Friday, May 24, 2024

The Premier League title race marches on as Arsenal and Manchester City are set to battle to the wire

The weekend is upon us! I am Jonathan Johnson ahead of another big weekend in European soccer starting which builds towards Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday ahead of next week’s second legs of the UEFA Champions League semifinals.

📺 Footy fix

All times U.S./Eastern

Friday, May 3
🇮🇹 Serie A: Torino vs. Bologna, 2:45 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+
🇺🇸 USL League One: Richmond Kickers vs. One Knoxville, 7 p.m. ➡️ CBS Sports Golazo Network

Saturday, May 4
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Championship: Final day relegation and promotion, 7:30 a.m. ➡️ ESPN+
🇪🇸 La Liga: Real Madrid vs. Cadiz, 10:15 a.m. ➡️ ESPN+
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 EPL: Manchester City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers, 12:30 p.m. ➡️ NBC
🇺🇸 USL: Pittsburgh Riverhounds vs. Miami FC, 7 p.m. ➡️ CBS Sports Golazo Network

Sunday, May 5
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 EPL: Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 11:30 a.m. ➡️ Peacock
🇺🇸 NWSL: Houston Dash vs. Kansas City Current, 1 p.m. ➡️ CBS
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 WSL: Chelsea vs. Bristol City, 1:45 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+
🇮🇹 Serie A: Roma vs. Juventus, 2:45 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+

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⚽ The Forward Line

😲 New EPL twists and turns?


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This weekend brings another round of games in which Arsenal and Manchester City will do their best to remain in touching distance of each other while Liverpool try to close a gap which already looks too big. The Gunners are up against Bournemouth on Saturday in the early kick-off before the defending champions take to the field in the later game against Wolverhampton Wanderers. However, Sunday is arguably the more attractive slate with Brighton and Hove Albion vs. Aston Villa, Chelsea vs. West Ham United and then Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur. In trying to keep their title hopes alive, the Reds will need to definitively dash Spurs’ UEFA Champions League dreams while a win for the Villans away at the Seagulls could confirm Unai Emery’s men ahead of Ange Postecoglou’s side. James Benge brroke down Spurs stumbles:

  • Benge: “Postecoglou might think otherwise but there is surely no one else who could convincingly contend that Tottenham do not have a problem when it comes to defending dead balls. Two conceded to Arsenal on Sunday, another two, one of the most basic variety, given up to Chelsea on Thursday night. No points taken. Champions League qualification dependent on the whims of Aston Villa’s domestic form. Postecoglou has his sights set on a bigger reset of Tottenham’s culture. At a macro level, it is hard not to contend that whatever he is doing is working, even amid the first murmurings of dissatisfaction from the Spurs fanbase. A team that no one expected to be in the mix for a top-four finish might at least end the season concluding that they took their pursuit into May, much longer than their conquerors at Stamford Bridge.”

Arsenal and City will fancy their chances in reasonably favorable home games although midtable opponents like Bournemouth and Wolves can sometimes spring unwanted surprises on title contenders as part of a tricky run-in. Liverpool will not find it easy against Spurs who have now lost their last three games and Jurgen Klopp’s men appeared to be feeling the pressure last week as Mo Salah and the German had a run-in during a draw with West Ham United. A similar result and performance for the Reds will surely end their title chances before they face Villa or Wolves so there will be no choice but togo for the win with both EPL title rivals playing the day before which could be an added source of motivation.

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🔗 Midfield Link Play

👀 What else is at stake?


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The main attraction outside of the Premier League is the other European league which has not seen a domestic champion crowned yet and that is La Liga. We might not be waiting much longer for Real Madrid to be celebrating their success which could come as early as Cadiz at home on Saturday depending on how Barcelona fare away at Girona. Should that happen with four games to go afterwards, it will be just the EPL waiting to crown its top team after Serie A, the Bundesliga and Ligue 1. It would also enable Real to focus on their Champions League semifinal second leg against Bayern Munich next week after a good first leg for the German sides as Borussia Dortmund beat Paris Saint-Germain too.

