Around the Leagues: USWNT Grabs SheBelieves Cup Glory
Another weekend packed full of fantastic fixtures including Chelsea-Man Utd, Porto-Sporting and a battle between both Olympique clubs in France
The month of March is right around the corner and some of the biggest clubs in the world are making their annual pushes to add more silverware to their already decorated trophy cases.
In the U.S. Women's National Teams' case, the ladies have already added another to their constantly growing collection.
The USWNT stormed by each of its three opponents during the group stage, including a recent 6-0 drumming of Argentina on Wednesday. Megan Rapinoe kicked off the scoring with a first half brace before Carli Lloyd, Kristie Mewis, Alex Morgan and Christen Press each found the back of the net against the South American side.
The midweek rout clinched the SheBelieves Cup for the Stars and Stripes for the fourth time in the last six years.
The USWNT kicked off the tournament with a 1-0 win over Canada with Rose Lavelle providing the game's lone strike. Three days later, a pair of goals from Megan Rapinoe and Christen Press secured a 2-0 victory over Brazil.
Speaking of national teams, USMNT starlet Josh Sargent has seen plenty of action in the Bundesliga this season and his side - Werder Bremen - have a crucial Friday contest against an Eintracht Frankfurt team that currently holds the fourth and final Champions League spot and are fresh off a 2-1 win over league leaders Bayern Munich.
The table-toppers in Germany's topflight return home for a Saturday showdown against FC Cologne - just days after storming into Rome and downing Lazio, 4-1, in UCL play. Big-time Bundesliga matchups continue throughout the weekend when eighth-place Borussia Monchengladbach travel to second-place RB Leipzig on Saturday and Bayer Leverkusen hope to stay in the running for the UCL spot but will need a positive result at home against a solid SC Freiburg squad that sits in the top half of the table.
Barclay's Premier League
In England, Manchester City recently escaped Germany with a 2-0 win over Monchengladbach to take the squad's consecutive winning streak across all competitions to 19 matches. The Blues currently have a 10-point lead at the summit of the standings over its crosstown rival, but Pep Guardiola's side face a tough test on Saturday against a tricky West Ham United team that surprisingly sits in fourth place.
The following day, the Barclay's Premier League kicks off with a London derby when south London side Crystal Palace host a west London Fulham team that currently resides in the relegation zone. Kicking off at the exact same time in Leicester is the Foxes playing host to a struggling Arsenal squad that sits in the bottom half of the EPL table.
Of all the matchups in England this weekend, the one all eyes will be fixated on is a classic monumental clash between Chelsea and Manchester United. The Reds are in second but level on points with third-place Leicester while USMNT star Christian Pulisic's Blues from West London are hoping a win at Stamford Bridge on Sunday could see the squad climb back into a Champions League spot. Chelsea currently sits in fifth place and trail West Ham by two points.
La Liga and Serie A
Spain's La Liga has a few scrumptious showdowns this coming weekend with Saturday's slate including third-place Barcelona paying a visit to a Sevilla FC side that only trails the Catalonian giants by two points. A shocking win for Sevilla would see the squad leapfrog Lionel Messi and company in the Spanish standings.
On top of the table sit Atletico Madrid with a three-point lead but a tough trip to Villarreal on Sunday is in store for the league leaders. If the Yellow Submarine snag all three points, Real Madrid have a shot at going level with its intercity rival on Monday when Los Blancos host a sturdy Real Sociedad side that currently sit in fifth.
After Inter Milan took full ownership of first place in Italy's Serie A standings with a 3-0 win over AC Milan last weekend, Inter will look to build on its lead at the top with a home game on Sunday against Genoa. But the heavyweight bout Serie A supporters will be looking forward to most is Milan hoping to rebound on the road in the capital against AS Roma. Roma resides in fourth place but trail third-place Juventus by just a single point.
France's Ligue 1 features a mouth-watering matchup on Sunday when Olympique Marseille in seventh place host second-place Olympique Lyon in what is known as the Choc des Olympiques or L'Olympico.
The rivalry doesn't have much historical significance away from the pitch, rather, it's typically a fiery affair between the two teams that routinely compete for the league title. The hotly contested and extremely competitive match is one of the most famous fixtures in French football.
Title-holders Leon are struggling to the start of the new season and life won't get any easier for 2020 league champions when the side host league-leaders Cruz Azul on Saturday. For those that have followed the history of club soccer in Mexico might remember these two clubs clashed in the 1997 Final with Cruz Azul earning a 2-1 win.
The following day, sixth-place Monterrey host a fourth-place Club Tijuana team that has been beaten just once in its first seven matches this campaign.
Major European Matchups
In Portugal, Saturday sees a glorious game between the top two teams in the table when runners-up FC Porto host Sporting CP. Porto is ten full points behind Sporting in the standings and desperately needs a win to keep pace with its major rival.
The Netherlands includes a similar major matchup between the top two domestic teams when Ajax Amsterdam - with a six-point lead at the top - visit PSV Eindhoven. Just after the final whistle, third-place AZ Alkmaar host fourth-place Feyenoord Rotterdam to round out a pivotal weekend in the Dutch Eredivisie.
Turkey's Super Lig is shaping up to be an exciting sprint to the finish line and this weekend's fixture between fourth-place Trabzonspor and third-place Fenerbahce is a monumental matchup with major implications in the title race on the line.
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