Despite the fact that Europe’s major soccer leagues return in a week, there are recommended games galore to watch this weekend.
In fact, this weekend puts a wrap on the summer schedule, and acts as a prelude to the main European season. For example, there are notable summer friendlies this weekend. Simultaneously, one of the major soccer tournaments from this summer comes to a conclusion.
That is not the only trophy awarded in this weekend’s slate of games. While many English fans focus on the resumption of the Championship, there is a precursor to what the Premier League may hold. Two teams that bathe in recent success go head-to-head yet again. This time, it is at Wembley, in a less-competitive fixture than other ties.
Knowing that, here are my top five recommended games to watch this weekend.
Recommended games to watch this weekend
5. Juventus vs. Real Madrid – Saturday, 10 p.m. ET
Let’s start with the outgoing soccer. This summer’s schedule of friendlies provided some interesting storylines. Everton losing 4-0 to MLS side Minnesota United. Also, Real Madrid and Barcelona showed El Clásico to Las Vegas, with Barcelona edging out Los Blancos, 1-0. Then, Erling Haaland made his debut with Manchester City against Bayern Munich at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI.
Now, two of Europe’s most successful clubs put a bow on the major summer friendlies in the United States. Juventus and Real Madrid are at the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of recent success. However, this is a chance for both teams to play one final tune-up against strong opposition before the European calendar kicks into high gear.
4. Orlando City vs. DC United – Sunday, 5 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
On paper, this game is not full of the ‘wow factor.’ After all, DC United has the lowest point total in all of Major League Soccer. However, we could see the managerial debut of Wayne Rooney at Audi Field. The former Manchester United skipper awaits his work visa, even though he attended each game since his announcement.
Orlando City is a respectable fifth in the MLS Eastern Conference. The push for playoffs is one thing. However, Orlando City recently punched its ticket to the US Open Cup Final in September. Therefore, use this game as a way to familiarize yourself with the squad taking on Sacramento Republic FC.
ESPN weekend of soccer
Includes: MLS, Championship, Community Shield and more
3. Huddersfield Town vs. Burnley – Friday, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN2, ESPN+)
Now, let’s get into the games with true, pivotal meaning. That starts with the return of league play in Europe. The Championship is one of the most contentious leagues due to the parity involved in the competition. However, if there are two teams that have strong odds to be in the mix for promotion, these are two clubs that fit that description.
Last season, Huddersfield Town narrowly missed out on a return to the Premier League. Nottingham Forest defeated Huddersfield in the Championship Playoff, 1-0. On the other hand, Burnley just missed out on survival in last season’s Premier League. One point in the Clarets’ last four games doomed the side to relegation.
That is in the past. This is a new season with new aspirations for both clubs wanting to get back to England’s top flight.
2. Liverpool vs. Manchester City (FA Community Shield) – Saturday, noon ET (ESPN+)
Understandably, the Community Shield is not of the grandeur of something like the Champions League. However, this game holds significance for a couple of reasons. First off, it is still a trophy. Dreams of a sextuple to match Barcelona are not in the picture like they were for Chelsea a season ago. Yet, both Liverpool and Manchester City are the favorites in each English competition this season. An early trophy lays the path for success over the next eight or nine months.
Plus, this game serves as a statement of intent. Manchester City and Liverpool have a budding rivalry that features trophies, clashes and drama. With new signings like Darwin Núñez and Erling Haaland joining the fray, fans can get a true glimpse of what this season holds using the Community Shield.
Our recommended game to watch this weekend: England vs. Germany (2022 Women’s Euro Final) – Sunday, noon ET (ESPN)
Not just a final, but a major final in the women’s game. There is no area of growth in soccer faster than women’s soccer in Europe. That allowed the 2022 Women’s European Championship to be laden with drama and fantastic play. In the end, it is a familiar rivalry for glory. England battles Germany in a sold-out Wembley Stadium.
On the men’s side, this is a well-documented derby. On the women’s side, England takes a hefty back seat to the successes of Germany. In fact, Germany’s eight Euro titles doubles every other nation’s tally combined. England, for its part, is playing in its third Women’s Euro Final. Last time the Lionesses reached this stage, they lost to Germany, 6-2. For reference, Germany is undefeated in Women’s Euro Finals. England, of course, is winless in two previous attempts.
These two nations are the class of play in this competition. Germany conceded for the first time in the entire tournament during its semifinal fixture against France. England’s 20 goals vastly exceeds any other team’s output. Plus, it has the honor of playing in front of a home crowd 90,000 strong. It has all the makings of a momentous fixture.
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