This weekend offers us the last glimpse of club soccer before a critical international break. As usual, it's not short of storylines. Entering the weekend, what do you need to know?
Here are 7 things to keep an eye on:
Can Leicester keep rolling?
Claudio Ranieri's firing might have raised a few eyebrows, but the effectiveness is undeniable. Craig Shakespeare's at the helm now and Leicester are playing with more vitality and spirit than before. Whether it was a wake-up call for the players, they wanted him out or something in between, the turnaround has been striking. They've clawed out of the relegation zone and are in the Champions League quarterfinals. They face a stern test against West Ham on Saturday, but a win inches them ever-further away from the drop.
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La Liga's bunched-up title race
Just as Barcelona looked primed to make a title push, they suffered a defeat at Deportivo La Coruna. They're still right in the mix, but a win would have seen them sitting atop the table. As it stands, Madrid have a two-point cushion on Barcelona and five-point lead on third-placed Sevilla, with a game in hand for the Merengues. Atletico, meanwhile, are lurking in fourth with 52 points, but could help cement their Champions League qualification with a Sunday tilt against Sevilla.
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Belotti vs. Icardi in Italy
It looks like Juventus are again running away with the Serie A title, but that doesn't mean the league is featureless. Two of the league's top scorers in Andrea Belotti and Mauro Icardi will square off when Inter Milan and Torino battle Saturday. The pair have been prolific this year, with the 23-year-old Belotti leading the league with 22 goals for Torino. Inter's Icardi is right behind him with 20 goals. (Eden Dzeko also has 20 goals). Comfortably mid table, Torino don't have much to play for other than pride, but a win for fifth-placed Inter surely boosts their Champions League hopes.
Favorites take the field in high-scoring Ligue 1
The French league title is down to a three-horse race, pretty much. High-scoring Monaco are at the summit with 68 points, followed by PSG with 65 and Nice with 63 points. Monaco should have little trouble 15th-place Caen, especially after the provincial club's masterful rally against Man City in the Champions League. PSG face the toughest test of the title-hopefuls, hosting fourth-place Lyon and Alexandre Lacazette. The forward is second in the league with 22 goals. Fortunately for PSG, they boast the league's top scorer in one Edison Cavani. The in-form Uruguayan has 27 goals this term.
Battle of two flawless MLS teams
The MLS season is still just getting started, but there are just four teams with flawless records heading into the third week of play. By the time the week is over, that number will drop by at least one because the combined 4-0-0 Timbers and Dynamo square off on Saturday night. It should be a game with plenty of goals, as both teams boast impressive attacking prowess in the early going. Portland have scored six goals on the season, while Houston have five.
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City and Liverpool wrestle for position
Manchester City will have a big chance to bounce back from their Champions League let down in a match against Liverpool on Sunday. Coincidentally, the tilt should have major implications on next year's Champions League landscape. A win for Liverpool would put them above City and potentially Tottenham for the time being. The Reds look back on track after a shaky February saw them lose to relegation-threatened Hull and Leicester. City will be looking to exact revenge for a loss they suffered at Anfield on New Year's Eve as well as wash the taste of the midweek loss against Monaco out of their mouths.
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Looking ahead to international duty
With an international break filled with crucial World Cup qualifiers coming up, national team managers will be holding their collective breath watching this weekend's fixtures. Injuries are never a good thing, but having them hit right before critical matches is a big blow. If someone goes down, that leaves the national team scrambling to find a suitable player to call up as a replacement, which almost always leads to a drop in quality. Fingers are always crossed for no injuries, but they're double-crossed this weekend.