Even though Newcastle finished ahead of Chelsea in the Premier League table last season, Chelsea's UEFA Champions League title pushed Newcastle into the qualifying rounds of the Europa League instead of automatic entry into the group stage. The Magpies can exact a bit of revenge at Stamford Bridge in their high-profile matchup in England on Saturday, a rematch of the meeting between the two clubs last year in which Papiss Cisse scored one of the goals of the year.
The Bundesliga and Serie A seasons get underway as well to complete the restarts around Europe, with defending German champion Borussia Dortmund facing Werder Bremen Friday and defending Italian champion Juventus starting their defense against Parma on Saturday.
Hoping to catch some Americans abroad? There are a pair of intriguing matchups featuring U.S. men's national teamers going up against each other, as Steve Cherundolo's Hannover 96 meet Jermaine Jones' Schalke, and Jose Francisco Torres' Pachuca square off with Herculez Gomez' Santos Laguna.
As for MLS, the playoff hunt continues, with the Montreal Impact facing a golden opportunity to close the gap in the Eastern Conference on fifth-place D.C. United when the two meet at Stade Saputo Saturday afternoon. The games of the weekend take place Sunday night, with the L.A. Galaxy facing red-hot FC Dallas, and Sporting Kansas City meeting the New York Red Bulls with first place in the East on the line.
Here is this weekend's soccer on TV, and SBI's Top Ten Matches to Watch:
SBI'S TOP TEN MATCHES TO WATCH
1. Chelsea vs. Newcastle. Two teams who will be battling for Champions League spots all season, and two teams coming off season-opening victories.
2. Liverpool vs. Manchester City. City is riding high after last week's late comeback, while Liverpool will look to erase memories of ugly opening loss.
3. Sporting Kansas City vs. New York Red Bulls. Battle for first place in the East should be an intense one, even without Thierry Henry.
4. Pachuca vs. Santos Laguna. Herculez Gomez and Jose Torres face off in what should be an entertaining tilt.
5. Manchester United vs. Fulham. First-place Fulham (yes, we know, for now) takes on a United side in dire need of a victory after opening the season with a loss.
6. Tottenham vs. West Brom. Spurs started with a loss while the Baggies opened with a big win. Can Andres Villas Boas work some magic in his home managerial debut?
7. Corinthians vs. Sao Paulo. The 'Classico Majestoso' pits these two Sao Paulo-based clubs in a good battle of top Brazilian clubs.
8. Chivas Guadalajara vs. Monterrey. Another good Mexican league clash. You may not like the Mexican national team, but the Mexican League offers up some quality action.
9. Osasuna vs. Barcelona. It's Barcelona. Need any other reason?
10. LA Galaxy vs. FC Dallas. Red-hot Dallas needs a win to close the gap on the Galaxy, while LA needs a victory to close in on the Top Three in the Western Conference.
(Remember folks, this list is just a recommendation from us for our readers. It's not means to be a literal ranking of the quality of the games available, just our take on the games we think our readers will either be most interested in, or might be most entertained by.)
THIS WEEKEND'S SOCCER ON TV
2:30 p.m. – GOLTV – Borussia Dortmund vs. Werder Bremen
2:40 p.m. – beIN Sport – Evian TG vs. Lyon
7 p.m. – Fox Soccer Channel – Michigan vs. South Florida
7:30 p.m. – NBC Sports Network - Philadelphia Union vs. Real Salt Lake
9:45 p.m. – GOLTV – Universidad de Guadalajara vs. Dorados
7:30 a.m. – ESPN2/ESPN3.com – Swansea City vs. West Ham
7:30 a.m. – Fox Soccer Plus – Inverness Caledonian Thistle vs. Celtic
9:30 a.m. – GOLTV – Gruether Furth vs. Bayern Munich
10 a.m. – Fox Soccer Channel – Manchester United vs. Fulham
10 a.m. – Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer2Go – Tottenham vs. West Brom
10 a.m. – FoxSoccer2Go – Aston Villa vs. Everton
10 a.m. – FoxSoccer2Go – Norwich City vs. Queens Park Rangers
10 a.m. – FoxSoccer2Go – Sunderland vs. Reading
10 a.m. – FoxSoccer2Go – Southampton vs. Wigan Athletic
10 a.m. – beIN Sport – Blackburn vs. Leicester City
12 p.m. – beIN Sport – Fiorentina vs. Udinese
12:30 p.m. – Fox Soccer Channel – Chelsea vs. Newcastle
12:30 p.m. – GOLTV – Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Bayer Leverkusen
2:40 p.m. – beIN Sport – Juventus vs. Parma
2:45 p.m. – GOLTV – Stuttgart vs. Wolfsburg
3 p.m. – Univision Deportes – Valenciennes vs. Ajaccio
4 p.m. – MLS Live/Direct Kick – Montreal Impact vs. D.C. United
4:45 p.m. – GOLTV – Defensor Sporting vs. Nacional
5 p.m. – beIN Sport – Malaga vs. Mallorca
5:30 p.m. – Univision - America vs. Tijuana
5:30 p.m. – Telefutura – Pachuca vs. Santos Laguna
5:30 p.m. – Univision Deportes – Tigres UANL vs. Toluca
5:30 p.m. – ESPN3.com - Vasco de Gama vs. Fluminense
7 p.m. – ESPN3.com - North Carolina vs. Gardner-Webb
7:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick – Columbus Crew vs. New England Revolution
8:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick – Houston Dynamo vs. Toronto FC
10:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick – San Jose Earthquakes vs. Colorado Rapids
10:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick – Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
10:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Chivas USA vs. Seattle Sounders
3:10 a.m. – ESPNU/ESPN3.com – South Korea vs. Brazil (U-20 Women's World Cup)
6:10 a.m. – ESPNU/ESPN3.com/Univision Deportes – Mexico vs. New Zealand (U-20 Women's World Cup)
8 a.m. – beIN Sport – Montpellier vs. Marseille
8:30 a.m. – Fox Soccer Channel – Stoke City vs. Arsenal
10:30 a.m. – Fox Soccer Channel - Liverpool vs. Manchester City
10:30 a.m. – ESPN3.com – Groningen vs. PSV Eindhoven
11 a.m. – beIN Sport - Paris St.-Germain vs. Bordeaux
11:30 a.m. – GOLTV – Hannover 96 vs. Schalke
1 p.m. – beIN Sport - Osasuna vs. Barcelona
1 p.m. – Univision Deportes – Pumas UNAM vs. Cruz Azul
1:30 p.m. – GOLTV – Cruz Azul Hidalgo vs. Estudiantes Tecos
3 p.m. – beIN Sport – Getafe vs. Real Madrid
3 p.m. – GOLTV – Corinthians vs. Sao Paulo
5 p.m. – beIN Sport – Valencia vs. Deportivo La Coruna
6 p.m. – Telemundo – Chivas de Guadalajara vs. Monterrey
6:15 p.m. – GOLTV – River Plate vs. San Lorenzo
6:30 p.m. – Univision Deportes – Atlante vs. Atlas
7 p.m. – NBC Sports Network – Los Angeles Galaxy vs. FC Dallas
9 p.m. – ESPN2/ESPN3.com – Sporting Kansas City vs. New York Red Bulls