The domestic cup slate takes over this edition of the Weekend Watch.
Dover Athletic vs. Crystal Palace, English F.A. Cup, Sunday at 5 a.m.
Five divisions separate the Conference Premier hosts from the English Premier League visitors. This has already matched Dover’s furthest-ever run in the F.A. Cup, but damned if it wouldn’t be fun to see them push on from here. Crabble Athletic Ground is going to be hopping.
Nimes vs. AS Monaco, Coupe de France, Sunday at 5:15 a.m.
Speaking of David-versus-Goliath, here is a passage from Nimes’ Wikipedia intro: The club’s most important achievements were winning Ligue 2 in 1950 and the Championnat National in 1997 and in 2012. The Championnat National, for those curious, is France’s third tier. Suffice it to say that a cup upset of moneybags Monaco would make it into the lede.
Yeovil Town vs. Manchester United, English F.A. Cup, Sunday at 7:30 a.m.
736 teams, 16 rounds — the F.A. Cup is one of my favorite competitions in all of sports, and this matchup illustrates why. Big, bad Man United gets to travel four hours south to play a League One team in a stadium that looks like this:
This Sunday, we are all Glovers.
Valencia vs. Real Madrid, Spanish Primera, Sunday at 8 a.m.
The fourth-place team in La Liga plays host to the traditional powerhouse and current league lead … blah, blah, blah get back to our beloved domestic cup mismatches. Hey, Real Madrid needs some love, too. Dover Athletic can’t always hog the spotlight for itself.
AFC Wimbledon vs. Liverpool, English F.A. Cup, Monday at 11:55 a.m.
The Steven Gerrard farewell tour kicks off in Wimbledon, where the League Two club that rose from the ashes of a relocation to Milton Keynes hosts perhaps its biggest-ever home match. This is more like it.