European Look Ahead: Chelsea-United, German deadlock continues and more

Torres united reuters


By JOHN BOSCHINI

A substantial portion of America will be treated to an extra helping of soccer on the biggest sporting day of the year as Manchester United takes on Chelsea live on Fox on Super Bowl Sunday.

This is the second time in less than a month a Premier League game will be seen on network television. It's a game with massive title implications as United try to take advantage of Manchester City's recent dip in form. The Red Devils are tied with their cross-town rivals and face a tough line of upcoming fixtures.

Chelsea, on the other hand, are trying to cling to a Champions League spot. The Blues are three points clear of Newcastle United and will likely face pressure from both Liverpool and Arsenal. Manchester United scored three first-half goals in a 3-1 win back in September that featured Fernando Torres' notorious open-goal miss.

In Italy, two underperforming teams square off when AS Roma welcomes Inter Milan in a game postponed to Sunday due to weather conditions. Inter are still reeling from a 1-0 loss to relegation-threatened Lecce while Roma are 10 points off the final Champions League spot.

Here is a look ahead to all the action in Europe's top leagues:


ENGLAND

Aside from Chelsea vs. Manchester United, the biggest game of the weekend will actually have to wait until Monday. Liverpool are quietly lurking in sixth place and can be confident thanks to the return of Luis Suarez, the play of Steven Gerrard and Craig Bellamy and the possible emergence of Andy Carroll. For Tottenham, this game will be a litmus test on the chances of a title run. They are only five points back of the leaders heading into February.

SATURDAY

Arsenal vs. Blackburn Rovers, 8 a.m.
Norwich vs. Bolton Wanderers, 10 a.m.
Queens Park Rangers vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers, 10 a.m.
Stoke City vs. Sunderland, 10 a.m.
West Bromwich Albion vs. Swansea City, 10 a.m.
Wigan vs. Everton, 10 a.m.
Manchester City vs. Fulham, 12:30 p.m.

SUNDAY

Newcastle United vs. Aston Villa, 8 a.m.
Chelsea vs. Manchester Untied, 11 a.m.

MONDAY

Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 3 p.m.

SPAIN

Barcelona returns to the friendly confines of the Camp Nou where they have outscored opponents 43-2 and have dropped only two points all season. Villareal pulled off a shock draw with Barcelona last week but remain in the relegation zone. Now the Yellow Submarines face the tough task of going to Valencia and praying for a result.

SATURDAY

Athletic Bilbao vs. Espanyol, 12 p.m.
Levante vs. Racing Santander, 12 p.m.
Mallorca vs. Real Betis, 12 p.m.
Getafe vs. Real Madrid, 2 p.m.
Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad, 4 p.m.

SUNDAY

Sporting Gijon vs. Osasuna, 6 a.m.
Granada vs. Malaga, 10 a.m.
Sevilla FC vs. Villareal, 12 p.m.
Real Zaragoza vs. Rayo Vallecano, 1:45 p.m.
Athletico Madrid vs. Valencia, 3:30 p.m.

GERMANY

The top four teams avoid each other once again as the tightest title race in Europe rolls on. Schalke is the only one of the four to play at home this weekend while Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayern Munich travel away where their form hasn't been convincing. Kaiserslautern and FC Cologne face off in a match that will go a long way in shaping the relegation picture.

FRIDAY

Nurnberg vs. Borussia Dortmund, 2:30 p.m.

SATURDAY

Bayer Leverkusen vs. VfB Stuttgart, 9:30 a.m.
Hertha Berlin vs. Hannover, 9:30 a.m.
Schalke vs. Mainz, 9:30 a.m.
TSG Hoffenheim vs. FC Ausburg, 9:30 a.m.
VfL Wolfsburg vs. Borussia Monchengladbach, 9:30 a.m.
Hamburg vs. Bayern Munich, 12:30 p.m.

SUNDAY

SC Freiburg vs. Werder Bremen, 9:30 a.m.
Kaiserslautern vs. FC Cologne, 11:30 a.m.

ITALY

Napoli may be struggling to replicate last season's success but AC Milan will have to be careful when the two face off on Sunday. Juventus will try to remain the only unbeaten team in Europe with what should be an easy victory over 17th-placed Siena.

