Happy Friday, especially if you are a Napoli fan. They finally went for it and got their first Scudetto over the line since 1990. Catching up on weekday storylines (aka Lionel Messi, Messi and More Messi) and getting you ready for the weekend is exactly what we’re doing with the Golazo Starting XI Newsletter. I’m Jonathan Johnson with your dose of good Friday football.
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All times US/East.
Friday May 5
WSL: Arsenal vs. Leicester City, 2:30pm ➡️ CBS Sports Golazo Network
SPL: Queen’s Park vs. Dundee, 2:45pm ➡️ Paramount+
Saturday May 6
AFC Champions League: Urawa Reds vs. Al-Hilal, 5pm ➡️ CBS Sports Golazo Network
🇮🇹 Serie A: Milan vs. Lazio, 9am ➡️ Paramount+ and Golazo Network (tactical camera)
🇮🇹 Serie A: Roma vs. Inter, 2pm ➡️ Paramount+ and Golazo Network (tactical camera)
🇬🇧 Brazilian: Cruzeiro vs. Santos, 3 p.m. ➡️ CBS Sports Golazo Network
🇦🇷 Argentina: Colon vs. Banfield. 5 p.m. ➡️ CBS Sports Golazo Network
🇺🇸 NWSL: NC Courage vs. Portland Thorns, 7 p.m. ➡️ CBS Sports Golazo Network
🇺🇸 NWSL: OL Reign vs. Houston Dash, 10 p.m. ➡️ CBS Sports Golazo Network
Sunday May 7
🇮🇹 Serie A: Atalanta vs. Juventus, 6:30am ➡️ Paramount+ and Golazo Network (Tactical Camera)
SPL: Hearts vs. Celtic, 9:15 a.m. ➡️ CBS Sports Golazo Network
🇬🇧 Series A: Napoli vs. Fiorentina, 12 noon ➡️ CBS Sports Golazo Network
🇦🇷 Argentina: River Plate vs. Boca Juniors, 4:30 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+
🇺🇸 NWSL: Angel City vs. KC Currenth, 10 p.m. ➡️ CBS Sports Golazo Network
All times US/East.
Saturday May 6
EPL: Manchester City vs. Leeds United, 10am ➡️ USA Network
🇺🇸 Copa del Rey Final: Real Madrid vs. Osasuna, 4 p.m. ➡️ ESPN+
🇺🇸 MLS: Portland Timbers vs. Austin FC, 10:30 p.m. ➡️ Apple TV
Sunday May 7
EPL: Newcastle United vs. Arsenal, 11:30am ➡️ USA Network
🇩🇪 Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund vs. Wolfsburg, 11:30 a.m. ➡️ ESPN+
EPL: West Ham United vs. Manchester United, 2pm ➡️ Peacock
🇫🇷 Ligue 1: Troyes vs. PSG, 2:45pm ➡️ beIN Sports
⚽ The front line
Will Napoli become Italy’s new powerhouse?
Luciano Spalletti’s men finally secured Napoli’s first Serie A title since 1990 with a draw away at Udinese, secured by Victor Osimhen’s equalizer. Then the party really started. Wild scenes followed in the away game in Friuli but also back in Naples and the festivities will continue for a while as the Partenopei get used to being Italian champions. Diego Maradona’s two most recognized teams – Napoli and Argentina – have both won major titles within months of each other, which will make the festivities at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona that little bit more poignant.
The question for the future is whether or not Napoli can maintain this season’s impressive overall form and potentially become one of the continent’s biggest powerhouses to challenge domestic and European success. It was the case until recently when Milan dumped their Serie A rivals from the UEFA Champions League, where all Italian sides are effectively heralded as the underdogs given the names of some of the remaining opponents. Napoli fell by the wayside this time but will be back next season and their summer plans will be crucial for that.
However, owner Aurelio De Laurentiis was not shy after the game. Fresh from earning their first Scudetto, the Napoli owner participated in our Calcio e Cappuccino post game showand he said he is ready to continue winning.
- from Lawrence: “Now a new era started and we hope to win next year and the next year and the next year, but now we have to win the champions. [League] because I think we were the strongest this year [team] and just because the referee was not good twice, we are out. But that’s football, that’s UEFA, that’s the world. So we’ll try again next year, and again next year.”
