Top games to watch this week
Friday, September 10
Lorient vs Lille (Ligue 1)
Atlanta United vs Orlando City (MLS)
Saturday, September 11
Crystal Palace vs Tottenham (EPL)
Leicester City vs Manchester City (EPL)
Manchester United vs Newcastle Utd (EPL)
Chelsea vs Aston Villa (EPL)
Napoli vs Juventus (Serie A)
Atalanta vs Fiorentina (Serie A)
Bayer Leverkusen vs Dortmund (Bundesliga)
RB Leipzig vs Bayern (Bundesliga)
PSG vs Clermont (Ligue 1)
Monaco vs Marseille (Ligue 1)
Sporting CP vs Porto (Primeira Liga)
Sunday, September 12
Leeds United vs Liverpool (EPL)
Sampdoria vs Inter (Serie A)
Espanyol vs Atlético Madrid (La Liga)
Milan vs Lazio (Serie A)
Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo (La Liga)
Pumas UNAM vs Guadalajara (Liga MX)
Tuesday, September 14
Young Boys vs Man United (UEFA Champions League)
Chelsea vs Zenit (UEFA Champions League)
Malmo vs Juventus (UEFA Champions League)
Barcelona vs Bayern (UEFA Champions League)
Wednesday, September 15
Club Brugge vs PSG (UEFA Champions League)
Liverpool vs Milan (UEFA Champions League)
Inter vs Real Madrid (UEFA Champions League)
Manchester City vs RB Leipzig (UEFA Champions League)
Philadelphia vs Club América (CONCACAF Champions League)
Thursday, September 16
Galatasaray vs Lazio (UEFA Europa League)
Real Betis vs Celtic (UEFA Europa League)
Monaco vs Sturm Graz (UEFA Europa League)
PSV vs Real Sociedad (UEFA Europa League)
Leicester City vs Napoli (UEFA Europa League)
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Fenerbahce (UEFA Europa League)
Cruz Azul vs Monterrey (CONCACAF Champions League)
What are the must-watch games this weerk?
Leicester vs Man City this Saturday at 10 a.m. ET live on Peacock
Man City resume their Premier League title defense this weekend, with the English top-flight finally returning to action after the end of the first international break of 2021/22. The Citizens will take on Leicester City in a highly-anticipated clash in a repeat of their FA Community Shield showdown. Brendan Rodgers' men won that fixture 1-0 but it should be noted that Guardiola was without several key players. Do not miss this King Power Stadium tie.
There will be several other interesting games in the Premier League in the upcoming round. Arsenal, who are yet to win or score this season, will host Norwich. Man United will welcome Newcastle in a fixture which could see Cristiano Ronaldo make his second debut while title favorites Chelsea will face Aston Villa. Here is a list of the top five ties in the Premier League this weekend.
Napoli vs Juventus this Saturday at 12 pm. ET live on Paramount+
Serie A makes its return, with Matchday 3 in the Italian top-flight getting underway this Saturday. Juventus will face Napoli in the standout fixture of this round as the Old Lady go in search of their first three points of the season. Allegri's side kicked off their campaign with a draw before losing 1-0 at home to Empoli, a result which sounded the alarm bells. Napoli, on the other hand, have triumphed in both of their previous outings.
Elsewhere, Atalanta will host Fiorentina while AC Milan are gearing up for an interesting encounter with Lazio. Defending champions Inter Milan will make the trip to Sampdoria for their Matchday 3 fixture. Here are the top five fixtures this weekend in Serie A.
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich live this Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET live on Paramount+
The UEFA Champions League is back! Everyone's favorite European club competition makes its much-awaited return this midweek, with the group stage of the 2021/22 campaign kicking off this Tuesday. Several exciting games are set to take place on Matchday 1, the standout fixture being Barcelona vs Bayern Munich. This will be the first clash between these two continental powerhouses since the German side's historic 8-2 victory over the Blaugrana. Lionel Messi has since left the Camp Nou so it will be interesting to see how Ronald Koeman's side fare.