SUNDAY

Genoa vs. Lazio, 6:30 a.m.
AC Milan vs. Napoli, 9 a.m.
AS Roma vs. Inter Milan, 9 a.m.
Chievo Verona vs. Parma, 9 a.m.
Fiorentina vs. Udinese, 9 a.m.
Juventus vs. Siena, 9 a.m.
Lecce vs. Bologna, 9 a.m.
Novara vs. Cagliari, 9 a.m.
Palermo vs. Atalanta, 9 a.m.

FRANCE

Paris St. Germain and Montpellier continue to run away with Ligue 1 and their momentum isn't likely to slow down this weekend. PSG faces mid-table Evian Thonon Gaillard while Montpellier takes on Brest. Marseille can leapfrog Lille for the final Champions League spot should they win and Lille fall to Sochaux.

SATURDAY

AC Ajaccio vs. Nice, 1 p.m.
AS Nancy Lorraine vs. Stade Rennes, 1 p.m.
Dijon FCO vs. Valenciennes, 1 p.m.
Montpellier vs. Brest, 1 p.m.
Paris St. Germain vs. Evian Thonon Gaillard, 1 p.m.
St Etienne vs. Lorient, 1 p.m.
Bordeaux vs. Toulouse, 3 p.m.

SUNDAY

Caen vs. AJ Auxerre, 11 a.m.
Sochaux vs. Lille, 11 a.m.
Marseille vs. Lyon, 3 p.m.

NETHERLANDS

AZ Alkmaar will try and rebound from falling from first to third last weekend with a matchup against ADO Den Haag. The new leaders, Ajax, welcome relegation-threatened FC Utrecht and FC Twente will try and remain unbeaten in the league under Steve McClaren.

FRIDAY

Heerenveen vs. Roda JC Kerkrade, 2 p.m.

SATURDAY

ADO Den Haag vs. AZ Alkmaar, 12:45 p.m.
Excelsior vs. VVV Venlo, 1:45 p.m.
Vitesse Arnhem vs. NAC Breda, 2:45 p.m.

SUNDAY

Ajax vs. FC Utrecht, 6:30 a.m.
De Graafschap vs. FC Twente, 8:30 a.m.
NEC Nijmegen vs. Feyenoord Rotterdam, 8:30 a.m.
SC Heracles Almelo vs. PSV Eindhoven, 8:30 a.m.
FC Groningen vs. RKC Waalwijk, 10:30 a.m.

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What do you think of this weekend's games? Will you be watching Chelsea vs. United? Leaving work early for Tottenham vs. Liverpool? Will there be some separation in Germany?

Share your thoughts below.

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12 Responses to European Look Ahead: Chelsea-United, German deadlock continues and more

  1. Gnarls says:

    I don’t even like Chelsea or Torres, but damn if I don’t feel bad for the guy.

  2. Dinho says:

    Boyd is not in the 18. Bummer

  3. Nate Dollars says:

    +1

  4. fischy says:

    It must suck to be him right now and have to make all those millions of dollars, knowing that all those drunk fans who’ve never done anything with their lives are roaring at you.

  5. patrick says:

    I can assure you he’d trade a lot of his $$ to be back in the form he was 2-3 years ago

  6. chris says:

    Its captain nemo

  7. Gnarls says:

    There’s a lot to be said for career satisfaction and pleasing the fans. You may have never heard this axiom – it’s a rare one – but money doesn’t buy happiness.

  8. fischy says:

    Of course that’s true, but I don’t “feel bad” for him. I’m saving my sympathy for others in truly bad straits.

  9. Klabosh says:

    Because it’s impossible to feel sympathy for more than one person at a time, especially if we are talking about different levels of sympathy….

  10. Albania Power! says:

    shouldn’t you be occupying wall street instead of posting on a blog?

  11. Gnarls says:

    We’re capable of maintaining various levels of sympathy simultaneously. It’s not a zero sum game. I don’t feel as bad for Fernando Torres as I do for abused children, but I feel worse for him than I do for van Persie. How’s that for an awkward juxtaposition?

  12. soccerhorn says:

    What are you guys even talking about? The only sane thing to do is cheer against Man U and Chelsea. They’ve been hogging up the top spot for too long. Maybe it’s the American in me, but a little parity it a good thing.

    Altidore’s playing time disappears at AZ and they drop out of first. Hmm…