With the World Cup roster settled, at long, long last we can look forward to extended spell of domestic soccer. Bliss indeed!
And as some leagues start to simmer and take shape, others are drawing to a dramatic conclusion. The result is that we have a host of different fixtures to look forward to across the globe this weekend, each with their own backstory and varying connotations.
So, we’ve got one of the biggest city derbies in world soccer, a repeat of the 2013 Champions League Final and a top of the table Premier League clash to sample. Not to mention, a couple of crucial games in the MLS playoffs.
As per usual, all kick off times are Eastern Time.
First up, here are some games that didn’t quite make our final five but may well take your fancy:
Arsenal vs. Southampton, Saturday November 23, 10am; NBCSN – Both sides have enjoyed superb starts to the season. Going to the Emirates will be a great test of Southampton’s credentials. Incisive passing against relentless pressing should make for an intriguing battle.
West Ham vs. Chelsea, Saturday November 23, 12:30pm; NBC – Always a great occasion as Chelsea make the trip to East London to take on the Hammers. Both sides have struggled in recent weeks and will be desperate to get one over their city rivals. West Ham won this fixture 3-1 last season.
Sevilla vs. Real Betis, Sunday November 24, 3pm; beIN SPORT Espanol and DishWorld – The Seville derby is always a feisty, passionate contest. There were goals aplenty in the two ties last season; a 3-3 draw at Betis before Sevilla ran out 5-1 winners at the Sanchez Pizjuan. Betis will be out for revenge in this one.
Nantes vs. Monaco, Sunday November 24, 3pm; beIN SPORT Play – Newly promoted Nantes have been the surprise package of Ligue 1 this campaign. They’re flying high in fourth place this season, but face a tough task if they are to overcome moneybags Monaco and an in form Falcao.
Now for the main events. Enjoy the games!
Everton vs. Liverpool
Saturday November 23, 7:45am; NBCSN
The weekend starts with the 221st Merseyside Derby. Goodison Park will play host to a game that is ferocious, passionate and bestowed with marvellous history.
The enthusiasm can sometimes overflow – no Premier League fixture has produced more red cards than this one – and that can sometimes lead to tight, scrappy affairs. But on the brink of this game, there is a sense this could be the most open derby in many a year. Primarily because of the respective mentalities of Brendan Rodgers and perhaps more significantly Roberto Martinez.