Top games to watch this week
Fulham vs Wolves (English Premier League)
Elche vs Real Betis (La Liga)
Lille vs Brest (Ligue 1)
Mazatlán vs Pumas UNAM (Liga MX)
Saturday, February 25
Leicester vs Arsenal (English Premier League)
Dhamk vs Al Nassr (Saudi Pro League)
Bournemouth vs Man City (English Premier League)
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool (English Premier League)
Real Madrid vs Atlético Madrid (La Liga)
Hoffenheim vs Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga)
Vizela vs Benfica (Primeira Liga)
Tigres UANL vs Guadalajara (Liga MX)
Atlas vs América (Liga MX)
Sunday, February 26
Bologna vs Inter (Serie A)
Tottenham vs Chelsea (English Premier League)
Bayern vs Union Berlin (Bundesliga)
Manchester United vs Newcastle (Carabao Cup Final)
Almería vs Barcelona (La Liga)
Milan vs Atalanta (Serie A)
Marseille vs PSG (Ligue 1)
Porto vs Gil Vicente (Primeira Liga)
Monday, February 27
Hellas Verona vs Fiorentina (Serie A)
Lazio vs Sampdoria (Serie A)
Villarreal vs Getafe (La Liga)
León vs Monterrey (Liga MX)
Tuesday, February 28
Cremonese vs Roma (Serie A)
Juventus vs Torino (Serie A)
Fulham vs Leeds United (FA Cup)
Bristol City vs Manchester City (FA Cup)
Flamengo vs Independiente del Valle (Recopa Sudamericana Final 2nd leg)
Wednesday, March 1
Arsenal vs Everton (English Premier League)
Liverpool vs Wolves (English Premier League)
Osasuna vs Athletic (Copa del Rey)
Manchester United vs West Ham (FA Cup)
Sheffield United vs Tottenham (FA Cup)
Thursday, March 2
Real Madrid vs Barcelona (Copa del Rey)
Most-watched soccer games in the USA - February 13-19,2023
It was one more interesting weekend in the battle for the top audience in soccer matches for fans living in the United States, but things pretty much stayed the same as last week when considering which fixtures and leagues were the most seen by the beautiful game's enthusiasts.
Liga MX games once again claimed the top spot in this ranking after last week's games, but in an interesting turn of events, the highest rating for this week belonged to the runner-up. The clash between Pumas and Guadalajara had over 940,000 average viewers, but the highest rating of the week went to the Newcastle-Liverpool game, where the Reds' win ended with a 0.51 rating.
To make things more interesting, the return of the UEFA Champions League had PSG and Bayern with the third highest audience of the week, with over 850,000 average fans keeping an eye on this game. We will have to keep a close eye on this competition, as one of the most-watched club games from last year came in this tournament.
Here is the full list of games that made this ranking. Only soccer games with an audience of over 90,000 average viewers are listed.
What are this week's must-watch games?
The Madrid Derby is back! Real Madrid face Atlético live this Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes
Real Madrid are gearing up for a crucial week of soccer, starting this weekend, with the reigning Spanish Primera Division champions hosting Atletico in the always-exciting Madrid Derby. This tie comes on the back of Los Blancos' historic win over Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League round of 16, with Ancelotti's men triumphing 5-2 in the first leg at Anfield. Meanwhile, Simeone's men have won all but one of their last four outings in La Liga but will be out for revenge after losing 3-1 to the Merengues in late January in the Copa del Rey. Don't miss this clash!
Tottenham vs Chelsea live this Sunday at 8:30 a.m. on USA Network, Telemundo, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo, and the NBC Sports App
Two struggling London giants — albeit to varying degrees — face off this Sunday as Tottenham prepare to host Chelsea in an intriguing derby. Spurs enter this clash on the back of their 2-0 victory over West Ham, a result that lifted them back into the top four. However, their back-to-back defeats against Leicester and AC Milan have not yet been forgotten. Potter's side, on the other hand, recently lost 1-0 at home to bottom-of-the-table Southampton, thus sparking calls for the head coach to be sacked. Despite their lavish spending, the Blues have won only three out of their last 15 Premier League fixtures and will need a remarkable turnaround in order to beat Conte's men.
