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This weekend’s Soccer on TV

Wayne Rooney (Getty Images) 

Chelsea is still in first place in the English Premier League, but Manchester United is poised to regain its place atop the standings if it can win the weekend's marquee match-up.

The Red Devils will need to beat Aston Villa in the best match of the weekend if Man Utd is going to catch a suddenly wobbly Chelsea squad. The Blues will be taking on red-hot Tim Howard and Everton at Stamford Bridge.

United-Villa is just one of several quality battles this weekend. The Barcelona Derby, Werder Bremen-Schalke and the Men's College Cup Final are also on tap in the coming days.

Here is a rundown of the SBI Top 10 Matches to Watch, as well as This Weekend's Soccer on TV:

SBI Top 10 Matches to Watch

1. Manchester United vs. Aston Villa. United is trying to catch Chelsea while Villa is trying to crack the Top Four.

2. Valencia vs. Real Madrid. Third-place Valencia can catch the 'Galacticos' with a win, while Real Madrid looks to keep the pressure on Barcelona with a win.

3. Barcelona vs. Espanyol. The battle of Barcelona is always full of passion, even if Barca is the heavy favorite at home.

4. Everton vs. Chelsea. Tim Howard has been red-hot for the Toffees. Can he score some revenge for last season's FA Cup Final defeat.

5. NCAA Men's College Cup Final. Virginia's stingy defense will look to halt Akron's normally-potent attack.

6. Werder Bremen vs. Schalke 04. Tied for second on points in the Bundesliga standings, Bremen and Schalke should offer up an attack-minded affair.

7. Liverpool vs. Arsenal. Remember when this match would have been an automatic No. 1 on this list? It's still important though, with Rafa Benitez feeling the heat with each passing loss.

8. Lyon vs. Bordeaux. Lyon had Ligue 1 title hopes before the season, but now sit fourth in the league. A loss to the champions would cripple Lyon.

9. Cruz Azul vs. Monterrey. The second leg of the Mexican Apertura Final will determine the Mexican champion. Cruz Azul won the first leg in a 4-3 thriller.

10. Sampdoria vs. Roma. These sides are tied on points in Serie A and a win for either would push them closer to a Top Four spot in the Italian league.

This weekend's Soccer on TV

SATURDAY

4am- FSC- Central Goast Mariners vs. Melbourne Victory

7:45am- ESPN2- Stoke City vs. Wigan Athletic

9:30am- GolTV- VfL Bochum vs. Bayern Munich

9:55am- Setanta Sports- Everton vs. Chelsea

11am- ESPN2- North Carolina vs. Akron (delayed)

12pm- GolTV- Real Zaragoza vs. Athletic Bilbao

12pm- FIFA.com- Rapid Wien vs. Ried

12pm- ESPN360.com- Cagliari vs. Napoli

12:30pm- ESPN Deportes- Werder Bremen vs. Schalke 04

12:30pm- ESPN HD- Manchester United vs. Aston Villa

1pm- FSE- Manchester United vs. Aston Villa (delayed)

2pm- GolTV- Barcelona vs. Espanyol

2:45pm- ESPN360.com- PSV vs. AZ

2:45pm- FSC- AS Bari vs. Juventus

3pm- Setanta Sports- Lorient vs. Auxerre

3pm- FSE- AS Bari vs. Juventus

4pm- ESPN360.com, ESPN Deportes- Valencia vs. Real Madrid

4:15pm- ESPN360.com- SC Olhanense vs. Benfica

5pm- FSE- Bolton Wanderers vs. Manchester City (delayed)

5pm- Setanta Sports- Tottenham Hotspur vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers

6pm- ESPN Deportes- PSV vs. AZ (delayed)

7pm- FSC- Burnley vs. Fulham (delayed)

11pm- FSE- Cagliari vs. Napoli (delayed)

SUNDAY

9am- ESPN360.com- AC Milan vs. Palermo

9am- FSC, FSE- Atalanta vs. Inter Milan

11am- ESPN360.com, ESPN Deportes- Almeria vs. Deportivo La Coruna

11am- Directv- Osasuna vs. Mallorca

11am- FSC, FSE- Liverpool vs. Arsenal

1pm- GolTV- Atletico Madrid vs. Villarreal

1pm- ESPN Deportes- FSV Mainz vs. VfB Stuttgart (delayed)

1:15pm- Setanta Sports- PSG vs. Saint-Etienne

2:45pm- FSC- Sampdoria vs. AS Roma

3pm- ESPN360.com, ESPN Deportes- Sporting Gijon vs. Sevilla

3pm- Setanta Sports- Olympique Lyon vs. Bordeaux

5pm- FSE- Sampdoria vs. AS Roma (delayed)

6pm- Azteca America- Cruz Azul vs. Monterrey

10pm- Setanta Sports- Manchester United vs. Aston Villa (delayed)

Comments

  1. It’s not that ESPN didn’t “want to pay big money for the bigger games” it is that FSC didn’t want to sell them. FSC is the single rights holder for the Premier League in English in the United States. They just have deals with Setanta and ESPN to help show some of the games.