With European positions getting decided, there is also the question of promotion and relegation with the Championship climaxing on Saturday is what should be a dramatic finale. Will Ipswich Town or Leeds United secure the second automatic playoff place? Who out of Norwich City, West Bromwich Albion and Hull City will be joining Southampton in the playoff places? The Canaries are fascinating in that respect as they need to beat Tom Brady’s Birmingham City to be 100% sure of their place and such an outcome would see the Blues relegated to League One after a disastrous season which saw Wayne Rooney come and go as the team nosedived from the playoffs to the relegation places where they are likely to be joined by American-owned Huddersfield Town.

🔗  Top Stories

📜 Crew make CCC final: MLS outfit Columbus Crew make history with a run to the CONCACAF Champions Cup final after beating out Mexican opponents.

🙏 PSG’s reasons for hope: Wasteful French giants went down down in Dortmund but can still fancy their chances of reaching the Champions League final

🩼 Sergino Dest tears ACL: USMNT and PSV man will miss this summer’s Copa America and is set for a “long period” out with an injured knee.

🥨 Bayern’s season in one game: How Harry Kane’s goals and defensive errors have defined Bayern Munich’s season under Thomas Tuchel but also their UCL semifina vs. Real Madrid so far.

👋 Kelley O’Hara retiring: The 35-year-old two-time World Cup winner and USWNT defender announces she will retire at end of NWSL season.

💪 Jadon Sancho is back: How Borussia Dortmund revived their former star and England international after a nightmare spell with Manchester United.

💰 The Back Line

💵 Best bet

  • La Liga: Girona vs. Barcelona, Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
  • 💰 THE PICK: Draw with both teams to score (+320) — Barca can delay Real Madrid’s title confirmation with a win away at Girona, just hours after the La Liga leaders face Cadiz. Xavi’s men are 11 points adrift with five games to go so only a win will do in terms of delaying the inevitable while their hosts in this Catalan Derby can still qualify for the UEFA Champions League with Michel’s side two points behind Barca in the table. Qualification for the UCL could be secured this weekend regardless of the result here as Athletic Club are 13 points adrift and the Blaugrana’s away form this term suggests that it will be a tough one for Girona to target maximum points in. However, Girona have won three of their last four and could complete a double over Barca having won earlier in the season.

📺 What’s on CBS Sports Golazo Network


CBS Sports Golazo Network

☀️ Morning Footy (Weekdays 8-10 a.m.): Hosts Susannah Collins, Charlie Davies, Nico Cantor and Alexis Guerreros help fans get their day started on the network’s flagship morning show with highlights, interviews and the biggest soccer storylines. Morning Footy is also available in podcast form, so you’ll never have to miss an episode.

📦 Box 2 Box (Weekday afternoons): The news-driven show quickly recaps all the latest headlines from around the world with panelists previewing the top matchups of the day. Catch Box 2 Box on CBS Sports Golazo Network on the CBS Sports app, PlutoTV and Paramount+. 

3️⃣ Attacking Third (Monday, Thursday): The leading women’s soccer podcast and social brand is now a live studio show. The NWSL season is back and our coverage of the women’s game is stronger than ever. Our analysts will be breaking down the USWNT, NWSL and European domestic season all year long.  

👟 Kickin’ It (Tuesdays): CBS Sports Golazo Network’s new unfiltered interview show returns Tuesday Hosted by Kate Abdo, Clint Dempsey, Mo Edu and Charlie Davies, the group chat candidly with the biggest names from the Beautiful Game and share their stories from on and off the pitch. 

⚽ Call it What You Want (Monday night): A weekly podcast where Jimmy Conrad, Jesse Marsch and Charlie Davies cover all things USMNT and the state of the beautiful game in the United States.

🥅 Scoreline (Daily): Scoreline is the newest place for fans to catch up on all the biggest news and results impacting global football, match highlights from the top soccer competitions and all the can’t-miss goals from the day’s action, starting Thursday and airing seven days a week.

📺 How to watch: CBS Sports Golazo Network is a free 24/7 channel exclusively dedicated to offering unparalleled coverage of all the top soccer competitions worldwide. You can stream for free on the CBS Sports appPluto TV and Paramount+.

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