Soccer on TV: Europa League, Champions League finals kicks off; Ligue 1 season begins
No matter how the European finals end, history will be made this weekend when the Europa League final kicks off two hours after France’s Ligue 1 starts its 2020-21 season with Nantes playing at Bordeaux. Because of the disruption COVID-19 caused in the domestic and tournament schedules, it will mark the first time a continental championship will be decided after one of Europe’s five major leagues already has begun a new season. Here are the major European games on television this weekend:
Europa League: Sevilla is playing in its sixth Europa League final since 2006 and has yet to lose, with its five championships already a record. Another win Friday would give the Galaxy’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernández partial claim to a trophy since he began the season at Sevilla and scored in the team’s first two Europa League games last fall. Inter Milan is in the final for the first time this century, having last played there in 1998 when it beat Italian rival Lazio for its third title in eight seasons. (Friday, CBS Sports Network, UniMas, TUDN, noon PT)
The Galaxy add help at two key positions, acquiring winger Yony González on loan from Benfica of Portugal and signing goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann.
Champions League: Paris Saint-Germain’s wealthy Qatari owners have been chasing a European title since they bought the club in 2011. On Sunday they finally get their chance but will be facing long odds against a Bayern Munich team that hasn’t lost since December, going 29-0-1 since and crushing Lyon, Barcelona and Chelsea by a combined 15-3 score in its last three matches. With the French league halting play in early March, then canceling its season in April, PSG has played just four times in the last 5½ months. Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski leads the competition with 15 goals and is tied with PSG’s Angel Di Maria for the lead in assists with six. Bayern has played in 10 previous Champions League finals, winning in its most recent appearance in 2013. France has won just one major European tournament, that coming in 1993 when Marseille won the Champions League (Sunday, CBS Sports Network, TUDN, noon PT).
Ligue 1: On Friday, two days before PSG finishes the current season, Nantes and Bordeaux will start a new one, kicking off Ligue 1 in Bordeaux (BeIN Sports, 10 a.m. PT). Six other Ligue 1 games will be played over the weekend but, as a reminder COVID-19 remains a menace, Friday’s game with Saint-Etienne and Marseille was postponed because four Marseille players tested positive.