We're back from the international break, and club soccer resumes with plenty to look out for. There are rivalry clashes, fights to stay relevant in title chases and a whole lot more. Entering the weekend, what do you need to know?
Here are 7 things to keep an eye on:
Gonzalo Higuain's return to Napoli
The Stadio San Paolo is always raucous, but the volume could reach a crescendo when Gonzalo Higuain shows his face back at his old stomping grounds. The 29-year-old Argentine left for bitter rivals Juventus in a big-money deal in the summer, and to say that Napoli fans were put out by the transfer would be a massive understatement. The man scored 36 goals to break the single-season scoring record with Napoli last year, and now he's playing in a different shirt. Now, will the Napoli fans welcome back the history-making star warmly, or jeer him as a money-chasing traitor? We'll find out on Sunday.
Premier League returns with a doozy
After a long international break, the Premier League opens with a storied clash between Liverpool and Everton. The latest edition of Merseyside derby will fire off at Anfield at 7:30 a.m. ET. Both teams have eyes on finishing in the top four, with Everton six points back of fourth-placed Liverpool. It's a long shot for the Toffees to break in, but a win would put them right in the mix. Liverpool are looking strong, though, and have enjoyed a 12-game unbeaten streak in the derby. Everton's red-hot Romelu Lukaku could have something to say about that, though.
Will the Fire's new main man make his debut?
All eyes will be on Chicago's newest Designated Player on Saturday. Bastian Schweinsteiger has done the media circuit and trained with his new Fire teammates, but is he ready to make his MLS bow? Perhaps even more importantly, where will he slot in should he get on the field? The Fire have a solid pair of midfielders in Dax McCarty and Juninho already, but Schweinsteiger didn't come to the States just to ride the pine. He'll likely get on the field against Montreal, even if it takes some creative shuffling in Veljko Paunovic's setup.
Leicester on a roll
It's been weeks, but Claudio Ranieri's firing is inescapable when it comes to the story of the Foxes' season so far. The results can't be argued with, though. They've rattled off three straight wins under Craig Shakespeare and also find themselves in the quarterfinals of Europe. It's not as outlandish as their title march last season, and they're still a hair's breadth from being back in the relegation zone, but Leicester look like they're back to the feel-good Foxes we grew used to. It could all go belly-up with a poor showing against a more-than-capable Stoke side on Saturday.
Rivalries heat up in Germany
The Revierderby might not have the oomph of Der Klassiker, but it has has a history spanning over 90 years. Interestingly, the teams have broken almost dead even in the Bundesliga era. Schalke have 30 wins, Dortmund have 32 and they've drawn 27 times. This season, Schalke's season hasn't gone according to plan. They're on the outside looking in when it comes to European spots, while BVB look poised to reach the Champions League next year. Schalke might not have a whole lot left to play for this season, but they'll always be up for the Revierderby, which kicks off Saturday at 9:30 a.m. ET on FS2.
Arsenal vs. City gets a pinch of added drama
Arsenal are on the periphery when it comes to the Champions League, and things are getting more and more toxic at the Emirates as fans call for Arsene Wenger's ouster. Normally, a matchup between Manchester City and Arsenal wouldn't need any more fuel, but the drama around the "Wexit" crowd makes it all the more captivating. Would a win against City, who are coming off a pair of uninspiring draws, appease the calls for Wenger's head? Probably not. It certainly wouldn't hurt, though.
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La Liga's jam-packed Sunday slate
After a week dominated by an unfortunate-looking Cristiano Ronaldo statue, it's time to get back to on-the-field excitement. La Liga's title race looks like it's going down to the wire, and the top three teams are all playing Sunday. Atletico, the dark horse team in fourth, will play on Saturday. Sevilla, eight points off leaders Real Madrid, start the action early against Sporting on Sunday. Los Blancos then host Alaves before Barcelona take on Granada to close out Sunday's La Liga slate. By the time Monday rolls around, the La Liga picture could become a lot more clear ... or grow even more congested. One thing's for sure (hopefully), Ronaldo's statue won't be the biggest storyline.