By MICHAEL KLINE
English soccer takes center stage this weekend, with both Premier League and FA Cup matches taking place.
Reading and Aston Villa will face off on Saturday, in a match that can have a huge impact on the battle to avoid relegation this season. The Villans are one of only six original Premier League teams to have never been relegated from the top flight, but their streak is in major jeopardy going into the last stretch of the season.
With only 10 matches left to play, Aston Villa sit just a single point above Reading in the Premier League. Both clubs sit among the bottom three in defense, while Villa is next-to-last in goals scored, with only Queens Park Rangers below them. There are sure to be goals, however, with neither squad having been able to record a clean sheet since December.
Sunday’s league action sees Liverpool host Tottenham. Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale will steal the spotlight in the match, with both players making late pushes to win player of the season. Suarez currently sits atop the Premier League scoring table, but his goal tally isn’t safe from Bale, who has bagged 11 goals in his last nine appearances for club and country. Three points will be vital to Tottenham’s Champions League aspirations, but Liverpool have been on exceptional form recently, winning their last three matches by a combined score of 12-1.
The FA Cup also features on Sunday, with Manchester United hosting Chelsea at Old Trafford. Sir Alex Ferguson will look to right the ship following the Red Devils’ midweek loss to Real Madrid at home. Los Blancos might have knocked United out of the Champions League, but the legendary club still sits in prime position to land major hardware this season, and will look to reclaim the FA Cup for the first time since the 2003/04 season. A bit of extra drama will also be added to the fixture, with Rafa Benitez and Sir Alex Ferguson revisiting the bitter rivalry they shared while Benitez was still the manager at Liverpool. There are sure to be major fireworks in this one.
Here is a rundown of this weekend’s soccer on TV:
THIS WEEKEND’S SOCCER ON TV
2:45pm – beIN Sport – Genoa vs. Milan
8:30pm – ESPN Deportes/ESPN3.com – Morelia vs. América
7:45am – Fox Soccer Channel – Everton vs. Wigan Athletic
9:30am – GolTV – Bayern Munich vs. Fortuna Düsseldorf
10am – FoxSoccer2Go.com – Norwich City vs. Southampton
10am – Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer2Go.com – Queens Park Rangers vs. Sunderland
10am – Fox Soccer Channel – Reading vs. Aston Villa
10am – Fox Deportes/FoxSoccer2Go.com – West Bromwich Albion vs. Swansea City
11am – Univision Deportes – Paris Saint-Germain vs. AS Nancy
12:30pm – Fox Soccer Channel – Manchester City vs. Barnsley
1:30pm – MLS Direct Kick/MLS Live – Toronto FC vs. Sporting Kansas City
6pm - MLS Direct Kick/MLS Live – Colorado Rapids vs. Philadelphia Union
6pm – ESPN3.com – Cruz Azul vs. Jaguares
7pm - MLS Direct Kick/MLS Live – D.C. United vs. Real Salt Lake
7:30pm - NBC Sports Network – Chicago Fire vs. New England Revolution
7:30pm - MLS Direct Kick/MLS Live – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Columbus Crew
8pm – Univision Deportes – Tijuana vs. Querétaro
10pm – Univision Deportes – San Luis vs. Tigres UANL
10:30pm - MLS Direct Kick/MLS Live – Portland Timbers vs. Montreal Impact
10am – Fox Soccer Channel – Millwall vs. Blackburn Rovers
11am – FoxSoccer2Go.com – Newcastle United vs. Stoke City
12pm – Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer2Go.com – Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur
12:30pm – Fox Soccer Channel – Manchester United vs. Chelsea
12:30pm – GolTV – Stuttgart vs. Hamburger SV
2pm – Univision – Toluca vs. Atlas
4pm – Univision Deportes – Lyon vs. Marseille
4:15pm – ESPN3.com – Benfica vs. Gil Vincente
5pm – UniMás/MLS Live – Chivas USA vs. FC Dallas
6pm – ESPN3.com – Puebla vs. Pumas UNAM
10pm – ESPN2/MLS Live/ESPN3.com – San Jose Earthquakes vs. New York Red Bulls