Must-see TV! Top ten matches to watch this soccer weekend
FA Cup: Manchester United vs. Arsenal (live, Monday, 3:45 p.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: The biggest match of this weekend’s FA Cup quarterfinals undoubtedly takes place at Old Trafford. Ahead of the game Louis van Gaal has been forced to defend his working relationship with assistant Ryan Giggs. Video footage showed van Gaal celebrating in the non-plussed face of Giggs after Ashley Young scored the winner at Newcastle. Arsenal, the FA Cup holders, lost at home to United in their one Premier League meeting this season. Revenge would taste sweet for Arsene Wenger.
Paul Ellis (AFP Photo)& Stuart M
Premier League: Queens Park Rangers vs. Tottenham (live, Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: This London derby matters for different reasons. Tottenham suffered a Europa League exit and a League Cup final defeat in the space of four days, but bounced back to beat Swansea. The north Londoners still have realistic hopes of finishing in the top four and this is their game in hand that can repair their Wembley disappointment. Win it and Spurs go sixth -- just three points off four-placed Manchester United. For QPR, a win would not move them out of the relegation zone but it would be enough to put them level on points with Aston Villa.
Ben Hoskins & Steve Bardens/Gett
Bundesliga: Augsburg vs. Wolfsburg (live, Saturday, 9:30 a.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: Is there a more exciting team in the Bundeslga or Europe than Wolfsburg? Not only are they on an 11-match unbeaten run which has taken them to second place in the Bundesliga they also possess one of the hottest strikers in Europe. Bas Dost has scored 14 goals in his last 10 games, and is third behind Arjen Robben and Alexander Meier in the Bundesliga goal charts this season. Augsburg have picked up just two points from their last four games but still habor Champions League hopes.
Boris Streubel (Bongarts) & Patr
Major League Soccer: Orlando City vs. New York City FC (live, Sunday, 5 p.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: MLS kicks off this weekend and one match that has captured the imagination of everyone takes place at Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium where a 62,000 sell-out will witness the battle of two new franchises with two greats on opposite sides. Brazil star Kaka will make his debut for Orlando City along with USA's Brek Shea, while former Barcelona striker David Villa will be looking to get amongst the goals playing for New York City FC. They are great additions to MLS and we’ll all be interested to see how they fare in their inaugural seasons.
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Major League Soccer: Sporting KC vs. New York Red Bulls (live, Sunday, 8 p.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: New York Red Bull start life without Thierry Henry against a side they eliminated in the playoffs last season. The hero that day was 2014 MLS Golden Boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips, now a Designated Player with New York, whose last-minute header sent his side through. For 2013 MLS Cup champions Kansas, this will be their first season in the Western Conference. It promises to be a great matchup to get the season under way.
Denny Medley & Jonathan Dyer-USA
Bundesliga: Hannover vs. Bayern Munich (live, Saturday, 9:30 a.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: Bayern Munich have an important week on their hands. More important than winning in Hannover is coming away without any injuries ahead of Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League encounter with Shakhtar Donetsk which finished goalless from the first leg. Bayern are eight points clear of nearest rivals Wolfsburg and can’t afford to rest too many players. Josep Guardiola has indicated he will field his strongest team.
La Liga: Barcelona vs. Rayo Vallecano (live, Sunday, 7 a.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: Barcelona, buoyed by reaching the Copa del Rey final in midweek, get back to La Liga action with the chance to move to the top of the table. Real Madrid face a tough test at Athletic Bilbao and only a win will do for Luis Enrique’s men if they are to overtake their bitter rivals. Should be a formality but Barca have been inconsistent recently so you never know.
AFP/Getty ImagesDANI POZO
La Liga: Atletico Madrid vs. Valencia (live, Sunday, 4 p.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: For once the pick of the games in La Liga does not involve either Barcelona or Real Madrid. Instead, that accolade falls to defending champions Atletico, who will be involved in a dogfight with Valencia at the Vicente Calderon. Just one point separated third-placed Atleti from Valencia which means the stakes are high going into the game. Valencia are on a roll, too. Seven wins from their last eight games means this should be a close encounter.
Serie A: Lazio vs. Fiorentina (live, Monday, 2 p.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: This Serie A match is a crucial contest between two sides competing for UEFA Champions League spots. If Napoli lose to Inter Milan this weekend then the winner of this game will jump into the third and final qualification place for Europe’s premier tournament. One of the star players on show will be Mohamed Salah, who has been in sensational form since joining Viola on loan from Chelsea. Should be a great game.
Major League Soccer: Seattle Sounders vs. New England Revolution (live, Sunday, 9:30 p.m. ET)
Reasons to watch: New England have had plenty of time to get over their MLS Cup heartache but they face the side that finished top of the standings in the regular season. The Revs have Juan Agudelo back on the roster and an energized Jermaine Jones. Clint Dempsey remains the star name on Seattle’s books and are preseason favorites to win the 2015 MLS Cup. Could this be a final preview? Only time will tell.