By Tim Stannard
Barca face a proper must-win match at Athletic, PSG's Project Poch begins and Boca battles Brazil
Let's begin a busy beIN day with Barcelona.
Ronald Koeman woke up on Tuesday not knowing when and if his team would be traveling to Bilbao to take on Athletic Club in a catch-up LaLiga clash the following day.
Two positive COVID-19 tests in Barca's coaching team meant that the first team squad had to be retested on Tuesday morning. This led to a suspension of the day's planned training session until those results came through. Thankfully, all first team players were cleared to set up today's match. "There are things in life that cannot be controlled," noted a philosophical Koeman.
The American pair of Sergino Dest and Konrad de la Fuente have made today's match day squad. However, Carles Alena does not, having just been loaned out to Getafe for the rest of the season, after just two substitute appearances in LaLiga this year.
Barcelona are going into Wednesday's match in a perilous situation. The Camp Nou club are in fifth place, ten-points behind Atletico Madrid at the top. However, Barca have already played one more match than Atleti, so there is not a lot of wiggle room for the visitors.
To add extra spice to the affair in San Mames, Athletic Club might be looking at a new-manager bounce. The Basque battlers sacked Gaizka Garitano with the team in ninth place over the weekend, appointing the well-travelled Marcelino as new coach, with his debut match being the visit of Barcelona.
Athletic Club vs. Barcelona is live on beIN SPORTS from 2:50PM ET.
Project Poch begins at PSG
Sports Burst's next two coaches in focus today will be in action at the same time as Koeman at Barcelona, with PSG visiting Saint-Etienne.
The first Ligue 1 match for PSG in 2021 will be the second under a brand new manager with Mauricio Pochettino making his bow after Raymond Domenech's leads Nantes into battle against Rennes in the Breton derby.
And already the ever-perky Poch has turned a few frowns upside down at PSG - "Father Christmas has already given me a gift, this fantastic club," beamed the former Spurs coach.
Poch has arrived in the middle of a true title fight in Ligue 1 with both Lyon and Lille above PSG in the standings. A familiar foe from the Premier League, Claude Puel, stands in the way today with a struggling Saint-Etienne looking to give a flagging season a boost.
Saint-Etienne vs. PSG is live on beIN CONNECT 4 from 2:50PM ET.
Elsewhere in a full round of matches in Ligue 1 on Wednesday, league-leading Lyon are in focus against Lens, while Lille need to practice some Angers management. Both games are on beIN CONNECT from 2:50PM ET.
Meanwhile, beIN XTRA is bringing two live games - for free, no strings, no subscriptions - with a rebuilding Nice at Brest at 1PM ET, followed by a wobbling Marseille in a must-win match against Montpellier.
The Sports Burst live show will be beaming into Paris to see whether Poch positivity has spread across the French capital. Head to our beIN SPORTS Facebook page or XTRA channel at 12PM ET.
Boca hope to avoid River Plate's fate in Copa Libertadores
The action doesn't stop on a big day on beIN SPORTS on Wednesday as straight after the completion of the Barcelona match, the 2020 Copa Libertadores semifinals first legs continue.
Boca Juniors are hosting Santos in a second Argentina vs. Brazil battle. It's fair to say that the Brazilians won round one and then some on Tuesday, with Palmeiras continuing its free-scoring ways in the tournament by hammering River Plate 3-0 on their home soil in what Argentinean sports daily, Ole!' is ruefully describing as "a night of terror."
River must now travel to Sao Paulo next week for the second leg with Coach Marcelo Gallardo declaring that "we will have to have an epic night."
Glum fans might get a tiny increase in happiness if the same fate awaits Boca Juniors on Wednesday, as they kick off against Santos live on beIN SPORTS from 5:05PM ET.
That match will be followed directly by the Copa Sudamericana semifinal between Velez Sarsfield and Lanus, a tasty and testy all-Argentinean affair.
Velez are coached by Mauricio Pellegrino, who was once manager of EPL side Southampton. And there lies the link between Sports Burst's four coaches today.
Mauricio Pochettino, Ronald Koeman and Claude Puel also coached Southampton.
The Saints really are marching in on beIN SPORTS today.