Premier League Returns, Coppa Italia Final, Bayern Eyes Title and More to Watch

Liverpool forwards Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane return this week with the Premier League title in sight.

Liverpool forwards Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane return this week with the Premier League title in sight.Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images

For the first time since March, all of Europe’s top four soccer leagues will play matches this week, as the Premier League and Serie A join the already-restarted Bundesliga and La Liga. Italian soccer will also be boosted by the Coppa Italia final. In addition to all the action on the pitch, this weekend features big events on the PGA Tour, NASCAR and horse racing, where it’s Belmont Stakes week.

What’s On

Europe’s big four are all back

For the first time since March, all four of the top soccer leagues in Europe will play matches this week, headlined by the return of the Premier League and Serie A.

B/R Football @brfootball

▪️ Premier League returns
▪️ Coppa Italia final
▪️ La Liga every single day
▪️ Bayern can clinch the title

Football is truly back 😍 https://t.co/8Uowt4GwV7

In England, the run to the title is all but a formality. Liverpool holds a 25-point lead, so the real race is for the league’s Champions League and Europa League slots. Check out the table here.

There is a title race in Italy, where Juventus leads Lazio by one point and Inter Milan by nine, but Inter has one game in hand. View the Serie A table here, and below is schedule for the return this week:

Premier League (all times Eastern)

Wednesday
Manchester City vs. Arsenal, 3:15 p.m. on NBCSN

Friday 
Tottenham vs. Manchester United, 3:15 p.m. on NBCSN

Saturday
Watford vs. Leicester, 7:30 a.m. on NBCSN
Brighton vs. Arsenal, 10 a.m. on NBCSN
West Ham vs. Wolves, 12:30 p.m. on NBC

Sunday
Newcastle vs. Sheffield United, 9 a.m. on NBCSN
Aston Villa vs. Chelsea, 11:15 a.m. on NBCSN
Everton vs. Liverpool, 2 p.m. on NBC

Serie A (all streaming on the ESPN app)

Saturday
Torino vs. Parma, 1:30 p.m.
Hellas Verona vs. Cagliari, 3:45 p.m.

Sunday
Atalanta vs. Sassuolo, 1:30 p.m.
Inter Milan vs. Sampdoria, 3:45 p.m.

Coppa Italia Final
Napoli vs. Juventus, 3 p.m. Wednesday on ESPN

Cristiano Ronaldo looks to lead Juventus to its record 14th Coppa Italia title Wednesday in Rome. Napoli will provide strong opposition as it fights for its sixth title in the competition and first since 2014.

Bayern can lift the trophy

Bayern Munich can win the Bundesliga for the eighth season in a row with a win Tuesday. The Bavarian squad has been dominant, having won 10 matches in a row and not losing in league play since December. If they can’t clinch the title on the road then, they’ll get the chance to do it at home Saturday.

Tuesday
Werder Bremen vs. Bayern Munich, 2:30 p.m. on FS2

Wednesday
Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Schalke, 12:30 p.m. on FS2
Borussia Dortmund vs. Mainz, 2:30 p.m. on FS2

Saturday
Bayern Munich vs. SC Freiburg, 9:30 a.m. on FS1
RB Leipzig vs. Borussia Dortmund, 9:30 a.m. on Fox Sports Go

La Liga

Spain restarted play last weekend, with leader Barcelona and second-place Real Madrid both using quick starts to grab opening victories. Now with 10 matches to play, the trophy race is on between the two giants, and the fight for European football is tight, with big clubs like Atlético Madrid and Valencia having work to do to qualify. View the league table here. And get ready for six straight days of play:

All kickoffs at 4 p.m. on beIN Sports

Barcelona vs. Leganes, Tuesday
Osasuna vs. Atletico Madrid, Wednesday
Real Madrid vs. Valencia, Thursday
Sevilla vs. Barcelona, Friday
Atletico Madrid vs. Real Valladolid, Saturday
Real Sociedad vs. Real Madrid, Sunday

Belmont Stakes
Post time 5:42 p.m. Saturday on NBC

Normally the final and longest race in the Triple Crown races, this year’s Belmont Stakes runs before the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, with its distance shortened from 1½ miles to 1 miles to account for the schedule adjustments. Tiz the Law is the early favorite, with Dr. Post emerging as a contender as well. Read more on the field here.

