La Liga: Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid (live, Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: He’s back! If you’re asking who then you’re probably in the wrong sports section. Cristiano Ronaldo has served his two-match ban following his dismissal against Cordoba and is ready to return against the city rivals and current La Liga champions Atletico. Not that the European champions and La Liga leaders have missed him as home victories against Sociedad and Sevilla proved but he’s always useful to have in your team. Atletico, seven points behind Real Madrid, have been defending themselves against accusations of deploying rough-house tactics against opponents recently. This could get bloody.
Premier League: Everton vs. Liverpool (live, Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: This game is being showcased as Steven Gerrard's final appearance in a derby. The former England skipper will leave the Reds at the end of the season to join the Los Angeles Galaxy but he has unfinished business before the move across the pond. Normally, these two sides are fighting it out for a UEFA Champions League place but only the red half of Merseyside has a chance of finishing in the top four. With four of the last five encounters finishing all square, and Romelu Lukaku and Daniel Sturridge expected to lead their respective sides, we expect another close encounter.
Premier League: Tottenham vs. Arsenal (live, Saturday, 7:45 a.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: Steven Gerrard’s final Merseyside derby will be overshadowed by the latest edition of the North London derby which has plenty riding on it. By end of play on Sunday, the Gunners could be in third or outside the European places altogether in sixth -- that’s how it is at the top. More importantly for Tottenham should they beat their bitter rivals -- and it really is bitter -- they will leapfrog their rivals. Arsenal are expected to be without Alexis Sanchez, but Spurs have no such problems up front where Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane rule supreme. A match to savor.
Premier League: Aston Villa vs. Chelsea (live, Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: Chelsea could not be playing Aston Villa at a better time. The Blues top the table by five points from nearest rivals Manchester City and face a side on Saturday that have not scored in the Premier League for 10 hours and 12 minutes -- their last goal actually came before Christmas. One question Chelsea fans will be asking is whether new signing Juan Cuadrado will make his debut. The Colombia winger joined the Blues from Fiorentina during the transfer window and is expected to set the world on fire. Better make sure you track back Juan otherwise you’ll be parking your backside on the bench!
Serie A: Juventus vs. AC Milan (live, Saturday, 2:45 p.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: Two of the three biggest clubs in Italy go head-to-head on Saturday but their fortunes could not be more different. Juve appear to be marching towards a fourth successive Scudetto, while eighth-placed AC Milan have won just one of their last six Serie A games and need to get their skates on if they are to challenge for a top-three spot. Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri used to be the man in charge at AC Milan. And Filippo Inzaghi, the AC Milan coach, was a prolific striker with Juve -- before he joined the Rossoneri. Confused? Don’t be -- the game will clear your head.
Bundesliga: Freiburg vs. Borussia Dortmund (live, Saturday, 9:30 a.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: If things were serious before Christmas for Dortmund, it’s starting to reach crisis point. BVB managed to lose at home to Augsburg on Wednesday despite the visitors having Christoph Janker sent off in the 64th minute. Several Dortmund players tried to placate dissatisfied supporters after the game but make no mistake -- the match against Freiburg is a six-pointer. Jurgen Klopp’s men are bottom of the table, two points below Freiburg, so potentially could haul themselves out of the relegation zone with a win. Hold on to your hats!
AFP/Getty ImagesPATRIK STOLLARZ
Bundesliga: Stuttgart vs. Bayern Munich (live, Saturday, 9:30 a.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: This is the nearest thing Bayern Munich get to a crisis. The Bundesliga champions have failed to win two games in a row. You heard that right, two! Josep Guardiola’s troops were battered by Wolfsburg last weekend and then Schalke had the audacity to hold the Bavarians to a 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena in midweek, although the home side did have Jerome Boateng sent off early in the first half. Stuttgart are fighting for their lives and have scored just two goals in their last five Bundesliga games. Bad time to face Bayern.
Bongarts/Getty ImagesMatthias Hangst
La Liga: Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona (live, Sunday, 3 p.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: Barcelona brought an end to Villarreal’s remarkable unbeaten run in midweek in a thrilling match at Camp Nou -- a result which extended Barca’s winning run to eight in all competitions. So what are the chances of making it nine in a row? Pretty good. Luis Enrique’s men, four points behind arch-rivals Real Madrid, have banged in 16 goals during their last four La Liga games. Even we can work out that is four goals per game. Athletic Bilbao are heading for a mid-table finish unless something goes spectacularly wrong. We fear the worst.
Premier League: Manchester City vs. Hull City (live, Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: Manchester City are glad to wave goodbye to the month of January in which they were dumped out of the FA Cup by second-tier Middlesbrough but more importantly failed to win any of their last three games in the Premier League. OK, so they came up against Everton, Arsenal and title rivals Chelsea, who now hold a five-point lead over City. This is the sort of game Manuel Pellegrini needs to get his side back on track but it’s the last thing his opposite number, Steve Bruce, needs. The Tigers lost 3-0 at home to Newcastle last time out and there is talk Bruce could be sacked if his side capitulate at the Etihad.
Serie A: Cagliari vs. Roma (live, Sunday, 9 a.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: This game matters for a couple of reasons. First, the wheels are starting to come off Roma’s title tilt. The Giallorossi have drawn their last three games 1-1 and were dumped out of the Coppa Italia by Fiorentina on Tuesday. The gap is now seven points on Juventus so if Luis Garcia’s team don’t win this one they’d better start thinking about ensuring they finish in the top three. As for Cagliari their recent unbeaten run was ended by Atalanta last weekend and could be back in the relegation zone if Chievo win at rock-bottom Parma. Could be tense.