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The March international break is now behind us as club action returns this Friday. There is plenty to read up on ahead of this weekend's loaded slate and you can find the best of it in our Golazo Starting XI newsletter. I am Jonathan Johnson and I am here to walk you through the very latest from the world of European soccer and beyond.  

So, let's get to it:

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📺 Soccer on Paramount+

All times U.S./Eastern

Friday, March 31
🇦🇷 Argentina: River Plate vs. Union, 8:30 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+

Saturday, April 1
🇮🇹 Serie A: Inter vs. Fiorentina, 12 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+
🇺🇸 NWSL: Kansas City Current vs. Portland Thorns ➡️ CBS
🇦🇷 Argentina: River Plate vs. Union, 8:30 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+

Sunday, April 2
🇮🇹 Serie A: Napoli vs. AC Milan, 2:45 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+
🇺🇸 NWSL: Orlando Pride vs. Angel City FC ➡️ Paramount+

📺 Elsewhere...

All times U.S./Eastern

🇩🇪 Bundesliga: Eintracht Frankfurt vs. VfL Bochum, 2:30 p.m ➡️ESPN+
🇫🇷 Ligue 1: Marseille vs. Montpellier, 3:00 p.m. ➡️ ESPN+
🇪🇸 La Liga: Mallorca vs. Osasuna, 3:00 p.m. ➡️ ESPN+

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 EPL: Manchester City vs. Liverpool, 7:30 a.m. ➡️ Peacock
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 EPL: Arsenal vs. Leeds United, 10 a.m. ➡️ USA Network
🇩🇪 Bundesliga: Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund, 12:30 p.m. ➡️ ABC
🇪🇸 La Liga: Elche vs. Barcelona, 3:00 p.m. ➡️ ESPN+
🇺🇸 MLS: LA Galaxy, vs. Seattle Sounders: ➡️ FOX/Apple TV

🇪🇸 La Liga: Real Madrid vs. Valladolid, 10:15 a.m. ➡️ ESPN+
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 EPL: Newcastle vs. Manchester United, 11:30 a.m. ➡️ USA Network

⚽  The Forward Line

Thomas Tuchel makes his Bayern Munich debut

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All eyes will be on the German Bundesliga this weekend as Thomas Tuchel makes his debut as Bayern Munich boss after replacing Julian Nagelsmann during the international break. The stakes are high as the former Chelsea and PSG boss immediately comes up against his former club Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker, which offers him an immediate opportunity to make a difference in the German champions' season.

Knocking Les Parisiens out of the UEFA Champions League was not enough for Julian Nagelsmann to save his job and Bayern acted fast to avoid Tuchel being snatched from under their noses as happened when he took the PSG gig. Tottenham Hotspur were sniffing around the German after dismissing Antonio Conte, but Spurs' chaotic management structure which includes banned sporting director Fabio Paratici was too slow.

Tuchel coming in now is a gamble in terms of hitting the ground running in the Bundesliga where it is actually Dortmund in front by a point at this stage. That is, after all, the reason Tuchel is there in the first place. As Director of Sport, Hasan Salihamidzic put it when talking to the German media, "You have to win every game....We have high aims; we want to win trophies, that is the job." Pep Guardiola will not have welcomed the news that Bayern have changed coach ahead of their UCL matchup. Beyond this season, Tuchel looks like a good fit for the Bavarians ambitions and you can expect them to be as dominant as ever domestically and a continental force to be reckoned with too.

However, this campaign remains up for grabs in Germany and Dortmund would love nothing more than to make it a miserable start to life at Allianz Arena for their former boss. Eric Maxim Choupo Moting and Tuchel team up once more after their spells together with Mainz 05 and PSG and it will be up to the former Stoke City man to continue leading the line for the German giants for at least the opening part of the 49-year-old tactician's return to the Bundesliga.

You can read more on what Tuchel's appointment brings to Bayern right here.