Manchester United vs Newcastle in the Carabao Cup final live this Sunday at 11:30 a.m. ET on ESPN+ and the ESPN App
Will Manchester United end their six-year wait for silverware in Erik ten Hag's debut season at Old Trafford? This is the question on everyone's mind ahead of Sunday's Carabao Cup final as the Red Devils gear up to face Newcastle at Wembley. Rashford and Co. enter this tie on the back of their win over Barcelona in the UEFA Europa League, triumphing 4-3 on aggregate. The Magpies, on the other hand, lost 2-0 at home to Liverpool and saw Nick Pope get sent off, meaning the English goalkeeper is suspended for this tie. Additionally, second-choice goalkeeper Martin Dubravka is cup-tied, meaning Loris Karius or fourth-choice Mark Gillespie will be forced to start in goal.
The return of El Clasico! Real Madrid lock horns with Barcelona live this Thursday at 3 p.m. ET exclusively on ESPN+
From the Madrid Derby to El Clasico, Real Madrid face another tricky test straight after their showdown with Atletico as the Spanish giants host Barcelona for the 1st leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal showdown. Ancelotti's men will wish to enter this tie on the back of a derby win but regardless, Los Blancos have beaten the Blaugrana already this season and will be looking to repeat that. The Catalan giants, on the other hand, were recently dumped out of the UEFA Europa League but Xavi's men triumphed in the most recent Clasico, beating Benzema and Co. 3-1 in the Supercopa de Espana final last month. Make sure to catch this exciting battle exclusively on ESPN+.
Last week saw many of the world's top leagues temporarily go on pause for a series of international friendly tournaments. Now that those are done, dusted, and consigned to the history books, attention will turn back towards club soccer, with plenty of games from all over the world set to keep fans occupied through this week.
Here's all you need to know ahead of the upcoming week in the world of women's soccer.
FA Women's Cup
The fifth round of the 2022/23 FA Women's Cup will kick off this weekend, with 16 teams remaining. All eight ties will be played on Sunday, February 26th, and will feature big-name teams like Chelsea, Manchester United, West Ham, Tottenham, Manchester City, and Arsenal. Fourth-tier Cardiff City will hope to keep their impressive run going as they take on second-level side Lewes, but arguably the biggest match-up will feature reigning FA Cup holders Chelsea, who are hoping to win their fifth title against Arsenal, who are the most decorated side in this competition with 14 trophies so far.
Liga MX Femenil
Mexico's top flight picks up on Thursday, February 23rd, with América and Atlético San Luis kicking off proceedings. At the moment, América find themselves in a solid fourth spot, and could actually displace third-placed Tigres UNAL with a win that would also put them within touching distance of the top two sides in the table.
Friday will feature two more games, including floundering Querétaro hosting León, while Saturday features Pumas UNAM vs Santos Laguna.
Arguably, the biggest day will be on Monday, February 27th, as it features a very exciting triple-header that could cause some major shake-ups in the league standings. First, Monterrey, who are currently in second and just one point away from the top, will host Necaxa, who have won just one match so far in a very miserable season. Barring a major upset, it is safe to say that Monterrey will move to the top spot in the league following that match, albeit for just a few hours.
Later on the same day, reigning champions Tigres UANL will hope to apply pressure on the top two sides by picking up all three points in their road match against Pachuca, and Monday will conclude with current league leaders Guadalajara squaring off against 17th-placed Mazatlán in a match, that on paper, appears to pretty one-sided.
Finally, we move on to France's D1 Féminine, which gets back underway on Saturday. As of now, after 14 rounds, it's a close battle between Lyon and PSG for the league title, with just one point separating these two sides ahead of this weekend's matches.
Current league leaders Lyon, who have lost just once all season, will be in action at home on Sunday, February 26th against Bordeaux, who presently are on a two-match losing streak and sit in seventh spot in the table. Their clash will be taking place exactly at the same time (8.45 EST/14.45 CET) as PSG's tie against Dijon, which will see them travel to face an opponent that has won just one of their last five ties and are in danger of sliding into the drop zone.
At the moment, PSG have earned 36 points, one less than table-toppers Lyon, but are still the only unbeaten side in the French women's top flight.
Saturday will feature four matches, with all ties kicking off at the same time. These games include a desperate battle for points between two floundering sides, Le Havre Feminine and Soyaux, as well as Fleury 91 hoping to keep up their solid run this season when they host relegation-threatened Rodez.
Didn't find your favorite women's league on this list? No worries, as this is just a highlight of some of the exciting games coming up this week. Make sure to check out our bespoke women's soccer page here at LiveSoccerTV.com for full broadcast info, match updates, news, and more.
