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Top games to watch on February 17-23, 2023

Liverpool vs Real Madrid, Man UTD vs Barcelona headline top live games to watch on Feb. 17-23, 2023

February 17, 2023 By Ali M.
Newcastle vs Liverpool, Tottenham vs West Ham, Manchester United vs Leicester, Liverpool vs Real Madrid, and Barcelona vs Manchester United comprise our list of must-watch games.

Top games to watch this week

Friday, February 17

Girona vs Almería (La Liga)

Sassuolo vs Napoli (Serie A)

Auxerre vs Lyon (Ligue 1)

Al Nassr vs Al Taawon (Saudi Pro League)

Saturday, February 18

Aston Villa vs Arsenal (English Premier League)

Chelsea vs Southampton (English Premier League)

Nottingham Forest vs Manchester City (English Premier League)

Newcastle vs Liverpool (English Premier League)

Osasuna vs Real Madrid (La Liga)

Monza vs Milan (Serie A)

Inter vs Udinese (Serie A)

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Bayern München (Bundesliga)

Porto vs Río Ave (Primeira Liga)

Atlas vs Tigres UANL (Liga MX)

Pumas UNAM vs Guadalajara (Liga MX)

Sunday, February 19

Manchester United vs Leicester City (English Premier League)

Tottenham vs West Ham (English Premier League)

Atlético Madrid vs Athletic Club (La Liga)

Barcelona vs Cádiz (La Liga)

Roma vs Hellas Verona (Serie A)

Union Berlin vs Schalke 04 (Bundesliga)

Borussia Dortmund vs Hertha Berlin (Bundesliga)

Sporting Braga vs Arouca (Primeira Liga)

PSG vs Lille (Ligue 1)

Monday, February 20

Getafe vs Valencia (La Liga)

Torino vs Cremonese (Serie A)

Chaves vs Sporting CP (Primeira Liga)

Benfica vs Boavista (Primeira Liga)

Tuesday, February 21

Liverpool vs Real Madrid (UEFA Champions League)

Eintracht Frankfurt vs Napoli (UEFA Champions League)

Independiente del Valle vs Flamengo (Recopa Sudamericana)

Wednesday, February 22

RB Leipzig vs Manchester City (UEFA Champions League)

Inter vs Porto (UEFA Champions League)

Cruz Azul vs Atlas (Liga MX)

Carabobo vs Atlético Mineiro (Copa Libertadores)

Thursday, February 23

Nantes vs Juventus (UEFA Europa League)

Monaco vs Bayer Leverkusen (UEFA Europa League)

PSV vs Sevilla (UEFA Europa League)

Manchester United vs Barcelona (UEFA Europa League)

Roma vs Salzburg (UEFA Europa League)

Union Berlin vs Ajax (UEFA Europa League)

Cluj vs Lazio (UEFA Europa Conference League)

Fiorentina vs Sporting Braga (UEFA Europa Conference League)

Santos vs Toluca (Liga MX)

Most-watched soccer games in the USA: February 6-12, 2023

The past week in terms of audiences had some clear winners, mainly due to the absence of the most-watched league in the United States.

This was an interesting week in terms of audiences, with Premier League and Liga MX both going toe-to-toe for the top spot. This time, the North American league can call itself taller in terms of ratings, as two of the top three games last week came from the Mexican top flight.

As for the Premier League, Saturday's late kickoff match between Bournemouth and Newcastle made it to the final spot on the podium, with over 700,000 fans watching this clash. Those numbers were enough to "defeat" more popular teams such as Manchester United and Manchester City, who were left in fourth and fifth place in terms of audiences last week.

Here is how all soccer games ranked during the past week.

Most Watched Games, USA, February 6, 12, Bournemouth, Newcastle, Pachuca, Guadalajara, Tigres UANL, Pumas, Liga MX, English Premier League

What are this week's must-watch games?

Newcastle United vs Liverpool live this Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC, Peacock, UNIVERSO, UNIVERSO NOW, and Telemundo Deportes En Vivo

Liverpool got their first Premier League win of 2023 last Monday, beating Everton 2-0 in the Merseyside Derby. However, things will get more difficult for Jurgen Klopp's men this weekend as they will be visiting Newcastle on Saturday. The Reds remain ninth in the table, nine points behind the fourth-placed Magpies. However, Salah and Co. have a game in hand, and should they triumph at St. James' Park, this might give Liverpool the boost they need to mount a late top-four push. Do not miss this clash.

Newcastle, Liverpool, English Premier League, Broadcast Listings 

Manchester United vs Leicester City live this Sunday at 9 a.m. ET on USA Network, Telemundo, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo, NBC Sports App, and NBC Sports App

High-flying Manchester United return to action in the Premier League on Sunday, with the Red Devils hosting Leicester following their thrilling UEFA Europa League clash with Barcelona. The Red Devils picked up a 2-2 draw at Camp Nou and will thus have one eye on the return leg next Thursday. Leicester, meanwhile, have picked up form, having thrashed Tottenham 4-1 in their most recent game. In fact, the Foxes have scored eight times in their last two matches. However, triumphing at Old Trafford will be no easy feat.

