Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

Another big weekend of European soccer action is coming up and Jurgen Klopp announcing his departure as Liverpool manager at the end of this season has just added even more spice to this weekend’s games with the Reds hosting Norwich City in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Jonathan Johnson here to prime you for the weekend across the board.

📺 Footy fix

All times U.S./Eastern

Friday, Jan. 26
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 FA Cup: Chelsea vs. Aston Villa, 2:45 p.m. ➡️ ESPN+
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 FA Cup: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester City, 3 p.m. ➡️ ESPN+

Saturday, Jan. 27
🇪🇸 La Liga: Las Palmas vs. Real Madrid, 10:15 a.m. ➡️ ESPN+
🇮🇹 Serie A: Juventus vs. Empoli, 12 p.m. ➡️ CBS Sports Golazo Network
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 WSL: Brighton and Hove Albion vs. Chelsea, 12:30 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+
🏆 Africa Cup of Nations: Nigeria vs. Cameroon, 3 p.m. ➡️ beIN Sports USA

Sunday, Jan. 28
🏆 AFC Asian Cup: Australia vs. Indonesia, 6:30 a.m. ➡️ CBS Sports Golazo Network
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 FA Cup: Liverpool vs. Norwich, 9:30 a.m. ➡️ ESPN+
🇮🇹 Serie A: Fiorentina vs. Inter, 2:45 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+, CBS Sports Golazo Network

⚽ The Forward Line

😮 Jurgen Klopp shocks soccer with Liverpool exit

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The big news anywhere in soccer this weekend is that Jurgen Klopp has announced that he will be parting ways with Liverpool at the end of the current season. The news has stunned everyone with the German tactician opting to leave two years before his current Anfield contract ends and with the Reds currently leading the Premier League title race. Klopp informed Liverpool’s owners of his decision in November but the 56-year-old has only made his decision public now with a message from the former Borussia Dortmund manager to the club’s supporters the first anyone had heard of it. In a wide-ranging interview produced by Liverpool, Klopp talked through his reasoning:

Klopp: “I can understand that it is a shock for a lot of people in this moment, when you hear it for the first time, but obviously I can explain it — or at least try to explain it. I love absolutely everything about this club, I love everything about the city, I love everything about our supporters, I love the team, I love the staff. I love everything. But that I still take this decision shows you that I am convinced it is the one I have to take. It is that I am, how can I say it, running out of energy. I have no problem now, obviously, I knew it already for longer that I will have to announce it at one point, but I am absolutely fine now. I know that I cannot do the job again and again and again and again. After the years we had together and after all the time we spent together and after all the things we went through together, the respect grew for you, the love grew for you and the least I owe you is the truth — and that is the truth.”

Klopp took over at Anfield back in 2015 and led them to a first Premier League title in 31 years and a sixth European crown with Liverpool currently looking good to triumph in the EPL and EFL Cup while FA Cup and UEFA Europa League success can also not be ruled out. Assistant managers Pepijn Lijnders and Peter Krawietz as well as elite development coach Vitor Matos will leave with Klopp while Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso is an early favorite to replace Klopp. Sporting Director Jorg Schmadtke will also depart once the current January transfer window closes. As for the German, the national team post will be available after UEFA Euro 2024 on home soil once Julian Nagelsmann leaves and he has been considered a candidate for the job in the past with the team in need of a rebuild. International management could also be a welcome change of pace for the fatigued Klopp who will leave just shy of nine years after his arrival.

More on Klopp’s shock announcement:

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🔗  Midfield Link Play

🥊 Big dogs start dropping in European Cups

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The domestic cups across Europe have started to claim some big names in the past few days with Barcelona joining Real Madrid in being out of the Copa del Rey which now opens the door to the likes of Atletico Madrid to secure some rare silverware. The FA Cup has the potential for big names to go too this weekend with with Chelsea facing Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur hosting Manchester City this Friday. Bayern Munich in Germany are also out of the DFB Pokal too which hints that this could be a season for the underdogs in terms of domestic cup success so the big boys better be vigilant from this weekend onwards. On top of those FA Cup games, Newcastle United vs. Fulham could claim a high-profile managerial casualty if Eddie Howe finds himself on the receiving end of a home defeat after the Magpies’ slump in the Premier League has seen them drop down into midtable territory. Liverpool can also start the long farewell to Jurgen Klopp on Sunday when they host Norwich City in what would normally be a routine home cup win at Anfield but will suddenly be charged with emotion.

