It’s a massive soccer weekend with big games on tap every day: the US men are in action, the FA Cup hits full stride and the Bundesliga makes its bow on FOX broadcast (check your local listings). There’s also a must-see, possible title-deciding clash between Barcelona and Atletico in La Liga. These are the games to watch this weekend – FOXSoccer.com's Editor-in-Chief Jamie Trecker
Matthew Peters (Man Utd)
Derby vs. Manchester United (Friday, 2:30 p.m. ET, FS1)
Can the Championship minnows upset a struggling United side? Weirder things have happened, and Derby are not shabby. True, Burnley ripped them 4-1 on Monday, but the Rams sit a respectable 5th in the Championship, in a playoff slot. United, of course, have more money and more guns … but have been so poor of late that Louis van Gaal “joked” to the press that if he lost this game he would be fired “for the fourth time.” Is this his Waterloo?
James Baylis (AMA) & Matthew Pet
Arsenal vs. Burnley (Saturday, 10:00 a.m. ET, FS1)
Arsenal could use a tonic after a dismal game against Chelsea that saw them miss the chance to go top of the Premier League and had defender Per Mertesacker sent off. The defending champs will not take Burnley lightly, but with Alexis Sanchez and Francis Coquelin easing back to health, the Gunners are able to field a near-full strength side should they choose to. This could be a big game for them, psychologically.
Catherine Ivill (AMA) & Jan Krug
Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, beIN)
A possible title-decider in what is a tight La Liga race: both teams come in tied on points, but Barcelona have the edge on goal difference and a win here would be a massive step toward the crown. Barca eked out a tough win against Malaga last week; Atletico are coming in off a poor 0-0 draw against Sevilla that signals they may be tiring. Whatever happens, Real Madrid will be watching as they sit four points behind, in third.
David Ramos & Gonzalo Arroyo Mor
Stuttgart vs. Hamburg (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, FOX)
The Bundesliga makes its US broadcast debut with a pulsating encounter between two teams on the rise. Stuttgart have finally racked up back-to-back wins, but the fact is that only goal difference is keeping them out of the drop zone. Hamburg aren’t much better, but impressed in a narrow 2-1 loss to Bayern last time out. The key battles will be in midfield, where Timo Werner and Filip Kostic look to run the show.
Alex Grimm (Bongarts) & Oliver H
USA vs. Iceland (Sunday, 3:45 p.m. ET, ESPN 2)
The New Year beckons for the Americans as they play the first of two friendlies to end the January camp. Expect to see a lot of new faces and several experiments—particularly in midfield – as Jurgen Klinsmann uses this game to sort through the pieces. Key stories, of course, are the return of Jordan Morris and the absence of Matt Miazga, set for a transfer to Chelsea. Keep an eye on the keepers as well: the Americans sorely need some depth there.