La Liga: Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid, live, Sunday, 3 p.m. ET
Reasons to watch: Probably the game of the weekend. Barcelona failed to take advantage of Real Madrid’s defeat at Valencia when they crashed to David Moyes’ Real Sociedad. Lionel Messi missed training at the start of the week with a stomach ailment amid speculation he has fallen out with head coach Luis Enrique. And to top it all off, Barca will not be allowed to buy any players in 2015 after losing their appeal against a transfer ban. Not the best time to face La Liga champions Atletico, who have the same number of points as Barca and just one off Real Madrid. Crisis? We shall see.
Premier League: Chelsea vs. Newcastle, live, Saturday, 10 a.m. ET
Reasons to watch: Jose Mourinho is facing his first tricky spell as Chelsea manager. The Blues followed a 1-1 draw at Southampton with an incredible 5-3 defeat at hated rivals Tottenham -- a team they usually beat. Mourinho has been charged with misconduct for claiming there is a campaign against the Blues on diving. John Carver takes temporary charge of Newcastle for the third time. Can he break his winless run? A tall order vs. Mourinho and Co.
Getty ImagesAlex Livesey
Premier League: Everton vs. Manchester City, live, Saturday, 10 a.m. ET
Reasons to watch: The Premier League title race is starting to look very interesting. City made hard of work of beating Sunderland last week but they are now level on points at the top of the table with Chelsea. Swansea striker Wilfried Bony is expected to join the club in January but he’s on African Cup of Nations duty with Cote d’Ivoire but the good news for City -- bad for Everton -- is that Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Vincent Kompany are back in the squad. As for Everton, they are trying to avoid a fifth successive Premier League defeat. Uh oh!
Getty ImagesJan Kruger
Premier League: Crystal Palace vs. Tottenham, live, Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET
Reasons to watch: This game is intriguing for two reasons. Alan Pardew will be in charge of Crystal Palace for a Premier League game for the first time since his shock departure from Newcastle. He’s sure to get a rapturous reception from the Eagles fans, but he faces a team on a high. Why? Tottenham beat Premier League favorites Chelsea last time out, and if results go their way this weekend, Mauricio Pochettino’s men could be in fourth place -- the last Champions League spot.
La Liga: Real Madrid vs. Espanyol, live, Saturday, 10 a.m. ET
Reasons to watch: Carlo Ancelotti denies Real Madrid are in crisis despite losing to Valencia in La Liga and Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey. The Italian has also defended recent performances by Gareth Bale, who has been accused by the Spanish media of playing too much as an individual. A far cry from Real Madrid’s 22-match winning run which came to an end at the Mestalla. However, Ancelotti admits his players are out of shape mentally after the winter break. Let’s see if they can return to form.
Getty ImagesDenis Doyle
Premier League: Manchester United vs. Southampton, live, Sunday, 11 a.m. ET
Reasons to watch: This match has all the hallmarks of the best game of the Premier League this weekend. Two attacking sides with UEFA Champions League ambitions meet at Old Trafford with plenty on the line. A win for United would put them four points clear of the Saints in third spot. Defeat would send United down to fourth and looking over their shoulders at Tottenham. Eljero Elia could make his debut for Southampton.
Serie A: Roma vs. Lazio, live, Sunday, 9 a.m. ET
Reasons to watch: The Eternal City derby is one of two mouthwatering games in Serie A this weekend as the top four face each other. Rudi Garcia’s men take on their city rivals in good spirits after a 1-0 win at Udinese which cut the gap on leaders and defending champions Juventus to just one point. Should second-placed Roma beat Lazio, and Juve fail to win at Napoli then it would be all change at the top. It won’t be easy though. Lazio have risen to third after winning three of their last four games.
AFP/Getty ImagesVINCENZO PINTO
Serie A: Napoli vs. Juventus, live, Sunday, 2:45 p.m. ET
Reasons to watch: With only one win from their last four games, Juventus’ title charge is starting to falter, so the last thing they needed was a trip to fourth-placed Napoli who showed no sign of cobwebs after the winter break in a 4-1 victory at Cesena. Juventus have not won in Naples in Serie A since the 2000-01 season so history is not on their side. Should be a great match.
Serie A: Internazionale vs. Genoa, live, Sunday, 6:30 a.m. ET
Reasons to watch: Roberto Mancini is starting to piece together his own side as shown in the imoressive 1-1 draw at Juventus despite having 10 men for the last five minutes. Lukas Podolski made his debut as a second-half substitute, getting 35 minutes under his belt. Genoa, this season’s surprise package, came back from two goals down to draw with Atalanta and need to win at the San Siro to stay within distance of the Champions League spots.
Getty ImagesClaudio Villa - Inter
Ligue 1: Bastia vs. Paris Saint-Germain, live, Saturday, 11 a.m. ET
Reasons to watch: This weekend will be an emotional one in the whole of France where there will be a minute’s silence for those who were murdered in Paris. However, no PSG fans will be allowed to attend the game against Bastia because of fears there will be violence between opposing fans. This might have been a chance to put such hostilities aside but the authorities have decided otherwise.