Manchester United, Leicester, Broadcast Listings, English Premier League 

Liverpool vs Real Madrid live this Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET on CBS, Paramount+, TUDN USA, Univision, Univision NOW, and the TUDN App

Liverpool make our list once again, but this time it is due to their highly-anticipated European showdown with Real Madrid. In a repeat of last season's UEFA Champions League final, the Reds and Los Blancos will face off in the round of 16, with Anfield staging the first leg. The result from the Newcastle trip will play a huge role in Liverpool's confidence leading to this tie while Ancelotti's men will be sweating over the fitness of Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema after allegedly coming away from their recent win over Elche with slight discomfort.

Liverpool, Real Madrid, English Premier League, UEFA Champions League 

Manchester United vs Barcelona live this Thursday at 3 p.m. ET live on Paramount+, VIX+, UniMás, Univision NOW, TUDN, and the TUDN App

From one game featuring an English and Spanish powerhouse to another, Barcelona wrap up this list with their thrilling 2nd leg UEFA Europa League Knockout Round Playoffs encounter with Barcelona on Thursday. These two sides played out an action-packed 2-2 draw at Camp Nou, with both teams suffering from controversial refereeing decisions. The in-form Marcus Rashford got on the scoresheet while the Blaugrana lost Pedri and Gavi to injury and suspension respectively, meaning neither will be available for the Old Trafford trip. Will this cost the Catalan giants or can they still progress at the expense of the Red Devils? Make sure to catch this game live! 

Manchester United, Barcelona, UEFA Europa League, Broadcast Listings 

 This week in women's football, February 17, February 23

Although club soccer is currently on hiatus for many of the women's top leagues, there are still quite a few matches taking place over the next seven days to keep fans entertained.

It's all about cup competitions, with several major tournaments happening all over the world. 

Here's all you need to know ahead of the upcoming week in the world of women's soccer.

SheBelieves Cup

Founded in 2016 by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), the SheBelieves Cup is a yearly soccer tournament hosted by the USWNT, and teams are included via invite only. In the first three editions (staged in 2016, 2017, and 2018), the same four teams took part, with England, France, and Germany receiving coveted invites. However, since 2019, the competition organizers have decided to expand the field, and have opted to invite Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Spain, Iceland, the Czech Republic, and teams from South America.

The latest iteration of the competition will feature the USWNT alongside Canada, Japan, and Brazil, and will run from February 16th to February 22nd. To date, the Stars and Stripes have won five of the last seven versions of the competition, with France and England winning one title each in 2017 and 2019 respectively.

Make sure you bookmark our special SheBelieves Cup match page for viewing times and options for your current location.

Arnold Clark Cup

Inspired by the SheBelieves Cup, England's Football Association decided to create their own women's tournament in 2022. Like the SheBelieves Cup, the Arnold Clark Cup features four teams, with England serving as hosts. This year's edition features England, who come into the competition having won the Women's EURO competition last season, as well as South Korea, Italy, and Belgium, and will run from February 16th through February 22nd.

England will be seeking to defend their title, having won the inaugural edition last year.

Make sure you check out our Arnold Clark Cup match page for viewing times and options for your current location.

FFA Cup of Nations

Meanwhile, in Australia, the second iteration of the FFA Cup of Nations is getting underway. The tournament was created in 2019, and like other competitions such as USA's SheBelieves Cup, features the hosts plus three other invited teams. After a hiatus, the competition is now back this year and will see Australia take on Spain, Jamaica, and the Czech Republic from February 16th to February 22nd. 

The first version was won by Australia, while South Korea finished as runners-up.

Make sure you take note of our Cup of Nations match page for viewing times and options for your current location.

Tournoi de France

The 2023 Tournoi de France will be taking place from February 15th to February 21st in France. Founded in 2020, it follows the same format as many women's cup competitions, with the hosts playing three other teams in a round-robin format.

To date, France have won the past two editions (the 2021 version was canceled due to COVID-19). This year's competition features France welcoming Norway, Denmark, and Uruguay.

Make sure your bookmark our Tournoi de France match page for viewing times and options for your current location.

International friendlies and the Pinatar Cup

If that wasn't enough to keep fans engaged over the next week, there are also plenty of other women's soccer friendlies, as well as the 2023 Pinatar Cup to follow, so make sure you have a look at our dedicated international women's soccer friendly and Pinatar Cup match pages to make sure you don't miss out on any of these exciting games. 