    When Setanta had money problems, they reduced the number of games they were willing to pay to show, so ESPN bought some of the games from FSC. The ones Setanta and FSC were most willing to sell to ESPN were the early Saturday games (mostly because these are at 5 a.m. in California) and the Monday games (which are not on a weekend).

    It is simply bad luck that most of the games at these hours have been crap this year. There were some real crackers in these slots last year.

    So the bottom line is, ESPN wanted to get into the Premier League rights picture, and these two slots were the table scraps they were able to get into. I hope there are more financial problems for Setanta, then ESPN might get more games. The HD issue will be solved in a matter of weeks when FSC goes to HD.

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  2. SBI: Great you listed the return leg of Mexico Apertura final, but you accidentally flipped the scoreline. Jose S has it right.

    Interesting side notes:

    Monterrey is not at altitude, so Cruz Azul has a slight advantage there.

    Chiquidrácula is the ref, he was involved in a final controversial for his sending off 3 Rayados players–I got to the TV late in the 2nd half after the damage was done, but the press didn’t think 2 were merited–El Universal has a note on this today(http://www.vefutbol.com.mx/notas/22196.html).

    Also, Aldo de Nigris, brother of Antonio, plays for Rayados.

    Enrique Meza, former manager of Pachuca/Paco Torres is manager of Cruz Azul.

    Too bad I don’t get Azteca America.

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  3. THANKS!

    Who would you pick to start if this was the case come summer 2010: A. tim howard after a horrible EPL season B. Brad Friedel starting for a top team in the EPL C. Brad Guzan playing once a month(if that) D. other E. We should play with no keeper just to make it fair since the US is going to BOMBARD every team that steps into the same field HAHAHA!

    side note: do not know much about Marcus.

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  4. i think that episode exemplified that jozy has some maturing to do which i think he has shown recently. i maintain that his play has been inconsistent as shown through his horrid play during the international friendlies (yes, they’re friendlies but it still wouldve been nice to see him take some of the initiative to carry the team as he was one of the few regular starting XI there) he also hasn’t made himself an indispensable player in the hull side that with the exception of geovanni is devoid of any real attacking talent. i’m rooting for him just as hard as you are but i think its pretty clear jozy is remarkably talented and needs to bring it every time he steps on the field which i dont think he has done in the past

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  5. people who claim that MB plays for the USMNT because of nepotism are, for lack of a better term, ignorant. Some folks just look for controversy and love to disregard factual evidence such as: there is no central mid for the US in MBs league right now (unless you count the glass-boned pipe-dream Jones)

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  6. If Brazil go to South Africa without needing to bring Diego then they will win their 6th star.

    Is Bari right on the coast? Looks like the goalmouths are sandboxes. Silly Italians.

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  7. Cool.

    Speaking of Mexico, ESPN Deportes is reporting that USA will likely play Mexico in a friendly at the Rose Bowl on Feb 24th.

    Heard anything about it,Ives?

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  8. Yo is there a Yanks Abroad twitter where i can get updates and news on players? If there isn’t there ought to be; i think lots of people would subscribe to it. I know Ives sends updates but another twitter wouldnt be bad..

    Anyways, great weekend so far for the yanks. Beasley is starting to get his swagger back and that can only be good news for the U.S. he almost had two assists this past game and we can only hope he continues to produce. Theres been reports that Fulham has been looking at Beas but he would play behind Duff if im not mistaken. Imo if the Rangers continue to give him starts he should just stay there and pray that he doesnt get hurt.

    Bradley has really had a resurgence since being benched and almost scored two goals. Honestly, i know some people hate JR because of nepotism claims with Bob but he is definitely underrated as an CM and especially his knack for being at the right place at the right time and scoring scrappy goals. If either Edu or Jones gets healthy in time for the World Cup, I’d say we have a pretty potent central midfield.

    Now here’s hoping Adu gets some playing time on Monday..

