In the opening phase of the 2021 English Premier League season, Manchester City sputtered out of the gate and did not give its massive fanbase much to be excited about.
Also, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had a tenuous grasp of proving he was capable of leading crosstown rival Manchester United back to a team that could contend for the title.
Things have changed. Now the Manchester clubs are in the top two spots in the Premier League table, and as the sunset begins on their respective campaigns, there is almost no doubt that you’re looking at the eventual champions when they square off on Sunday in the marquee match on the menu of This Weekend’s Soccer on TV and Online.
Manchester City should feel comfortable owning a 14-point lead with 11 games to go, but a loss to its bitter rival and nearest competitor could spark the massive meltdown needed to make the remaining weeks of the season interesting.
The Red Devils proved they can do it when they won the reverse fixture back in December.
In Spain, the title race is much tighter as another crosstown rivalry plays out on Sunday.
Atlético Madrid has been a steady points machine for much of the season, but the wheels have fallen off and it is no longer enjoying the death grip it once had on the La Liga table thanks to some spotty performances, and most recently, a 2-0 loss to Levante a couple of weeks ago.
The lead has been reduced to only five points, and usual suspects Barcelona and Real Madrid are the ones on Atlético’s heels.
Real Madrid has the opportunity to crush its rival’s momentum and turn its season into a title-winning effort when it heads to Wanda Metropolitano Stadium this weekend.
On any other week, Saturday’s Bayern Munich – Borussia Dortmund matchup would probably be your headliner, but the visitors are behind a crowd of contenders for the title and even with a win, will be asking a lot to jump back into the race.
Here are This Weekend’s Top 5 Matches to Watch, along with a look at the full rundown of the soccer viewing options available this weekend:
This Weekend’s Top 5 Matches
- Manchester City vs Manchester United – If the latter has any hopes of putting up a fight for the title, it must find a way to beat its rival.
- Atlético Madrid vs Real Madrid – An identical scenario to Sunday’s game in Manchester, but Real Madrid’s situation is much more realistic. You would assume Barcelona, which is tied for second, takes care of business against Osasuna. If Los Blancos can pull it off, there will be a three way sprint to the end of the season with razor thin margins for error.
- Bayern München vs Borussia Dortmund – Dortmund is not in the title picture, but it has more than enough talent to pull off an upset and put its Der Klassiker rival in danger while it fights for a 2022 Champions League spot.
- Palmeiras vs Grêmio – Fresh off its crowing as Copa Libertadores champs, Palimeras is on the cusp of performing a double in the Copa do Brazil, despite having a disappointing league campaign.
- Freiburg vs RB Leipzig – If Dortmund can take points from Bayern and Leipzig takes care of business as an overwhelming favorite, they’ll be the new leaders of the Bundesliga.