Biggest stories of the week

Transfer: Barcelona reach verbal agreement to sign Bundesliga ace for free

Barcelona have reached a verbal agreement with Evan Ndicka, reports from Spain and Germany have indicated. The Spanish heavyweights are said to be weighing up the possibility of signing the center-back and will decide on whether to sign him or not next month.

Touted as one of Europe's hottest defensive prospects, Ndicka has been a mainstay in the Frankfurt backline since arriving from Ligue 1 outfit Auxerre in 2018. This trajectory has not gone unnoticed and, last summer, a host of top European clubs including Manchester United and Arsenal were reportedly keeping tabs on the center-back.

This season, Ndicka has been indispensable for Frankfurt once again and has played in every game for the Bundesliga club. Nevertheless, his current contract expires this summer and a move away looks like the favored choice for the Frenchman who has decided against renewing his stay.

On Monday, multiple news outlets across Spain and Germany revealed that Barcelona has reached an agreement in principle to sign the defender for free. However, the deal is not done yet as the La Liga giants are in no rush to make a decision. March has been revealed as the potential deadline for the Catalans who are also considering other options too.

Manchester United outcast agrees to leave club by the end of the season

Manchester United are ready to move on when it comes to their plans for next season, even if that means they need to make a U-turn on one of their previous signings.

The team has been looking for suitable reinforcements for Erik Ten Hag, and with the team coming close to returning to the UEFA Champions League, their reputation in Europe seems to be growing back. With that in mind, new players might become available to them, which means that some of their high-profile signings from the past could be on their way out.

Such is the case for Harry Maguire, who came close to leaving the club for lack of playing time this winter. Despite that fact, coach Ten Hag urged him to stay so he could keep the same depth at center back if he was needed. Now, the club and the footballer seem to have reached an agreement that will see Maguire leaving the club next summer while they still can get some cash out of his transfer.

Maguire joined Manchester United in 2019 for a record-breaking fee of $93M, which made him the most expensive defender in history. Nevertheless, his performances did not match that valuation, sparking criticism from fans and experts due to his frequent mishaps.

Despite being named team captain in 2020, Maguire was never able to replicate the form he showed during his time at Leicester, and after falling down Ten Hag's pecking order, the club has finally agreed to part ways with the English international.

The 29-year-old center-back was close to leaving the club last winter, with West Ham and Inter considering bids for the footballer. Now, with Ten Hag ready to let him leave, it is yet to be seen where the footballer ends up. 

Maguire's transfer value could see Manchester United earning as much as $35M for his services, which is far less than what they paid for him back in 2019.

Emi Martinez finally breaks his silence on Mbappe after "taunting" Frenchman following Argentina's World Cup win

The FIFA World Cup might have ended roughly two months ago, but only now has Emiliano Martinez, one of the heroes behind Argenitna's success, addressed the Kylian Mbappe controversy.

The Premier League goalkeeper was, alongside Lionel Messi, at the heart of La Albiceleste's triumph. Not only did the Aston Villa ace make a remarkable point-blank save in the final minutes of extra time to save his country from defeat, but the 30-year-old then saved two spot kicks during the penalty shootout to help end his country's 36-year wait for this title.

However, Martinez found himself in tremendous controversy after being accused of taunting and mocking Kylian Mbappe following the final whistle. The first instance took place in the dressing room, with the former Arsenal ace asking for a minute of silence for the PSG star while celebrating the achievement with his teammates.

The second offense that sparked anger took place during the title parade in Argentina as Martinez was pictured holding a baby doll with Mbappe's face on it. However, in an interview with France Football, the goalkeeper pushed back on the claim that he was taunting Kylian.

Emiliano, nicknamed "Dibu", argues that the incident involving the doll was not intended to mock Kylian and that he only held onto it for a few minutes. The Premier League ace then added that it would be impossible to ridicule a world-class player who scored four times past him — three during the 120 minutes and an additional goal during the penalty shootout.

"I held it [baby doll] for like two minutes and I threw it away, that's all," Dibu told the magazine (as per L'Equipe).

"How can I make fun of Mbappe? He scored four past me. Four goals in a final! He must think I am his toy baby! I have huge respect for Mbappe."

As for the minute of silence incident, Martinez stated that it is a regular occurrence that should stay in the locker room and pointed to the Messi-Kante chants from the French players after Les Bleus beat Argentina in the 2018 FIFA World Cup round of 16 as a perfect example.

"It's a locker room thing," he said. "It should never have come out. When France beat us in 2018, I remember there were chants about Messi [involving N'Golo Kante]. Same thing, if a team beats Brazil, they'll be singing about Neymar.

"There's nothing personal against Mbappe. I respect him a lot. If people sing about him or Neymar, it's because they are top players.

"After the final, I told him that it was a pleasure to play against him and that he almost won the match on his own. I had confirmation that he has immense talent. When Messi retires, I am sure Kylian will win many Ballon d'Or awards."