Biggest stories of the week
TRANSFER TALK: Manchester United linked with surprise move for Napoli defender
Kim Min-Jae may not be a name that many Premier League fans are familiar with, but if reports from Italy are to be believed, the South Korean international very well could become a household name this summer.
The 26-year-old, who was signed by Napoli last season to replace the Chelsea-bound Kalidou Koulibaly, has proven to be a solid performer for Luciano Spalletti's side as Napoli have exceeded all expectations this term. The Partenopei are not only comfortably top of the Serie A table, but also have one foot in the Champions League quarterfinals thanks to their well-deserved 2-0 win over German outfit Eintracht Frankfurt.
Kim's performances certainly have not gone unnoticed, and as per Italian media, namely the Corriere dello Sport, Manchester United are closely monitoring his situation. Apparently, due to an interesting clause in his contract, Kim would be available for sale for approximately $50 million (£42 million) - but only for 15 days. As such, Napoli's board are desperate to try to increase this buy-out clause by offering him a new contract that would see it rise to an estimated $68.4 million (£57 million).
It's safe to say that Erik ten Hag will be hoping to offload several underperforming players such as Harry Maguire and Swedish international Victor Lindelof as the Dutch tactician seeks to totally overhaul the Red Devils squad this summer. Hence, Manchester United will be in the hunt for some improvements in central defense, but it remains to be seen whether Kim, whose team is pretty much guaranteed to win the Scudetto, would want to leave Napoli after just one year or play in Serie A for a little bit longer.
Liverpool owner John Henry backtracks on plan to sell club
Liverpool owner John Henry has issued a new update to end speculations indicating that the Premier League club is for up sale. The 73-year-old American businessman dropped the bombshell to end any talks of an imminent takeover on Monday but insists that the club's doors are open to welcome new investors.
Three months ago, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), of which John Henry is the founder and principal owner, stated that they would look into the possibility of bringing in investors if their vision aligned with Liverpool. The news was met with excitement within the Liverpool fanbase. Among the prime concerns of the Anfield faithful was the group's supposed reluctance to properly back managers to achieve sustainable success since acquiring the club in 2010.
Nevertheless, while the Liverpool fans hoped for a buyout and an era under new ownership, it did not take long for the dream to be cut short. Not long after the proclamation by FSG, the club's chairman Tom Werner declared that no deal was expected to be finalized immediately. The news was subsequently received with a pinch of salt, especially as long-term rivals Manchester United are reportedly nearing a change of ownership following the Glazer Family's decision to put the club for sale.
On Monday, supporters of the Merseyside club had any shred of hope left torn apart after John Henry shut the door on an outright sale. Speaking to the Boston Sports Journal, he said: "Yes. I know there has been a lot of conversation and quotes about LFC (Liverpool Football Club), but I keep to the facts: we merely formalized an ongoing process.
"Will we be in England forever? No. Are we selling LFC? No. Are talking with investors about LFC? Yes. Will something happen there? I believe so, but it won't be a sale. Have we sold anything in the past 20+ years?"
While some Liverpool supporters may object to FSG's control over the team, things haven't always been bad for the club under the US owners. The Reds have won the Premier League, the Champions League, the FA Cup, and the Carabao Cup twice while they have been in charge. Throughout that period, the club has also won the Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup.
Benzema seals night to remember with record against Liverpool
Real Madrid have always felt quite comfortable when playing UEFA Champions League games, and during their recent runs in the competition, they have had quite a bit to thank Karim Benzema for.
In their match against Liverpool, the Spanish giants once again enjoyed one of the greatest nights by the Frenchman in this competition, as he found the back of the net twice in the second half and handed out one more assist to his teammates to seal a come-from-behind win against Liverpool.
Benzema had a hand in Vinicius' first goal of the evening with an assist, and then, he scored twice in a row to give the Spaniards a comfortable lead prior to the second leg of this tie, where Klopp's men will have to score four uncontested goals to have a chance of turning things around.
Just like it has been for Benzema lately when it comes to European games, the Frenchman added a couple more records to his already impressive resume. The first one had to do with his consistency over quite a few years, as he became the second player in history to score in 18 consecutive UEFA Champions League editions. The other player to do that? Lionel Messi.
Then, we have to look at his impressive performances against Liverpool, especially at Anfield, having scored more goals than any away player in the competition's history at that famous stadium.
Ten Hag reveals reason behind his meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson ahead of Barcelona clash
Erik ten Hag was focused on Manchester United's highly-anticipated UEFA Europa League showdown with continental rivals Barcelona throughout the week. However, while that match was of utmost priority, the boss still managed to meet one special man ahead of the tie.
