Monday, July 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Manchester United-Liverpool, Arsenal-Manchester City highlight weekend's soccer on TV

The Inquirer's sports department graciously decided to let my Friday soccer TV column resume today. So I'll once again run an expanded version of the print edition on here.

Manchester United-Liverpool, Arsenal-Manchester City highlight weekend's soccer on TV

José being José. (AP file photo)
José being José. (AP file photo)

The Inquirer's sports department graciously decided to let my Friday soccer TV column resume today. So I'll once again run an expanded version of the print edition on here.

Ajaccio at Paris Saint-Germain

2:55 p.m. Friday (beIN Sport)

Big-spending PSG's latest signing, Lucas Moura, is expected to make his debut in this game. The 20-year-old Brazilian midfielder cost a hefty $52.2 million transfer fee, and he'll be under pressure to deliver immediately. At least he'll have help from PSG's superstar goalscorer Zlatan Ibrahimović. 

Tottenham Hotspur at Queens Park Rangers

7:30 a.m. Saturday (ESPN2, ESPN3.com)

QPR defender Ryan Nelsen was recently hired by Toronto FC to become its new manager. The former D.C. United stalwart is widely expected to do just fine on a MLS bench, but there's one small problem: he's still playing for his English Premier League club. No one knows exactly when Nelsen will move to Toronto, including team president Kevin Payne.

He won't find much sympathy from Tottenham's Clint Dempsey. The U.S. national team star has scored four goals and dished out three assists in his last seven games, helping Spurs to third place in the Premier League standings.

I'll be fascinated to hear what ESPN's Ian Darke and Steve McMannaman have to say about Nelsen. Judging from Darke's reaction on Twitter when TFC hired Nelsen, the rest of the world is as baffled by the timing as folks in North America are.

Real Madrid at Osasuna

1:55 p.m. Saturday (beIN Sport)

The latest chapter of Spanish soccer's best soap opera is set to unfold. And honestly, there aren't many more dramatic storylines around the world right now than this one.

In recent weeks, Real Madrid manager José Mourinho has been in an almighty grudge match with goalkeeper Iker Casillas. San Iker, as he's known at the Bernabéu, is the team's most popular player and a legend for club and country.

Mourinho has benched Casillas twice in a row, as a power grab against his players. Real's executives have become increasingly disgruntled about this, and it doesn't help that the team is 11 points behind La Liga leaders Bacelona in the standings.

Now comes a problem for The Special One: Casillas has to play this weekend. Backup Antonio Adán will be suspended after being sent off for a foul in Madrid's last game. It will be fun to see what kind of reception Casillas and Mourinho get when they come out of the tunnel.

Léon at Tijuana

7:55 p.m. Saturday (UniMás)

Tijuana is the reigning Mexican league champion, and features two American regulars in Joe Corona and Edgar Castillo. Both have experience with the U.S. national team. The club plays just a short drive across the border from San Diego, and thousands of fans make the trip south every weekend. Tijuana even presented San Diego's mayor with a jersey after winning last season's title.

If you haven't heard of UniMás, don't worry too much. It's the new name of Telefutura, as the network re-branded itself on January 7. The channel will be the main Spanish-language broadcaster of Major League Soccer in the coming season.

Liverpool at Manchester United

8:30 a.m. Sunday (Fox Soccer Channel)

English soccer's most famous rivalry is renewed at famed Old Trafford - English soccer's equivalent of Yankee Stadium. United have a commanding lead in first place thanks to Robin Van Persie, who has scored 16 goals in 18 Premier League games this season.

That said, many of the Red Devils' wins have required late comebacks. With Liverpool struggling, Sir Alex Ferguson will hope this game is a bit less dramatic.

Juventus at Parma

8:55 a.m. Sunday (beIN Sport)

Juventus, the most decorated team in Italian soccer history, is on top of Serie A once again. Led by seemingly immortal midfielder Andrea Pirlo - who was surprisingly left off FIFA's 2012 Team of the Year - the bianconeri are in first place by five points at the midpoint of the season. After a stunning home loss to Sampdoria last weekend, Pirlo and company won't need any motivation to step up in this game.

Manchester City at Arsenal

10:30 a.m. Sunday (Fox Soccer Channel)

This game is a perfect example of why England is home to the world's most popular soccer league. Both teams are laden with attacking stars, such as Arsenal's Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla and City's David Silva and Sergio Aguero. The defenses, however, have been poor.

There should be plenty of goals and entertainment, which is why hundreds of millions of fans worldwide watch the Premier League. But if your soccer tastes are more refined, the action may seem a little too cavalier.

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.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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