Regardless, it remains to be seen whether this explanation will quell the uproar following his antics. While Kylian Mbappe remained unfazed about the entire situation, France submitted an official complaint as they deemed Martinez's actions as disgraceful.

Nonetheless, both players went down in folklore with their respective fans following that historic showdown. Dibu was welcomed in Buenos Aires as a hero after his stellar campaign while Mbappe made history with his hat trick in the final, proving to everyone that he will dominate the game for the foreseeable future.

Tension reportedly growing between AC Milan and Inter over stadium plans

Given the history between the two sides, it is not surprising that AC Milan and Inter's relationship has experienced its fair share of tension.

It is thus quite interesting that the two teams actually share a stadium. Whether it's called the Stadio San Siro or the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza depends on what team one supports, with Milan fans opting for the former while Inter supporters choose the latter. But in Italy, this is actually the norm, with capital-based clubs and bitter rivals Roma and Lazio both calling the Stadio Olimpico home.

By contrast, in England, the thought of clubs who feature in derby matches having to share the same space is simply mind-boggling, with cross-town rivals like Manchester City and Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham, or Liverpool and Everton each enjoying their own iconic grounds, making trips for the opposing team even more daunting. 

Italy's stadium situation is something that has arguably long held many teams back, as the majority of clubs do not actually own their own stadiums, but rather are tenants and pay rent to the local city council. This means that clubs miss out on a key financial stream as they do not have full control over matchday revenues and other incentives that come with owning one's own stadium.

Milan and Inter have sought to move in a new direction, emulating fellow powerhouse Juventus as well as smaller sides like Atalanta, Udinese, and Sassuolo in a quest to finally own their own stadium. Yet, this quest has not been without its fair share of hiccups.

According to reports from Italy, namely Calciomercato via La Gazzetta dello Sport, tension has flared up behind the scenes between the Rossoneri and the Nerazzurri. The report indicates that Inter's president, Steven Zhang, requested a meeting with his counterparts at Milan to indicate that he is on board with proceeding with the new joint stadium.

As of now, the 31-year-old is yet to receive a response to his request, leading some to wonder if Milan's ignoring of Zhang is a sign that the Rossoneri would rather proceed with the project as a sole entity as opposed to sharing it with their cross-town rivals.

Other key headlines from the world of football

Messi's father ends rumors about his son's potential return to Camp Nou

Jorge Messi has squashed all rumors regarding a potential reunion with Camp Nou executives, and to make matters worse for Barcelona fans, he seemed to dismiss the idea of Lionel Messi's return to his beloved club in the near future.

Speaking just after stepping out of a cab that drove him to El Prat airport in Barcelona, Jorge ruled out the idea of a meeting with Joan Laporta or any member of Barcelona's board, while also stating that his son may not cross paths with Los Blaugranas again.

"I don't think Leo will go back to Barca. The conditions to see that are not met. Impossible? I have no idea if it is impossible," Messi stated.

David de Gea makes Premier League history in his 400th appearance

David de Gea has joined an exclusive club in the Premier League with his appearance for Manchester United in Sunday's trip to Leeds. The Spanish goalkeeper reached 400 Premier League appearances for the Red Devils, becoming the first Manchester United goalkeeper and the youngest in the history of the competition to reach that haul.

De Gea joined the Red Devils from Atletico Madrid in 2011 and has since become a regular in their lineup. During his tenure at Old Trafford, he has won the Premier League title, the FA Cup, the League Cup, and the Europa League. The shot-stopper has also been named the Old Trafford outfit's Player of the Year four times and made five PFA Teams of the Year.

On Sunday, the 32-year-old appearance against Leeds United at Elland Road made him the first non-British player to make 400 appearances in the Premier League era. He is also the ninth player in history to reach the tally in the competition for one club and follows in the footsteps of three former Manchester United players; Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, and Gary Neville.

Huge blow for Tottenham as star player is ruled out for the rest of the season following Leicester defeat

Things have gone from bad to worse for Tottenham following their embarrassing 4-1 defeat away to Leicester as Spurs have now lost one of their star players to a long-term injury.

That man is none other than Rodrigo Bentancur, regarded by many as Antonio Conte's best midfielder. The Uruguayan ace, who has had his fair share of injuries this season already, will now be out for the rest of the season in what is a huge blow to the North London giants' top-four ambitions.

The former Juventus ace was forced off in Saturday's King Power Stadium defeat in the 65th minute after opening the scoring. While the 25-year-old managed to walk off on his own, the player was visibly distraught, thus hinting towards a serious injury.

Tottenham later confirmed that the midfielder ruptured ACL ligaments in his left knee and will play no further role in the 2022/23 campaign. The midfielder will sadly have to undergo surgery and will begin his rehabilitation soon.

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