Around the Leagues: Jam Packed Weekend Full of Football
The international break brought an abundance of late thrillers last weekend but its back to club play with plenty of classics on the upcoming calendar including The Derby of Eternal Enemies
Last week marked the first time the U.S. Men's National Team played in all of 2020 and the young squad earned some priceless minutes against top quality opponents Wales and Belgium.
While the USMNT fixtures were just friendlies, some continents were competing in colossal tournaments like the Nations League and Euro Qualifiers. But after a pair of games representing their countries, players have returned back to their clubs and are primed for a positive push towards the top of the standings prior to the busy holiday schedule in December.
In England, the Barclay's Premier League has no shortage of crucial contests as second place Tottenham Hotspur host Manchester City on Saturday while first place Leicester City travel to Anfield to play defending champions Liverpool FC.
League play in Spain's La Liga returns on Friday but all eyes will be on Saturday's showdown in Madrid when Barcelona visit Atletico Madrid and go head-to-head with former striker Luis Suarez for the first time since his departure. The Yellow Submarines will be looking to stay within striking distance of the top spot in the table when second place Villarreal host Real Madrid Saturday morning.
The top game in France's Ligue 1 this weekend is a Friday fixture between table-toppers Paris Saint-Germain and fifth place Monaco desperate to find its first win in its last four matches. German giants FC Bayern Munich host Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga while the biggest match in Italy's Serie A over the weekend is third place Napoli hosting the club at the summit of the league - AC Milan - this Sunday.
There's no question Europe is hosting some colossal clashes between clubs this weekend but it's tough to find one that will feature more passion than the Greek Super League's rivalry between Olympiacos and Panathinaikos - known globally as the Derby of the Eternal Enemies or the Mother of All Battles. Both clubs call Athens home and are the two most successful clubs in Greek soccer history with a combined 65 league titles between the two storied teams.
Olympiacos has the upper hand in the history of The Derby of Eternal Enemies with a 83-50-70 all-time record against its Athenian rival.
But the action abroad aren't the only appealing marquee matchups in the coming days as Major League Soccer's 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs kick off Friday afternoon with a pair of play-in games. First up at 3:30 p.m. PT is a clash between two sides managed by a duo of notable names in the game as Thierry Henry's Montreal Impact visit Bruce Arena's New England Revolution. At 6 p.m. PT Nashville SC host an Inter Miami CF team that may be without its star man, Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain.
Round One of the MLS postseason continues on Saturday morning when New York City FC pay a visit to Orlando City SC followed by Columbus Crew hosting New York Red Bulls. Sunday showcases a trio of fixtures including Sporting Kansas City at home against San Jose Earthquakes, Colorado Rapids at Minnesota United and FC Dallas traveling to the Pacific Northwest to take on Portland Timbers.
The opening round action closes out with a clash between Western Conference giants as Seattle Sounders play host to LAFC in a mouth-watering first round heavyweight bout.
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