By MICHAEL KLINE
Aston Villa kicks off this weekend’s soccer action, when they host Chelsea at Villa Park in one of the weekend’s most important matches.
Villa are coming off of two consecutive victories in the league, and have two matches left in the season to survive the drop, while Chelsea have two matches left to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Rafa Benitez has hinted that he will be resting a few Chelsea players ahead of next week’s Europa League final against Benfica, something that could come back to haunt the club if three points isn’t achieved against Aston Villa this weekend. Conversely, The Villans cannot afford to lose this match, and will throw all they have at Chelsea. Breakout striker Christian Benteke, whose 13 goals since the start of the new year is highest in the league, will have to be the difference for Paul Lambert’s men if three points are to be earned.
One major piece of silverware is on the line this weekend as Manchester City faces Wigan in the FA Cup Final. Wigan is locked in a do-or-die relegation battle, but they will be looking to pull the upset against a City side trying to win a second FA Cup in three years.
Barcelona visit the Vicente Calderon on Sunday, where they will face Atlético Madrid in an attempt to secure the league title.
Three points against Atlético will be enough to win the league, and Tito Vilanova will likely return Messi to the starting lineup in order to ensure the victory. With second place virtually out of reach and Champions League soccer guaranteed, Atlético seemingly have little to play for Sunday. However, Diego Simeone will put his best squad out there and hope to break Barcelona’s five-match win streak against Los Rojiblancos.
Here is a rundown of This Weekend’s Soccer on TV:
THIS WEEKEND’S SOCCER ON TV
2:30pm – Univision Deportes – Lille vs. Reims
7:45am – ESPN2 – Aston Villa vs. Chelsea
9:30am – GolTV – Bayern Munich vs. Augsburg
10am – beIN Sport en Español – Athletic Club vs. Mallorca
12pm – beIN Sport – Juventus vs. Cagliari
12:15pm – FOX – Manchester City vs. Wigan Athletic (FA Cup Final)
1:30pm – NBC Sports Network – Chicago Fire vs. Philadelphia Union
2pm – MLS Direct Kick – Montreal Impact vs. Real Salt Lake
2pm – Univision Deportes – Ajaccio vs. Troyes
3:30pm – ESPN3.com – Porto vs. Benfica
4pm – Univision Deportes – Seattle Sounders vs. San Jose Earthquakes
4pm – beIN Sport – Espanyol vs. Real Madrid
6pm – Univision – América vs. Pumas UNAM
7pm – MLS Direct Kick – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
7:30pm – MLS Direct Kick – New England Revolution vs. New York Red Bulls
8pm – UniMás – Tigres UANL vs. Monterrey
8:30pm – MLS Direct Kick – FC Dallas vs. DC United
8:30am – Fox Soccer Channel – Stoke City vs. Tottenham Hotspur
10am – Fox Soccer Plus – Everton vs. West Ham United
10am – FoxSoccer2Go.com – Fulham vs. Liverpool
10am – FoxSoccer2Go.com – Norwich City vs. West Bromwich Albion
10am – FoxSoccer2Go.com – Queens Park Rangers vs. Newcastle United
10am – FoxSoccer2Go.com – Sunderland vs. Southampton
11am – Fox Soccer Channel – Manchester United vs. Swansea City
1pm – beIN Sport – Atlético Madrid vs. Barcelona
2:45pm – beIN Sport en Español – Milan vs. Roma
3pm – beIN Sport – Olympique Lyon vs. Paris St-Germain
5pm – UniMás – Portland Timbers vs. Chivas USA
7pm – ESPN2 – Morelia vs. Cruz Azul
8pm – MLS Direct Kick – Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting KC
9pm – Univision Deportes – Atlas vs. Santos Laguna