NASCAR at Talladega
Geico 500 3 p.m. Sunday on Fox

NASCAR ran two races last week, but the on-track action was overshadowed by a landmark decision off it, when the organization announced a ban of the Confederate flag at all NASCAR events and properties. The decision came two days after Bubba Wallace, the sport’s only black driver, called for the flag’s removal from race tracks. After the announcement, Wallace said it was a “huge, pivotal moment” for NASCAR. Wallace also raced in a Black Lives Matter car last week.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

“Get them out of here. They have no place for them.”

Two days after Bubba Wallace called for the removal of Confederate flags at NASCAR races, NASCAR banned the flag from all events https://t.co/zrQEo8jKnn

That moment will be the backdrop at Talladega this weekend, where a group of 5,000 fans will be allowed for a Cup Series race for first time since March. Chase Elliott won last year’s April race.

PGA Tour: RBC Heritage at Hilton Head

The PGA Tour returned last week after three months away, with Daniel Berger winning the Charles Schwab Invitational in a playoff. The Tour heads to South Carolina this week, where the field includes all top five ranked players in the world: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, and Dustin Johnson, who will be playing in his home state. They’ll be joined by defending champion C.T. Pan from Taiwan.

There were rumors that Tiger Woods could be playing in Hilton Head this week, but rumors were all they were. Woods has not announced when he will return to PGA Tour action. We last saw him play during Capital One’s The Match last month.

Thursday and Friday:  3-6 p.m. on Golf Channel
Saturday and Sunday:  1-3 p.m. on Golf Channel, 3-6 p.m. on CBS
Featured groups and holes during all four rounds on PGA Tour Live

The News, Fast

1. MLS is back

Major League Soccer will become the first sports league in the United States to resume play, beginning with a restart tournament at Disney World next month.

  • Where: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida
  • When: Group stage begins July 8, tournament final on Aug. 11; matches will be played at 9 a.m., 8 p.m., and 10:30 p.m. each day
  • How: A World Cup-esque format, with each team playing three group-stage matches; top two teams in each group and top four overall third-place finishers (16 total teams) advance to the knockout round
  • Stakes: Matches during the group stage will count toward the regular-season standings, and the tournament winner will earn a spot in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League
  • Rules: Teams will be allowed five substitutes per match, and matches tied after 90 minutes will go directly to penalties
  • Get every detail on the tournament here

Here are the groups:

B/R Football @brfootball

The @MLS is Back Tournament groups are set.

@LAFC and @LAGalaxy in the same group 🍿 https://t.co/gpkiMuQk0Z

2. An MLB season might be coming

Players and owners gave up on reaching an agreement on the season over the weekend, with the players quickly rejecting the final proposal from owners and openly mocking it on Twitter.

  • What’s next: The players have essentially said tell us where and when to play and we’ll be there
  • The season will likely be only about 50 games, with the owners set to meet on a conference call today to discuss details
  • The owners’ final offer was for 70-75 games and 80 percent of prorated salaries, well below what players preferred
  • On MLB draft night last Wednesday, commissioner Rob Manfred guaranteed to ESPN’s Karl Ravech that there would be a season in 2020
  • Speaking of the draft, the Detroit Tigers picked Arizona State third baseman Spencer Torkelson with the first overall pick. View every pick from all five rounds

3. NBA players are uncertain about a return

Sports World Speaks Out

Athletes around the country are using their platforms to take action toward social justice and equality.

Stephen Jackson

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

“A role has been placed on my lap that’s bigger than me. … This platform I got, I’m gonna use it to help anybody I can.”

Stephen Jackson on leading protests around the country with other NBA players

(via @DaTrillStak5) https://t.co/u8YtVrFmcp

Natasha Cloud

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

WNBA champion Natasha Cloud speaks on standing up against racial injustice. https://t.co/qHi3jzTT8J

Michael Thomas

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

.@Cantguardmike steps up for his community:

◻️ Helped clear $2.3M in medical debt

◻️ Meals to 3K health care workers during the pandemic

◻️ Spearheaded the NFL players’ BLM video

◻️ Gave out presents at children’s hospital a day after setting the catch record

🙏 @brgridiron https://t.co/B2RbLtoaxC

More Than a Vote

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Bron, Trae Young, Skylar Diggins-Smith and others form “More Than a Vote” group to help protect African Americans’ voting rights, per @jmartNYT https://t.co/kAk1YHncOL

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