That person is none other than Sir Alex Ferguson, the greatest manager in Premier League history — and, arguably, the best in the history of club soccer. The pair were pictured together at a restaurant on Tuesday, two days before the match against the Blaugrana, with the image of the two going viral on social media.
And the reason is obvious. Ten Hag is quickly establishing himself as one of the best tacticians in the world, and to see him spending a night out with Sir Alex understandably brought a smile to the faces of Manchester United fans.
But what was the purpose behind this meeting? Speaking ahead of Thursday's clash with the Catalan giants, the former Ajax boss was asked the question and he did not shy away from giving an honest and humble answer during his press conference.
"It is massive (to have his support)," the 53-year-old said.
"I always enjoy speaking with those who have a lot of knowledge, and experience. He wants to share it. He feels Man Utd is his club, he is so committed, he wants us to do well. It was a great night, I look forward to the next one."
Despite retiring back in 2013, the iconic Scottish manager remains an intrinsic piece at Manchester United. The 81-year-old, who guided the Red Devils to their last Premier League title, often attends the club's home games and was in the stands for the 2nd leg clash with Barcelona.
The Premier League giants drew 2-2 in the fist leg at Camp Nou before securing progression in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford. Robert Lewandowski gave the visitors an early lead courtesy of a penalty but the host turned things around in the second half, with goals from Manchester United's Brazilian duo Fred and Antony earning them a 2-1 victory — 4-3 on aggregate.
Other key headlines from the world of soccer
Chelsea board backs underfire boss Graham Potter as fans demand sack
The hierarchy of Chelsea Football Club has made its stance clear concerning the future of club manager Graham Potter, a report from the UK has revealed. Amid calls for the Blues' head coach to be sacked, the board has jumped to the defense of the under-fire Englishman and have given him their blessings to remain at the helm of affairs.
Back in September, supporters of Chelsea met the appointment of Potter with a mixed reaction following the sacking of former boss Thomas Tuchel. Despite seemingly overachieving with Brighton in the past couple of seasons, the former has barely done enough to win over the affection of the Stamford Bridge faithful. After 23 games in the Premier League, the London giants have accumulated just 31 points. They risk missing out on qualification for next season's Champions League as they are currently 11 points adrift of a top-four spot.
However, the club's fans will not be getting their prayers answered anytime soon with reports suggesting that Graham Potter still has the support of chairman Todd Boehly and the club's board despite their rough patch. According to BBC Sport, the owners have reiterated the fact that hiring the former Brighton boss was part of a long-term project. As a result, they retain full confidence in his abilities as they believe that the team requires some time to gel after spending over $700M on new players in the past two transfer windows to aid the rebuilding project.
AC Milan set to undergo massive overhaul this summer
According to reports from Italy, namely the Gazzetta dello Sport, several names are on the chopping block at AC Milan. This includes Sergino Dest, who was signed on loan from Barcelona, but the Rossoneri have not been totally convinced by the American's performances and are not keen on paying an estimated $21.2 million (€20 million) to sign him permanently from the Blaugrana.
Despite being a fan favorite, veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic could also be out of contract at the end of this season. The 41-year-old will turn 42 later this year and has spent most of the current campaign out injured as he recovered from a knee injury and resulting surgery.
Meanwhile, Ante Rebic has failed to hit certain metrics and looks set to be shipped out as the Croatian international has netted just three times all seasons. Others who have been linked with moves away from the Stadio San Siro, whether it be via a sale or letting their contracts expire include Fode Ballo-Toure, Ciprian Tatarusanu, and Yacine Adli.
Huge blow for Tottenham as star player has been ruled out until November following serious knee injury
One of Tottenham's most important players has just been ruled out for a whopping 8-9 months. That man is none other than Rodrigo Bentancur, the Uruguayan ace regarded by many as the club's best midfielder.
The former Juventus ace suffered a knee injury in the embarrassing 4-1 loss to Leicester in mid-February and while the player wasn't stretchered off the pitch, the seriousness of this issue was evident almost immediately due to his distraught look.
Shortly afterward, it was confirmed that the player would miss the remainder of the season, which is a huge blow to their top-four race and UEFA Champions League campaign. Fast forward to today and his potential return date has been revealed and it is just as feared.
Bentancur, who ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament, has undergone surgery and is not expected to return until November. This means not only will he miss the remainder of this season, but the South American will also be unavailable for large portions of the 2023/24 Premier League campaign.