This Weekend’s Soccer on TV and Online
2:30 p.m. –ESPN+– Schalke 04 vs Mainz 05
3 p.m. -beIN SPORTS, fuboTV – Valencia vs Villarreal
3:45 p.m. –fuboTV – Sporting CP vs Santa Clara
3:35 a.m. –ESPN+– Adelaide United vs Newcastle Jets
First Division A
2:45 p.m. –ESPN+– Sporting Charleroi vs Sint-Truiden
8 p.m. –fuboTV – Junior vs Atlético Bucaramanga
2:45 p.m. –ESPN+– Huddersfield Town vs Cardiff City
11 a.m. –fuboTV– Dinamo Batumi vs Shukura
Indian Super League
9 a.m. –ESPN+– Goa vs Mumbai City
CAF Champions League
2 p.m. –fuboTV– CR Belouizdad vs Al Hilal Omdurman
Africa U-20 Cup of Nations
2:50 p.m. –fuboTV– Gambia vs Tunisia
2:45 p.m. –ESPN+– Raith Rovers vs Dunfermline Athletic
7:30 a.m. -NBCSN, fuboTV– Burnley vs Arsenal
10 a.m. -NBCSN, fuboTV– Sheffield United vs Southampton
12:30 p.m. -NBCSN, fuboTV– Aston Villa vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
3 p.m. -Peacock- Brighton & Hove Albion vs Leicester City
9:30 a.m. –ESPN+– Freiburg vs RB Leipzig
9:30 a.m. –ESPN+– Hertha BSC vs Augsburg
9:30 a.m. –ESPN+– Hoffenheim vs Wolfsburg
9:30 a.m. –ESPN+– Eintracht Frankfurt vs Stuttgart
9:30 a.m. –ESPN+– Borussia Monchengladbach vs Bayer Leverkusen
12:30 p.m. -ABC, ESPN Deportes – Bayern München vs Borussia Dortmund
1 p.m. –fuboTV– Gil Vicente vs Porto
Coupe de France
6 p.m. –fuboTV, TUDN USA- Atlas vs Juárez
8 p.m. -ESPN Deportes, fuboTV– América vs León
8:06 p.m. -Fox Soccer Plus, fuboTV– Monterrey vs Querétaro
10 p.m. -ESPN Deportes, fuboTV– Mazatlán vs Guadalajara
3:05 a.m. –ESPN+– Adelaide United vs Sydney FC
Indian Super League
9 a.m. –ESPN+– NorthEast United vs Mohun Bagan
CAF Champions League
8 a.m. –fuboTV– Al Merreikh vs Simba
8 a.m. –fuboTV– TP Mazembe vs Mamelodi Sundowns
11 a.m. –fuboTV– ES Tunis vs Zamalek
11 a.m. –fuboTV– Teungueth vs MC Alger
11 a.m. –fuboTV– Kaizer Chiefs vs Petro de Luanda
2 p.m. –fuboTV– Al Ahly vs Vita Club
2 p.m. –fuboTV– Wydad Casablanca vs Horoya
Liga MX Femenil
1 p.m. –fuboTV, TUDN USA- Pumas UNAM vs Tigres UANL
10:30 a.m. –ESPN+– Feyenoord vs VVV
11 a.m. –fuboTV– Beşiktaş vs Gaziantepspor
7 a.m. -NBCSN, fuboTV– West Bromwich Albion vs Newcastle United
9 a.m. -NBCSN, fuboTV– Liverpool vs Fulham
11:30 a.m. -NBCSN, fuboTV– Manchester City vs Manchester United
2:15 p.m. -Peacock- Tottenham Hotspur vs Crystal Palace
6:30 a.m. –ESPN+– Roma vs Genoa
9 a.m. –ESPN+– Crotone vs Torino
9 a.m. -ESPN2, ESPN Deportes – Fiorentina vs Parma
9 a.m. –ESPN+– Hellas Verona vs Milan
12 p.m. –ESPN+– Sampdoria vs Cagliari
2:45 p.m. –ESPN+– Napoli vs Bologna
3 p.m. –fuboTV– Rio Ave vs Farense
Coupe de France
12:05 a.m. –ESPN+– Canberra United vs Brisbane Roar
Copa do Brasil
4 p.m. -Fox Soccer Plus, fuboTV– Palmeiras vs Grêmio
12 p.m. –ESPN+– Nordsjælland vs Horsens
6 p.m. –fuboTV– Guayaquil City vs Barcelona
FA Women’s Super League
9 a.m. -The FA Player- Birmingham City vs Arsenal
9 a.m. -NBCSports.com- Manchester City vs Everton
9 a.m. -The FA Player- West Ham United vs Chelsea FC
9 a.m. -The FA Player- Manchester United vs Aston Villa
9 a.m. -The FA Player- Brighton & Hove Albion vs Tottenham Hotspur
Liga de Expansión MX
6 p.m. –fuboTV, TUDN USA- Atlante vs Tepatitlán
7 a.m. –ESPN+– Dundee United vs Celtic