The international break in March is now behind us as club activity returns on Friday. There's a lot to read ahead of this weekend's loaded slate and you can find the best of it in our Golazo Starting XI newsletter. I'm Jonathan Johnson and I'm here to guide you through the very latest from the world of European football and beyond.
So, let's get to it:
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📺 Soccer on Paramount+
All times US/Eastern
Friday, March 31
🇦🇷 Argentina: River Plate vs. Union, 20:30 ➡️ Paramount+
All times US/Eastern
🇩🇪 Bundesliga: Eintracht Frankfurt vs. VfL Bochum, 14:30 ➡️ESPN+
🇫🇷 Ligue 1: Marseille vs. Montpellier, 15:00 ➡️ ESPN+
🇪🇸 La Liga: Mallorca vs. Osasuna, 15:00 ➡️ ESPN+
EPL: Manchester City vs Liverpool, 07:30 ➡️ Peacock
EPL: Arsenal vs. Leeds United, at 10.00 ➡️ USA Network
🇩🇪 Bundesliga: Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund, 12:30 ➡️ ABC
🇪🇸 La Liga: Elche vs. Barcelona, 15:00 ➡️ ESPN+
🇺🇸 MLS: LA Galaxy, vs. Seattle Sounders: ➡️ FOX/Apple TV
🇪🇸 La Liga: Real Madrid vs. Valladolid, 10:15 ➡️ ESPN+
EPL: Newcastle vs. Manchester United, 11:30 ➡️ USA Network
⚽ Forward Line
Thomas Tuchel makes his debut for Bayern Munich
All eyes will be on the German Bundesliga this weekend as Thomas Tuchel makes his debut as Bayern Munich manager after replaces Julian Nagelsmann during the international break. The stakes are high as the former Chelsea and PSG boss immediately faces his former club Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker, giving him an immediate opportunity to make a difference in the German champions' season.
Knocking Les Parisiens out of the UEFA Champions League wasn't enough for Julian Nagelsmann to save his job and Bayern acted quickly to avoid Tuchel being yanked under their noses as happened when he took the PSG gig. Tottenham Hotspur sniffed around the German after dismissing Antonio Contebut Spurs' chaotic management structure that includes banned sporting director Fabio Paratici was too slow.
Tuchel coming in now is a gamble when it comes to hitting the ground running in the Bundesliga where Dortmund actually lead by a point at this stage. After all, that's why Tuchel is there in the first place. As sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic express it when talking to the German media“You have to win every game….We have high goals; we want to win trophies, that's the job.” Pep Guardiola will not have welcomed the news that Bayern have changed coaches ahead of their UCL match. In addition to this season, Tuchel looks like a good fit for Bayern's ambitions and you can expect them to be as dominant as ever on home soil and a continental force to be reckoned with too.
However, this campaign is still on in Germany and Dortmund would love nothing more than to make it a miserable start to life at the Allianz Arena for their former boss. Eric Maxim Choupo Moting and Tuchel are teaming up again after their spells together with Mainz 05 and PSG and it will be up to the former Stoke City man to continue to lead the line for the German giants for at least the initial part of the 49-year-old's the year. -old tactician's return to the Bundesliga.
You can read more about whatright here.
And remember, all your soccer needs — from the NWSL to the Champions League to Serie A and so much more — are available at Paramount+. 📺 You can try one month for free by using the code: NWSL2023
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🔗 Link play in midfield
Chelsea women in Champions League semi after wild finish
Defending UEFA Women's Champions League title holders Olympique Lyonnais are out after a penalty shootout loss to Chelsea in Thursday's quarter-final. Eight-time winners OL are not in the semi-finals for the first time in nine years while the Londoners were inspired to their success by goalkeeper Ann Katrin Berger's spot-kick masterclass between the sticks.
Barcelona are next for Chelsea after they advanced past AS Roma with ease on Wednesday while there was further French heartbreak for PSG as they crashed out against Wolfsburg. The Germans will now face Arsenal after they ousted Bayern and it is the first time ever that two English teams have made it this far.
- Sandra Herrera on Chelsea and Lyon's wild quarter-finals: “(Vanessa) Gilles provided the breakthrough goal for Lyon in the 77th minute, equalizing after a corner opportunity. The French side took the lead in extra time with a goal by substitute Sara Dabritz, but a penalty kick conversion by Maren Mjelde in extra time leveled the game and sent the game to penalties. The quarter-final quickly developed into a legendary match for the UWCL competition, with Katrin Berger delivering a heroic finish for Chelsea. The Blues goalkeeper made penalty saves on Lyon captain Renard and US Women's National Team star midfielder Lindsey Horan.”
You can read more aboutright here.
And now we come to some links:
🔗 James Benge on
🔗 It's a big matchup in Serie A this weekend when Napoli host AC Milan and our crew will be there live.
🔗 Chuck Booth on .
🔗 Francesco Porzio on .
🔗 Jonathan Johnson on .
🔗 It's official official, Herve Renard is France's new women's manager.
🔗 FIFA stripped Indonesia of the U20 World Cup following a meeting between FIFA chief Gianni Infantino and the Indonesian FA.
🔗 Hamburg's Vuskovic .
🔗 House of the Masters: It's been a full two weeks since club football took a break, here's the gang to remind you what's going on.
🔗 Attacking third: The NWSL hits week two, and we've got your matchup preview.
🔗 In football we trust: With the final four in the Concacaf set, the crew broke down the semifinalists.
🔗 And remember, all your soccer needs — from Champions League to Serie A to NWSL and so much more — are available at Paramount+. 📺 You can try one month free by using the code: ADVANCE.
💰 The back line
💵 Best game
All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and all times US/Eastern. SportsLine has you covered with the best games of the weekend.
- Championship: Burnley vs. Sunderland, Friday, 3 p.m
💰 THE SELECTION: Draw (+333) — For those feeling brave, a Sunderland win is +700. With Burnley so far ahead at the Championship summit and the Black Cats needing points to keep their play-off hopes alive, this one could produce a surprise result.
- Premier League: Chelsea vs. Aston Villa, Saturday, 12:30 p.m
💰 THE SELECTION: Villa (+450) — Few EPL sides have been in better form than Unai Emery's men since the Spaniard took over and, while the Blues have improved of late, these two are tied on 38 points at the midway point. True to Emery's underdog reputation, Villa fare better against the bigger sides and often on the road.
- Serie A: Napoli v AC Milan, Sunday, 12.00
💰 THE CHOICE: Draw (+260) — There isn't much between a draw and a Milan win at +380, but the Rossoneri are one of the few sides capable of slowing the Partenopei's title charge. That will likely only delay the inevitable, but Milan avoiding defeat would still provide good value here.
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