And remember, all of your soccer needs -- from NWSL to Champions League to Serie A and so much more -- are available on Paramount+. 📺 You can try one month free by using the code: NWSL2023

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🔗  Midfield Link Play

Chelsea women in Champions League semis after wild finish

Attacking Third

Defending UEFA Women's Champions League titleholders Olympique Lyonnais are out after a penalty shootout defeat to Chelsea in Thursday's quarterfinals. Eight-time winners OL are not in the semis for the first time in nine years while the Londoners were inspired to their success by goalkeeper Ann Katrin Berger's spot kick masterclass between the sticks.

Barcelona are up next for Chelsea after they advanced past AS Roma with ease on Wednesday while there was further French heartbreak for PSG as they crashed out to Wolfsburg. The Germans will now meet Arsenal after they disposed of Bayern and it is the first time ever that two English sides have made it this far.

  • Sandra Herrera on Chelsea and Lyon's wild quarterfinal: "(Vanessa) Gilles provided the breakthrough goal for Lyon during the 77th minute and leveled the goal aggregate off a corner kick opportunity. The French side pulled ahead in extra time with a goal by substitute Sara Dabritz, but a penalty kick conversion by Maren Mjelde in overtime stoppage leveled the match and sent the game into penalties. The quarterfinal quickly evolved into a legendary game for UWCL competition, and Katrin Berger delivered a heroic ending for Chelsea. The Blues keeper made penalty saves on Lyon captain Renard and U.S. women's national team star midfielder Lindsey Horan."

You can read more about a wild night in the Women's Champions League right here.

And now let's get to some links:

🔗 James Benge on the parallels between Arsene Wenger's legendary Arsenal side and Mikel Arteta's current team.  
🔗 It's a huge matchup in Serie A this weekend as Naples take on AC Milan and our crew will be there live.  
🔗 Chuck Booth on what Mason Mount's future might hold.
🔗 Francesco Porzio on Udinese's history of innovation in Serie A.
🔗 Jonathan Johnson on the coaching carousel being kicked into life by Antonio Conte and Julian Nagelsmann.  
🔗 It's officially official, Herve Renard is the new France women's boss.
🔗 FIFA stripped Indonesia of the u-20 World Cup following a meeting between FIFA boss Gianni Infantino and Indonesia's FA.
🔗 Hamburg's Vuskovic gets two-year doping ban for EPO.
🔗 House of Champions: It's been a whole two weeks since club soccer took a break, here's the gang to remind you what's up.
🔗 Attacking Third: NWSL hits week two, and we've got your match preview.
🔗 In Soccer We Trust: With the final four of the Concacaf set, the crew broke down the semifinalists.
🔗 And remember, all of your soccer needs -- from Champions League to Serie A to NWSL and so much more -- are available on Paramount+. 📺 You can try one month free by using the code: ADVANCE.

💰  The Back Line

💵 Best bets

All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and all times U.S./Eastern. SportsLine has you covered with this weekend's best bets.

  • Championship: Burnley vs. Sunderland, Friday, 3 p.m. 
    💰 THE PICK: Draw (+333) -- For those feeling brave, a Sunderland win is at +700. Considering that Burnley are so far in front at the Championship summit and that the Black Cats need points to keep their playoff hopes alive, this one could produce a surprise result.
  • Premier League: Chelsea vs. Aston Villa, Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
    💰 THE PICK: Villa (+450) -- Few EPL teams have been in better form than Unai Emery's men since the Spaniard took over and although the Blues have improved of late, these two are tied on 38 points in the midtable battle. True to Emery's underdog reputation, Villa fare better against the bigger sides and often on the road.
  • Serie A: Napoli vs. AC Milan, Sunday, 12 p.m.
    💰 THE PICK: Draw (+260) -- There is not much in it between a draw and a Milan win at +380, but the Rossoneri are one of the few sides capable of slowing down the Partenopei's title charge. It will likely just be delaying the inevitable, but Milan avoiding defeat would still return good value here.