Two of Europe’s top five leagues open play Friday with Champions League winner Liverpool getting the English Premier League started at home against Norwich City while Monaco plays host to Lyon in the opener of France’s Ligue 1.
EPL: Liverpool’s 97 points, 30 wins and one loss would have won the Premier League in any season but the last one, when it finished a point back of Manchester City. It did go on to beat Tottenham in the Champions League final, which was hardly a consolation prize. But what Jurgen Klopp’s team really wants is its first league title of the EPL era, a quest it begins Friday against newly promoted Norwich City (NBCSN, Universo, noon PT). Perhaps the most compelling game of the opening weekend will come Sunday when Chelsea and U.S. star Christian Pulisic travel to Old Trafford to meet Manchester United (NBCSN, Telemundo, 8:30 a.m. PT).
Ligue 1: Monaco was in disarray last season, firing coach Leonardo Jardim in October, then rehiring him in January en route a 17th-place finish, narrowly avoiding relegation. On Friday, it will meet a Lyon team that finished third last season, then replaced Bruno Genesio as manager with Brazilian Sylvinho, who will be making his debut as a head coach (BeIN Sports, 11:45 a.m. PT). Not that any of that matters because Paris Saint-Germain is all but certain to win the French title again this season, giving it seven in eight seasons. Whether the French champions have Neymar in their lineup when they kick off their season against Nimes may not be resolved until just before kickoff Sunday (BeIN Sports, noon PT). The Brazilian star has worn out his welcome in Paris, where Kylian Mbappe is now the team’s talisman, and PSG is hopeful of completing a transfer that would send Neymar back to Spain.