Soccer on TV: Top teams from last season look to move past uneven starts

Robert Lewandowski
Bayern Munich’s forward Robert Lewandowski celebrates scoring against Hertha Berlin on Aug. 16.
(Cristof Stache / AFP / Getty Images)

Slow-starting league champions in France and Germany will try to get on track, while in England a pair of European finalists face off in the top televised games from Europe this weekend.

Ligue 1: The ongoing Neymar soap opera has clearly distracted Paris Saint-Germain, which has lost as many times in the first three games of this season as it did in the first 23 games last season. Now it appears as if Neymar’s transfer to Barcelona is all but complete, allowing PSG to concentrate on its Ligue 1 schedule, one that continues Friday against Metz (BeIN Sports, 11:45 a.m. Pacific). PSG (2-1-0) has won its last five straight against Metz (1-1-1).

EPL: Arsenal and Tottenham both made European finals last season, the Gunners falling to Chelsea in the Europa League and Spurs losing to Liverpool in the Champions League. And both are off to uneven starts this season, which makes Sunday’s showdown at Emirates Stadium (NBCSN, Telemundo, 8:30 a.m. Pacific) important. Arsenal (2-1-0) is coming off a road loss to unbeaten Liverpool, while Tottenham (1-1-1) has won just one of its first three Premier League matches — and is winless its last two. Tottenham has gotten the better of the recent meetings with Arsenal, losing just two of the last five, but those losses came in the last two games at Emirates.

Bundesliga: Five teams are off to perfect starts two games into the Bundesliga season, but defending league champion Bayern Munich (1-0-1) is not one of them. You can’t blame that on Robert Lewandowski, who has all five of his team’s goals. He’ll try to share the wealth Saturday when Bayern plays host to winless Mainz (FS1, Fox Deportes, 6:30 a.m. Pacific). Bayern has lost just one of its last 15 league matches with Mainz.