On Tap This Weekend (5/5-8)

Napoli won the scudetto midweek, but this is a big weekend in the Serie A race for Champions League football. In addition, Arsenal tries to keep their hopes of a Premier League title alive in the far North, while PSG’s two main rivals face off to see who can benefit from the super club’s ongoing implosion. Oh, and it’s Liguilla time in Mexico.

Friday, May 5th

Bayer Leverkusen – Köln or Mainz – Schalke (ESPN+, 2:30 PM EST, 1:30 PM CST) – Schalke’s win last weekend makes this choice of Bundesliga matches something of a toss up. 6th-place Bayer Leverkusen are hoping to stay in the European places against mid-table Köln, while Schalke have pulled themselves into contention for escaping relegation and could really use a win against mid-table Mainz.

Saturday, May 6th

AC Milan – Lazio (Paramount+, 9:00 AM EST, 8:00 AM CST) – While Napoli have won the scudetto with a midweek tie against Udinese, there’s still lots to play for in the remaining Serie A Champions League spots. 2nd-place Lazio have a 6-point lead on a trio of teams in 5th-7th, including AC Milan, and any lost points will surely see them drop 1-2 spots. Alternate: SC Freiburg – RB Leipzig (ESPN+, 9:30 AM EST, 8:30 AM CST) Leipzig ran out easy winners in their midweek Pokal encounter, so Freiburg will be looking for some payback in the Bundesliga.

AS Roma – Internazionale (Paramount+, 12:00 PM EST, 11:00 ZM CST) – Only 2 points separate 4th-place Inter from 7th place Roma in another big Italian match-up. Alternate: If this is too much Serie A for your blood, Liverpool – Brentford (USA, 12:30 PM EST, 11:30 AM CST) should offer an exciting game between enjoyable sides.

RC Lens – Olympique de Marseille (beIN Sports, 3:00 PM EST, 2:00 PM CST) – PSG’s loss laset weekend leaves them only 5 points ahead of Marseille, and 6 ahead of Lens. The winner here will be the team that stays in pole position to catch PSG should they continue to falter. Alternate: This isn’t a serious alternative, but if you can’t watch Ligue 1, there’s always the Copa Del Rey Semifinal: Osasuna – Real Madrid (ESPN+, 4:00 PM EST, 3:00 PM CST).

Cruz Azul – Atlas (Univision, TUDN, 7:00 PM EST, 6:00 PM CST) – The Liga MX Clausura Liguilla play-offs kick off with 8th-place Cruz Azul (of Mexico City) against 9th-place Atlas (winners of both the Apertura and Clausura last season) in a one-off repechaje match to advance to the quarterfinal round. Cruz Azul feature Mexican keeper José de Jesús Corona, while Atlas have veteran left-back Luis Reyes. Alternate: If you’re afraid of going south of the border, San Jose Earthquake – Los Angeles FC (MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, 7:30 PM EST, 6:30 PM CST) is probably the best choice in a packed MLS window.

Pachuca – Santos Laguna (Univision, TUDN, 9:10 PM EST, 8:10 PM CST) – Mexico’s American-style play-offs continue, with 5th versus 13th, the best and worst of the teams fighting to reach the quarterfinals. Santos Laguna shouldn’t have even made the repechaje, having lost to Cruz Azul in the last round of games. But 10th place Querétaro performed so poorly in the Apertura that they are bottom of the combined table (that is, the full regular season table, combining Apertura and Clausura results) and thus ineligible to participate in the Liguilla. So Santos get at least one more game against a Pachuca side that has finished fifth or higher since topping the Clausura last season. Alternate: OL Reign – Houston Dash (Paramount+, 10:00 PM EST, 9:00 PM CST) – Though their only win this season has come against a rebuilding Chicago Red Stars, Houston have tied both the Portland Thorns and the Washington Spirit, and will be looking to challenge yet another top NWSL team in Seattle’s OL Reign.

Sunday, May 7th

Atalanta – Juventus (Paramount+, 6:30 AM EST, 5:30 AM CST) – Though it’s also the only game on, this is another big Italian match as 3rd-place Juventus visit 5th-place Atalanta.

Torino – Monza (Paramount+, 9:00 AM EST, 8:00 AM CST) – Though not at the same level as the other three Serie A games this weekend, Torino and Monza are tied on points dead mid-table. Alternate: If you’ve had enough of Italy by this point, your second-best option is probably Nantes – RC Strasbourg-Alcase (beIN Sports, 9:00 AM EST, 8:00 AM CST), a relegation six-pointer to avoid the final spot in Ligue 1’s expanded relegation zone (Ligue 1 is sending a 4th team down and promoting two in a shift to an 18-team top flight).

Newcastle United – Arsenal (USA, 11:30 AM EST, 10:30 AM CST) – A huge game as Arsenal hope to hold onto a chance of catching Manchester City in the title race. Pretty clearly the match of the day.

West Ham United – Manchester United (Peacock, 2:00 PM EST, 1:00 PM CST) – Not the most evenly matched game, but probably the best bet in a weak round of evening games. Alternate: Your next best bet is a Serie A relegation six-pointer, Lecce – Hellas Verona (Paramount+, 2:45 PM EST, 1:45 PM CST).

Seattle Sounders – Sporting Kansas City (Fox, 4:30 PM EST, 3:30 PM CST) – The final MLS game of the weekend is between first and last in the West. Probably time for a break.

León – Atlético San Luis (Univision, TUDN, 9:06 PM EST, 8:06 PM CST) – The Liguilla repechaje continues, with 6th versus 12th. León feature Costa Rican star Joel Campbell and Bryan Castillo, who was left off Ecuador’s World Cup team this Winter to sidestep accusations that he was actually Colombian.

Tigres UANL – Puebla (TUDN, 11:10 PM EST, 10:10 PM CST) – 7th versus 11th. Tigres feature rising Mexican star Diego Lainez, on loan from the most Mexican team in Europe, Real Betis.

Monday May 8th

Fulham – Leicester City (USA, 10:00 AM EST, 9:00 AM CST) – It’s relegation Monday in the Premier League, apparently–not for Fulham, but Leicester will be desperately hoping for a win to push them up the table.

Brighton & Hove Albion – Everton (USA, 12:30 PM EST, 11:30 AM CST) – Ditto for Everton. Of course, if you watched them yesterday, you’ll know that it’s always a good idea to watch Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton.

Nottingham Forest – Southampton (USA, 3:00 PM EST, 2:00 PM CST) – And closing out the day with a relegation six-pointer, though in truth, Saints are already relegated. Alternate: Sassuolo – Bologna (Paramount+, 2:45 PM EST, 1:45 PM CST) is a decent mid-table option if you haven’t had enough Serie A by this point in the weekend.


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