Premier League: Chelsea vs. Manchester City (live, Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: Undoubtedly the game of the weekend as Premier League leaders Chelsea host champions and nearest title rivals City. Jose Mourinho's men are five points clear of City and victory would extend that lead to eight but they will be missing one of their star men on Saturday. Diego Costa has been rightly banned for three games for his stamp on Liverpool midfielder Emre Can. Make no mistake, City must take advantage and go for victory otherwise we might have a one-horse race on our hands.
Getty Images(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Imag
Premier League: Manchester United vs. Leicester City (live, Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: This is the reverse fixture of one of Louis van Gaal’s most embarrassing moments in charge of United. The Red Devils had already looked uneasy in their opening games but seemed to be on course for victory at Leicester when they went 3-1 up with over half an hour to go. By full time, United had been run ragged and soundly beaten 5-3. United are starting to look patchy again as their 0-0 draw at fourth-tier Cambridge proved. Leicester are starting to play well again despite being bottom of the table. Are we in for another shock?
Man Utd via Getty ImagesTom Purslow
Premier League: Liverpool vs. West Ham (live, Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: These two teams are still fighting for a place in next season’s Champions League and the focus will be on two players sold by Brendan Rodgers to the Hammers. The first, Stewart Downing, has been revitalized in a central midfield role under Sam Allardyce after spells at left back during his time at Anfield. He’s not the only player with a point to prove. Step forward Andy Carroll, who signed for the Merseysiders for $52.8 million deal four years ago and did not fit in with Rodgers’ passing-game philosophy. The Reds could be low on energy levels after an exhausting League Cup semifinal second-leg defeat at Chelsea in midweek. Time for Mario Balotelli? You bet!
Getty ImagesPhoto credit should read GLYN KI
Bundesliga: Bayer Leverkusen vs. Borussia Dortmund (live, Saturday, 12:30 p.m.)
Reasons to watch: The Bundesliga is back after its extended winter break and boy do we have a cracker in store. Just five points separates third place, where Leverkusen reside, and ninth which means the race for the Champions League spots promises to be a thriller. Roger Schmidt’s side have lost just one of their last seven games in the Bundesliga and face a Dortmund team in crisis but possibly refreshed after a bewilderingly poor first half of the season in which they are only off the bottom having scored one goal more than Freiburg.
Bongarts/Getty ImagesDennis Grombkowski
La Liga: Real Madrid vs. Real Sociedad (live, Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: David Moyes cannot believe his luck. Sociedad have already beaten Barcelona and Atletico this season and go to the Santiago Bernabeu safe in the knowledge that Cristiano Ronaldo will not be playing for the European champions. The world’s greatest player starts a two-match ban for kicking and slapping Cordoba defender Edimar, so how will Real Madrid cope in his absence? Carlo Ancelotti has already revealed his hand, saying he will continue to deploy a 4-4-2, with Bale on the left and James Rodriguez on the right. Real Madrid are formidable at home -- well, away as well – but Atletico proved it can be done earlier this season.
Getty ImagesPhoto credit should read GLYN KI
La Liga: Eibar vs. Atletico Madrid (live, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: Atletico will be glad to get back to the bread and butter of La Liga after a feisty Copa del Rey defeat by Barcelona resulted in both Gabi and Mario Suarez sent off, and Cristian Ansaldi arrested for helping his teammates during an altercation with police officers. With four wins from their last five games Atletico are in good shape in third place, just three points behind Barcelona and four adrift of leaders Real Madrid. Eibar had picked up seven points from a possible nine before they came unstuck at Real Sociedad so this should be an intriguing contest.
AFP/Getty ImagesJAVIER SORIANO
Premier League: Arsenal vs. Aston Villa (live, Sunday, 8:30 a.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: Arsene Wenger could not be happier. His side have won their last two Premier League games without conceding a goal, the latter at champions Manchester City, and the Gunners face an Aston Villa side that have not scored in the Premier League for five games. Arsenal could have a debutant in their side, too. Wenger finally delivered on his promise to boost his defense in January by signing Gabriel Paulista from Villarreal, but the bad news is that Alexis Sanchez is likely to miss out. If Manchester United slip up against Leicester City, then Arsenal could be in the top four on Sunday.
Arsenal FC via Getty ImagesDavid Price
La Liga: Barcelona vs. Villarreal (live, Sunday, 3 p.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: On paper, this is the best game in La Liga. Barcelona, buoyed by their never-say-die win at Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey, are just one point behind Real Madrid and in terrific form -- but so are Barcelona. The Catalans are on a seven-match winning run and have been victorious in 17 of their last 19 games in all competitions. Should Villarreal be fearful? Not on your life. The Yellow Submarine have not lost a game since Nov. 6 -- a run of 18 games! Draw anyone?
AFP/Getty ImagesGERARD JULIEN
Serie A: Udinese vs. Juventus (live, Sunday, 9 a.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: Can anyone stop Juventus from a fourth consecutive Serie A title run? Judging by recent results, it doesn’t look like it. Yet there is a glimmer of hope for Udinese this weekend. Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal missed training on Thursday with a knee injury and is doubtful for the game. Twenty games in and Juve have lost just one Serie A match and with seven points separating the Old Lady from Roma will Massimiliano Allegri’s men start to take it easy? No chance.
Getty ImagesValerio Pennicino
Serie A: AC Milan v Parma (live, Sunday, 2:45 p.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: Will Mattia Destro make his debut for AC Milan this weekend? Everything points to it. The burly forward joined the Rossoneri from Roma on a season-long loan this week although terms have been agreed about a permanent deal should he succeed at the San Siro. The title is out of reach for AC Milan but Filippo Inzaghi needs a good result this weekend because nothing less than three points agains Serie A’s bottom-side could spell "arrivederci" for the Milan legend.