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  9. Interesting that the two games involving Mexican teams were not listed.

    Atlante beat Auckland City FC 3-0 in FIFA Club World Cup, will face Barcelona in Semifinals.

    Cruz Azul host Monterrey in the second leg of the Mexican 2009 Apertura Championship. Monterrey won first leg 4-3

    (SBI-Not listing the Mexican final was my fault. It should be in the Top 10 and I’m now adding it.)

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  10. Friedel is better than Howard and he would have been our #1 had he not retire but it is too late for him to come back because of the reasons Big Phil wrote.

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  11. In spite of the referee’s best efforts, ManU loses. What a joke that ref was in the second half. He did EVERYTHING possible to give ManU the advantage. I think he was afraide because of the fould call in the Chelsea game. What a joke. Sir Red Nose bitches about the stoppage time…which of course is also a joke given the gifts bestowed to him over the years.

    I love it. Nice home performance by the Red Menace.

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  12. One, Friedel has been in international retirement since 2005. Two, he has no rapport with the current US defenders. I would rather have Guzan or Marcus because they have a much better relationship with defenders (and as a goalie myself, I can tell you communication and understanding between defenders and the keeper is essential). Three, do you think Friedel wants to come out of retirement to sit on the bench behind Howard with a limited chance of playing?

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  13. Getting fined for using twitter to apologize for showing up late isn’t the same thing as not getting along with the coach. If he didnt get along with coach he wouldnt be playing at all, if Phil Brown doesnt like you, you dont play.

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  14. I agree with VERDOLAGA… American soccer fans would prefer watching a EURO game… college soccer is barely marketed therefore the fan base is extremely lacking

    take it easy!

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  15. ASHLEY YOUNG player of the 1st half… I love how he attacks from the left and right flanks.. rooney should get a game suspension for that dive… he almost had a masterpiece goal (the way he was able to control the ball was top notch) but hit the post…

    a question to all: why does nobody mention brad friedel as a possible starter or at least back up goalkeeper for the world cup… timmy is better but if he continues getting blasted in the EPL he should NOT be the starter..

    take it easy!

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  16. i think beasley has been pretty productive in the time theyve given him recently. i don’t get why they’re only giving him the time to try to sell him, when he’s been so productive in that time!

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  17. my source would be phil brown fining and benching him for using twitter… i think that should do it??? and he started off well with a goal in a non-league game, worked his way into the dog house and is slowly working his way back. (in case your next question was “how can you say he’s slowly working his way back?” my answer would be “he’d been in the lineup and they’d been getting positive results and in spite of that the coach had him on the bench to start the day today”) anything else you need clarified my friend?

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  18. I didn’t want to make it a debate between Liverpool vs Arsenal, but establish a point in which a college cup game does not take precedence over a professional game in the greatest league in the world, specially when it is with teams such as Arsenal and Liverpool. How can Arsenal not be considered a contender for the title when it is 2 games behind Chelsea and are a potential 6 points which would place them in 2nd for the premier league. Besides the fact that they sit in 3rd! Liverpool have a rough year on their hands, but it does not change that fact that they are Liverpool.

    You say important to American Soccer fans, but the title states “Top 10 matches to watch.” Anyways, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but the statement that it is a top 10 match to watch is impactful.

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  19. In addition to what Champions of England said, he’s also cut back on the Twitter stuff dramatically. He’s been very solid for Hull City the last several weeks.

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  20. Just saw Beasley’s assist vs St. Johnstone. He had initially won a longball played over the top by one of his teammates, and when a Johnstone player who had followed up that 50/50 cleared it straight to Beasley, DaMarcus’ first touch was to play it straight to the striker Boyd, who turned and tucked it beautifully past the keeper from 20 yards or so. This all happened literally in the first 20 seconds of the match. Beasley proceeded to have a good game by all accounts and so long as he keeps this up, his transfer out of Rangers should probably happen.

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  21. There is another game on TV worth mentioning – the Mexican apertura championship game between Cruz Azul and Monterrey. I believe it will be on the Azteca channel Sunday.

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  22. What’s your source for him not getting along with his coach? And his play has been far from inconsistent the last month for Hull. And what’s all this other BS stuff that he’s doing??

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  23. great goal by bradley (if he meant to put it there which i think he did), incredible placement. also as much as i root for and like jozy sometimes i wish he would just stop yapping for a little while and focus only on his game. stop with the twitter and other bs until you prove your game over there! it reminds me too much of senor adu with the constant chatter, but inconsistent play and difficulty getting along with the coach

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