That tie is not the only interesting match scheduled for this midweek. On Wednesday, Serie A champions Inter Milan will host the UEFA Champions League's most successful club in history: Real Madrid. Liverpool, meanwhile, will take on Italian heavyweights AC Milan while last season's runners-up Man City will kick off their campaign at home to RB Leipzig.
Key fixtures from Europe's other top six leagues
Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo one of several exciting games scheduled for the upcoming La Liga round
RB Leipzig vs Bayern Munich is the standout fixture in Matchweek 4 of the Bundesliga
Monaco take on Marseille in what should be a thrilling Matchweek 5 showdown in Ligue 1!
Sporting CP vs Porto is the first Clasico of the 2021/22 Primeira Liga season and it will go down this weekend!
The Madrid Derby between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid headlines this week's women's football action. Also, check out how to watch other games from the biggest women's football leagues from across the world.
Primera Iberdrola's Matchday 2 is headlined by the Madrid Derby between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. The game will be available exclusively on ATA Football on Sunday, Sept. 12, at 10 a.m. ET. Also, women's football supporters can watch the following two Division 1 Feminine matches on ATA Football: ASJ Soyaux Charente vs. PSG (Sunday, Sept. 12, 1 p.m. ET) and Olympique Lyonnais vs. Dijon FCO (Sunday, Sept. 12, 1 p.m. ET)
How to watch all four NWSL games this weekend
National Women's Soccer League action will kick start on Friday with the Houston Dash hosting the Chicago Red Stars at the BBVA Stadium. A Dash win would see them overtake the Red Stars in the league table. The game is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. ET.
The league's two purple teams clash at Exploria Stadium on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. The Orlando Pride will look to retain its fourth place in the table by securing three points against second-to-last Racing Louisville. Meanwhile, the expansion club will fight for its first win after going on a five-game winless streak (two losses, three draws).
Sunday will bring the week's biggest NWSL matchups to fans around the world.
The day will begin with league-leaders Portland Thorns hosting the North Carolina Courage at Providence Park. The Thorns will desperately look to go back to winning ways after a 2-1 loss to rivals OL Reign last week. On the other hand, the Courage will focus on keeping their seven-game undefeated streak alive. The game is set to kick off at 3 p.m. ET
Lastly, OL Reign will visit Audi Field to take on the Washington Spirt at 5 p.m. ET. A win for the Reign could see them overtake North Carolina if they lose or draw against Portland. As for the Spirit, they will aim to maintain their playoff spot amid drama within the franchise.
Friday, Sept. 10
Houston Dash vs. Chicago Red Stars at 8:30 p.m. ET
United States: Paramount+
Saturday, Sept. 11
Orlando Pride vs. Racing Louisville at 7 p.m. ET
United States: Paramount+
Sunday, Sept. 12
NC Courage vs. Portland Thorns at 3 p.m. ET
United States: CBS Sports Network
Canada: CBS Sports Network
Washington Spirit vs. OL Reign at 5 p.m. ET
United States: Paramount+
Three FA WSL games on ATA Football
West Ham and Aston Villa will face-off at Chigwell Construction Stadium on Saturday at 6:30 a.m. ET to kick off Matchday 2 of the 2021-22 FA Women's Super League season. The remainder of the action will unfold on Sunday, as the remaining eight sides are scheduled to play their respective games.
Everton and reigning WSL champions Chelsea will both be looking for their first win of the campaign on Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET. Chelsea fell to London rivals Arsenal 3-2 on week one, while Everton lost 4-0 against Manchester City.
Lastly, Manchester City and Tottenham will each be looking for three more points after their successful week 1. The game will kick off at 1:45 p.m. ET. The three games will be available in the USA exclusively on ATA Football.