Holding on to both Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia will be tough, especially given the interest their performances have sparked so far this season, but Spalletti hopes it’s more a matter of building on this group rather than rebuilding it completely to build. Gli Azzurri will be marked men in the Champions League next season and it remains to be seen how the Italians cope with becoming champions after years of frustration and near misses. But for now, that’s tomorrow’s problem for Napoli. Let the party erupt in the coming weeks. And we’ve arranged it all for you.
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🔗 Link game in midfield
Could Messi be in CR7 territory after PSG?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock with no access to the outside world for the past few days, chances are you’ve noticed that Lionel Messi’s time at Paris Saint-Germain is coming to a bitter end. The legendary Argentine has been suspended for two weeks, fined and banned from club facilities for an unauthorized commercial visit to Saudi Arabia with his family. return after that punishment. Messi turns 36 in June, just days before his deal with Parisien expires and the former Barcelona man is expected to move on with possibly also teammate Neymar.
However, a return to Barcelona will not be easy and Messi’s desire to continue to play in Europe and the Champions League in particular could arise. a situation not unlike the one we saw with Cristiano Ronaldo before he left Manchester United for Saudi club Al-Nassr. Despite a willingness to take a significant pay cut, there may not be as many buyers for a luxury veteran who will only find it harder to balance future domestic, continental and international duties. This doesn’t mean Messi should prioritize a move to Saudi Arabia or Major League Soccer, but it could make the two destinations more realistic than first thought.
🔗 Stay tuned the very last about Messi’s future.
🔗 What should Barcelona wear clear enough space to bring Messi back.
🔗 What’s next for Paris Saint-Germainreally a club in crisis now.
🔗Roger Gonzalez breaks down remaining options for Messi.
🔗 How the PSG ultras’ protests unfolded across Paris.
🔗 The NWSL Challenge Cup is back tonightSandra Herrera has your details.
🔗 Morning Footy’s Arsenal fans were glad to see the Gunners in full flight again.
🔗 Elsewhere in Europe I took a look The five most impressive teams in Europe.
🔗 And then at Europe’s five least impressive teams.
🔗 There is also a Copa del Rey final on Saturday, where Real Madrid need a win for Carlo Ancelottiwrites Chuck Booth.
🔗 House of Champions: Napoli is not the only story in Italy, the crew is looking forward to a UCL Milan Derby
🔗 Third Strike: Lisa and Sandra look ahead to the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final
🔗 In Soccer We Trust: What does Big Sam mean for Americans in Leeds?
🔗 And don’t forget, all your football needs – from NWSL to Champions League to Serie A and much more – are available on Paramount+. 📺 You can try one month for free by using the code: EUROPE.
💰 The back line
💵 Best bets
All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and all times US/Eastern. SportsLine has you covered with your best bets.
- Series A: Roma vs. Inter, Saturday, 12 noon
💰 THE CHOICE: Roma (+210) — This one has become a must-over for Jose Mourinho’s Roma, given the tension in the race for the top four in Italy. Three points would get the UEFA Europa League semi-finalists back in the mix, while a defeat to a resurgent Inter could take the Giallorossi out completely and leave the reliance on winning the Europa League to qualify.
- Ligue 1: Lens vs. Marseille, Saturday, 3 p.m
💰 THE CHOICE: Lenses (+130) — A huge clash at the top of Ligue 1 with Lens and Marseille battling for second place. Stade Bollaert Delelis will be full and bouncing for this game, which could ultimately decide who finishes behind league leaders PSG. Franck Haise’s men are hard to beat at home, but Igor Tudor’s OM fares better on the road.
- King’s Cup: Real Madrid vs. Osasuna, Saturday, 4 p.m
💰 THE CHOICE: Sign (+400) — It always matters more if silverware is at stake and that is the case this weekend in Spain. Real have not won the Copa del Rey since 2014, while Osasuna’s previous record was in 2005 by beating the finalists. Given the importance of the match, this should be tight, so don’t be surprised if it’s tied after 90 minutes.