🔗  Top Stories

👎 Europe’s most disappointing teams: Manchester United and Chelsea feature while Napoli and Sevilla are also struggling.

📅 2024 NWSL schedule: Ranking the 10 games you cannot miss this season as NJ/NY Gotham FC aim to defend their title. Also, we break down the NWSL schedule as Portland Thorns travel to Kansas City Current to open

✍️ City sign Echeverri: Manchester City have completed the signing of Claudio Echeverri from River Plate for around $25 million.

👀 Karim Benzema’s future: Would a return to formative club Lyon make sense for the French superstar who is unhappy in Saudi Arabia.

🚨 Luis Rubiales trial proposed: Spanish judge recommends that the Women’s World Cup kiss scandal involving Jenni Hermoso goes to court.

💰  The Back Line

💵 Best bet

Ligue 1: PSG vs. Brest, Sunday, 2:45 p.m.
💰THE PICK: Draw and both to score (+500) 
— Paris Saint-Germain are enjoying a smooth start to 2024 so far but it will surprise you to hear that Sunday’s visitors Brest are all the way up in third place in the French topflight. Eric Roy’s men will be targeting an upset at Parc des Princes this weekend and the last encounter between the two needed a Warren Zaire-Emery wonder goal and a Kylian Mbappe brace to settle it. Brest fought back from 2-0 down to be at 2-2 before PSG nicked it and a similarly tight game could be on the cards here ahead of a rematch in the Coupe de France next month. Betting on Brest to win it might be a bit much but the Breton side coming away with a point having scored at least once should not be ruled out..  

📺 What’s on CBS Sports Golazo Network

☀️ Morning Footy (Weekdays 8-10 a.m.): Hosts Susannah Collins, Charlie Davies, Nico Cantor and Alexis Guerreros help fans get their day started on the network’s flagship morning show with highlights, interviews and the biggest soccer storylines. Morning Footy is also available in podcast form, so you’ll never have to miss an episode.

📦 Box 2 Box (Weekday afternoons): The news-driven show quickly recaps all the latest headlines from around the world with panelists previewing the top matchups of the day. Catch Box 2 Box on CBS Sports Golazo Network on the CBS Sports app, PlutoTV and Paramount+. 

3️⃣ Attacking Third (Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening): The leading women’s soccer podcast and social brand is now a live studio show. Just because the NWSL season is over doesn’t mean that our coverage of the women’s game is going anywhere. Our analysts will be breaking down the USWNT. NWSL offseason and European domestic season all winter long.

👟 Kickin’ It (Tuesday, 7 p.m.): CBS Sports Golazo Network’s new unfiltered interview show returns Tuesday Hosted by Kate Abdo, Clint Dempsey, Mo Edu and Charlie Davies, the group chat candidly with the biggest names from the Beautiful Game and share their stories from on and off the pitch. 

⚽ Call it What You Want (Monday night): A weekly podcast where Jimmy Conrad, Jesse Marsch and Charlie Davies cover all things USMNT and the state of the beautiful game in the United States.

🥅 Scoreline (Daily): Scoreline is the newest place for fans to catch up on all the biggest news and results impacting global football, match highlights from the top soccer competitions and all the can’t-miss goals from the day’s action, starting Thursday and airing seven days a week.

📺 How to watch: CBS Sports Golazo Network is a free 24/7 channel exclusively dedicated to offering unparalleled coverage of all the top soccer competitions worldwide. You can stream for free on the CBS Sports app, Pluto TV and Paramount+.

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