When and how to watch Cruz Azul vs. Toluca in the USA
Women's football fans in the USA will be able to catch the Liga MX Femenil fixture between Cruz Azul and Toluca live on television. Spanish-language TV channel TUDN USA will broadcast the game live on Saturday, Sept. 11. Fans can also visit the TUDN App or TUDN.com to watch the game.
Biggest stories of the week
Juventus star returns to Turin following suspension from national team
Last week saw the USMNT draw 1-1 with northern rivals Canada, which obviously wasn't the result Gregg Berhalter wanted to see following their scoreless draw with El Salvador.
And things were made a lot more complicated due to the absence of one of their key players - but he wasn't unavailable due to injury or illness.
Rather, Weston McKennie was suspended from the team following what some have described as a "breach in COVID-19 protocol". The Texan born midfielder, who made history as the first American to sign for Juventus last season and has recently inked a permanent deal, was sent home.
Regrettably, this isn't the first time the 23-year-old has gotten in trouble with his employers; earlier this year, he was also reprimanded by Juventus for hosting a party while Italy were really struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brazil vs Argentina suspended after health authorities storm the pitch to deport four players
The clash between Brazil and Argentina on Sunday was suspended after Brazilian Health Authorities stormed the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo in an attempt to deport four players of the visiting team. Emiliano Martinez, Giovani Lo Celso, Emiliano Buendia and Cristian Romero were the players in question with reports suggesting that they had angered the inspectors by giving falsified information in order to be involved in the crucial World Cup qualifying game.
Prior to kick-off, the aforementioned were given a deportation order and had been asked to leave Brazil after allegedly breaking quarantine regulations. Earlier, the Premier League's restrictions on travel had almost prevented them from making the trip to South America to join Argentina for the qualifiers. But they were subsequently cleared to feature in the games with Martinez, Romero and Lo Celso all earning a spot in the starting line-up for the Copa America champions.
According to Brazil's rules of entry for travelers on their soil, foreign nationals who have been in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Northern Ireland and India in the last 14 days were not allowed to enter the country. Brazil's health regulator Anvisa had, as a result, sought the immediate isolation of the Argentine players. However, CONMEBOL overruled the directive on Saturday stating that they were permitted to play as they formed part of the national team's bubble.
Barely six minutes after the game between the two South American rivals kicked off, health officials emerged to spark a scuffle on the sideline. Per reports from Brazil, they had arrived at the venue with orders to arrest the Argentine quartet who had allegedly defied the Covid-19 protocols in order to enter Brazil. The development came as a surprise as a deal had been struck for them to be involved in the game.
Soon after, the game was abandoned and the Argentine players headed for the dressing room. CONMEBOL subsequently released a statement confirming the indefinite suspension of the game.
Report: Cristiano Ronaldo smashes Premier League record for shirt sales
Cristiano Ronaldo has landed a fresh Premier League record before even kicking a ball after reports emerged from the UK regarding the interest in his jersey for the season. Sales of Manchester United 'Ronaldo 7' shirts apparently hit £32.5M in the first 12 hours since Manchester United officially announced Ronaldo's squad number, breaking the record for the fastest selling shirt online in PL history.
On Tuesday, Manchester United officially confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo's return following his exit in 2009 that has seen him feature for both Real Madrid and Juventus in the last 12 years. Initially, there were doubt surrounding the number as his preferred No.7 jersey was being worn by teammate Edinson Cavani. However, more good news came after the Transfer Deadline Day announcement as the Uruguay made a remarkable gesture by handing over the shirt to the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.
The former Paris Saint-Germain striker moved back to No. 21, a shirt worn by Daniel James before he departed for Leeds United following the arrival of Ronaldo. Barely hours after it was confirmed that Cristiano will be Manchester United's new No.7, fans queued up outside Old Trafford in order to be amongst the first set of supporters to buy the iconic kit. According to LoveTheSales.com - a website that tracks sales data from more than 1,000 UK online retailers - £32.5 million has been generated from sales of Ronaldo's No.7 replica kits in just the 12 hours since his number seven shirt went on sale.
