across all competitions between the teams, dating back to 1909. 

Led by hotheaded forward Antonio Cassano, Inter desperately needs a win to keep alive fading hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League. Juventus has a nine-point lead in first place, thanks to ageless midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo. 

UANL Tigres at Puebla 

1:55 p.m. Sunday (WZPA-33 Azteca América, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN.com) 

Tigres features former U.S. national team regulars José Francisco Torres and Jonathan Bornstein. They currently sit in first place in Mexico's Liga MX. Puebla's squad includes DaMarcus Beasley, who played a big role in the U.S.' historic tie in Mexico City on Tuesday. 

If you happen to be in the Italian Market during the game, there's a pretty good chance you'll see this game on TV in one of the neighborhood's many Mexican restaurants. As documented by the Daily News back in 2011, a large swath of South Philadelphia's Mexican immigrant population comes from Puebla. 

Manchester United at Chelsea 

7:25 a.m. Monday (Fox Soccer Channel) 

Just two days after playing a league game, Manchester United has an even bigger contest: a FA Cup quarterfinal showdown against one of its fiercest rivals. 

This game wouldn't have happened if United hadn't blown a 2-0 lead when the teams met at Old Trafford on March 10. The 2-2 draw meant that the teams would have to meet again at Stamford Bridge. Both sides' packed schedules meant that the replay had to be shoehorned in next week. 

Queens Park Rangers at Fulham

2:55 p.m. Monday (ESPN3.com)

Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp has a history of saving Premier League teams from relegation. He'll have to use every trick he's got to save his current team, which is in last place by four points. Big-name players such as forward Loïc Rémy and Adel Tarrabt have failed to lift QBR out of the cellar.
 
Fulham, meanwhile, sits comfortably in the middle of the Premier League standings. Dimitar Berbatov has flourished since moving there from Manchester United, with 11 goals this season.

Barcelona at Paris Saint-Germain 

2:30 p.m. Tuesday (Fox Soccer Channel) 

Two teams stacked with the biggest stars in international soccer face off in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals. Barcelona brings Lionel Messi and Andrés Iniesta; PSG brings David Beckham and Zlatan Ibrahimović.

It's the kind of matchup that the City of Lights is made for, and it's been a long time since Paris has hosted a game like this. PSG's big-spending Qatari owners have long yearned to prove that they belong on soccer's biggest stage. Now, for better or worse, they'll get their chance. 

Santos Laguna at Seattle Sounders 

10:00 p.m. Tuesday (Fox Soccer Channel) 

The semifinals of this year's CONCACAF Champions League kick off with a grudge match in the Pacific Northwest. Led by U.S. national team forward Herculez Gomez, Santos knocked Seattle out of last season's tournament. Now the two teams meet again.

The Sounders have been boosted this year by Honduran winger Mario Martínez and newly-signed Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins. Both players will need to be at their best if Seattle is to win the series.

Real Madrid at Galatasaray 

2:30 p.m. Wednesday (Fox Soccer Channel) 

Real Madrid is out of the Spanish league title race, but its quest for a record-breaking 10th UEFA Champions League title remains alive. Cristiano Ronaldo and company face the reigning Turkish champions in the quarterfinals. Galatasaray has big names of its own in midfielder Wesley Sneijder and forward Didier Drogba. 

And of course, there are the ever-swirling rumors around José Mourinho. It sounds like he's on the verge of leaving Madrid, and potentially returning to England and Chelsea. If Mourinho can go out with a European title, it would be quite a signal to the Real executives who've grown tired of his antics. 

C.F. Monterrey at Los Angeles Galaxy 

10:00 p.m. Wednesday (Fox Soccer Channel)

Major League Soccer desperately wants to see one of its teams win the CONCACAF Champions League, and thus reach the FIFA Club World Cup. It would definitely look good if the two-time reigning MLS champions win the title, especially with Hollywood as a backdrop. 

The spotlight will be on Galaxy defender Omar González, who starred in Tuesday's U.S.-Mexico clash. It could also be on Landon Donovan, if his much-anticipated return to the field comes in this game. 

Monterrey will pose a huge challenge. The Rayados have won the last two Champions League titles. This year's team has two of North America's best players in forwards Aldo De Negris and Humberto Suazo. 

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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