Top 5 must-see soccer games: March 4, 2016

mls-2016

If some absorbing title races in European soccer aren’t sufficient for sating your appetite, Major League Soccer returns once again this weekend.

And in a brilliant turn of fate, fans will be treated to a repeat of last year’s MLS Cup final on the opening weekend. Elsewhere, there are vital tussles to take in at the top of the Premier League, the Bundesliga and Portugal’s top flight.

The weekend will begin with what should be fascinating clash in Serie A on Friday between two teams vying for a Champions League spot.

All kickoffs are in Eastern time. Enjoy your weekends and enjoy the games!

Roma vs. Fiorentina

Friday, March 4, 2:45PM, beIN SPORTS, fuboTV and KlowdTV

roma-fiorentina

Roma have been revitalized under Luciano Spalletti as of late and will want to put some distance between themselves and Fiorentina in the race for a Champions League spot.

The Giallorossi looked to be out of the running for a spot in the top three after a slump either side of the new year, prompting the sacking of Rudi Garcia. But since the Italian took over Roma have been sensational, winning six games in succession and moving up the table into third place in the Serie A standings.

Fiorentina are the team who have been ousted by Spalletti’s rampant side. They looked to be surprise title challengers earlier in the season and having dropped off the pace, seemed set to finish in the Champions League spots. But the fine form of their Friday opponents could now see them miss out.

It’d be foolish to write off La Viola now, though, as they’ve shown their class against quality teams this season and they will be buoyed by a 1-1 draw against Napoli on Monday. However, on home soil, Roma will fancy their chances of keeping this tremendous record going.

 

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal

Saturday, March 5, 7:45AM, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra

white-hart-lane

In what is being billed as the biggest north London derby in a generation, both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal will want to gather title momentum with a victory at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

Of the two sides, the pressure is definitely on Arsenal. In a season in which has been wide open, the Gunners have been unable to capitalize, with a meek 3-2 loss at Old Trafford backed up by an awful loss at home to Swansea City in midweek. They now trail league leaders Leicester City by six points.

They also trail Spurs, who are also seeking to bounce back from disappointment in midweek, as they lost to West Ham United. However, they have been in exceptional form in recent weeks and with a raucous crowd backing them, will surely feel confident of delivering what could be a fatal blow to their rivals’ title chances.

The atmosphere in these games is usually electric and with so much at stake, it should be cranked up again here. Whoever wins this one may get a vital pursuit as they seek to mount a late pursuit for the Premier League crown.

 

Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich

Saturday, March 5, 12:30PM, FX, FOX Soccer Plus, FOX Sports GO, FX Now and FOX Soccer 2GO

bvb-bayern

The Bundesliga title race seemed to be done just a week ago, but a remarkable round of midweek fixtures in Germany makes this clash with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich even more intriguing.

Indeed, Bayern’s perfect home record came to a surprising end on Wednesday, as they were beaten by Mainz. Granted, Pep Guardiola’s side were extremely unlucky on the day, but the profligacy they showed in front of goal will be concerning, especially with the Champions League coming up and now a potential title battle too.

That’s because Dortmund are now just five points behind heading into this weekend’s showdown at the Westfalenstadion. They were 2-0 victors away at Darmstadt on Wednesday and Thomas Tuchel’s side, despite what has been almost unwavering brilliance from the league leaders, have clung on gamely at the league summit.

Now they have a massive opportunity to heap very real pressure on Bayern. This iconic stadium will provide a sensational backdrop for this one and although the champions were 5-1 winners in this fixture earlier in the campaign, momentum seems to have swung full circle in recent weeks.

 

Sporting vs. Benfica

Saturday, March 5, 3:45PM, Univision Deportes, NGSN and fuboTV

sporting-benfica

On a weekend which is packed with significant matches involving teams in pursuit of the domestic championship, arguably the most crucial will be in Portugal, where Sporting host Benfica in the Lisbon derby.

This match is enjoyable enough when these two aren’t vying for top spot, but with Sporting leading the way, with former Benfica boss Jorge Jesus at the helm, from their great rivals, there’s so much at stake when these two meet at the Estadio Jose Alvalade. A win for either could well set up a prosperous end to the campaign.

Sporting are on a run of 10 games without defeat and are playing some superb football under Jesus. For so long they’ve been third in the pecking order behind Benfica and Porto, but as we edge closer to the end of the campaign, the Leoes have a tremendous chance to clinch their first league title in 14 years.

Benfica are much better versed in these season-defining tussles and will be confident of halting the momentum of their neighbors this weekend. Rui Vitoria has a brilliant blent of experience and youth to call upon in this squad; having won a whopping 16 of their last 18 league matches, confidence is clearly high amongst the group too.

 

Portland Timbers vs. Columbus Crew

Sunday, March 6, 4:30PM, ESPN, WatchESPN and Sling TV

portland-columbus-mls

Columbus Crew have a chance to exact some immediate revenge on the Portland Timbers this weekend, as Major League Soccer gets going once again.

Portland broke Columbus hearts in the MLS Cup final late last season, winning 2-1 to clinch their first title. And having made some shrewd acquisitions during the break, they look primed to go again this season and will receive a rapturous ovation from their own supporters, kickstarting the season as reigning champions.

Columbus, by contrast, will be smarting after coming so close last term and will want to get their campaign off to the best possible beginning. They’ve retained a nucleus of players which pushed them to the final in 2015 and that should serve them well again in the months to come. They’ll be donning a peculiar new kit too, based on the city’s home flag.

It’s certainly the most eye-catching clash of the weekend and a game which will reveal plenty about the respective ambitions of both of these sides this campaign.

25+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
  • Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
  • Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
  • Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
  • Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo.
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
  • $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
  • Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
  • Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family

5 Comments

  1. Brian March 4, 2016
    • Ivan March 4, 2016
      • RJ March 4, 2016
  2. Kei March 5, 2016
  3. R.O March 5, 2016

Leave a Reply

Translate »