Manchester United's megastore as well as its official kit manufacturer Adidas have reportedly struggled to meet the increasing demand. As a result, the official club website released a statement indicating that all the jerseys meant to be shipped will not be done until the 1st of October. There has been a widespread shortage across retail shops in the UK as well. Ronaldo's No.7 shirt is priced between £80 and £110 pounds, suggesting that around 295,500 shirts and 406,250 shirts were sold in the 12-hour period after his jersey number was revealed.
Japan to give up hosting Club World Cup due to COVID-19
Just three months before it's supposed to begin, this year's FIFA Club World Cup will have to find a new host. Japan, who were scheduled to stage the event, have now decided to withdraw as hosts due to concerns about COVID-19. According to Japanese news sources, a major issue for the Japanese Football Association (JFA) is financing. This would have been the ninth time Japan hosted the annual event, having welcomed teams on eight prior occasions, and this year, Yokohama Stadium was scheduled to feature the semis and the showpiece final.
However, due to COVID-19, stadiums won't be allowed to be filled to max capacity. So, instead of full crowds reaching 60,000 and more people, the JFA would be forced to only allow reduced crowds. And it's already causing financial strain on an organization that lost $45.4 million (¥5 billion) in profit between 2019 and 2020. Furthermore, Japan wasn't able to have fans at national team events, and the massive financial hit in terms of matchday revenue has forced the JFA to heavily dip into their savings at an alarming rate.
As such, after evaluating things carefully, the JFA have decided that they will not be able to afford to host the event, leaving FIFA scrambling to make a decision. It's possible they may find an alternate host and the tournament will proceed as usual in December, with Champions League winners Chelsea among the participants. Alternatively, the competition may end up being pushed back to early 2022.
Other key headlines from the world of football
Kun Agüero shares foul-mouthed insight on failed Mbappé-Madrid saga
As disappointing as this may be for Real Madrid fans, the rest of the world seemed to grow tired of the failed Kylian Mbappe transfer saga, and Barcelona striker Sergio Agüero was one of those who had enough of those reports, according to an interview with Ibai Llanos.
Speaking with the influencer, Agüero shared a foul-mouthed insight on this saga, admitting that he was not fond of reading or listening to rumors of that sort all day long.
"All day long, all you could hear was Mbappé, Mbappé, Mbappé. Every day, you guys were breaking our b*lls with that. I grew tired of it and you a***oles kept talking about Mbappé. And in the end, he did not sign for Real Madrid," Agüero said.
The footballer is set to come back to the training grounds next month after recovering from a muscular problem.
Barcelona president hints at possible Lionel Messi return
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has left the door open for Lionel Messi's potential return to Camp Nou, sparking another transfer rumor mill. The 34-year-old Argentina shocked the football fraternity by completing an unexpected transfer to Paris Saint-Germain after talks to renew his stay in Barca broke down at the 11th hour. Despite penning a two-year deal with the option to extend for another year, Laporta says that a return for Messi cannot be ruled out as his exit was unplanned and not the kind of sending off the Catalans would have loved to give the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.
FIFA plotting to reduce international breaks to make room for more World Cups
According to a report by Marca, former coach Arsene Wenger revealed that FIFA is set to present a new calendar that would reduce international breaks to a minimum, making it easier for national teams and clubs all over the world to plan ahead of their championships. This change, always as per Wenger's words, would make it easier for the World Cup and continental competitions such as the Copa América or UEFA Euro to be held every two years.
"The current calendar makes no sense. We have a first international break in September, then one more in October, a third one in November, and then we go all the way to March for the fourth window. We have the final break in June and we have the new season in July. It's too much. We will try to re-group all qualifying games to avoid excessive trips. This way, August and September would be for the clubs, and we would use october for the qualifiers. We would have club football from November all the way to the end of the season, which would benefit everyone," Wenger said.