Real Madrid is locked in a fierce battle for first place in the Spanish Primera with FC Barcelona, and to hold onto that first-place spot Real will need to knock off arch-rival Atletic Madrid this weekend.
The Madrid Clasico is just one of several marquee battles, including several table-topping clashes, on the TV schedule this weekend. AS Roma-Inter Milan, Chelsea-Aston Villa, Bayer Leverkusen-Schalke 04 and Benfica-Sporting Braga are just some of the more appealing clashes on tap.
Then you have MLS, which kicks into a full schedule this weekend. The New York Red Bulls take on hated rival Chicago Fire in its first MLS match at Red Bull Arena. Another heated rivalry resumes in Columbus, where the Crew faces Toronto FC. You also have the Texas Derby, with the Houston Dynamo traveling to take on FC Dallas.
Here are SBI's Top 10 Matches to Watch and this weekend's schedule of matches on TV:
SBI'S TOP 10 MATCHES TO WATCH
1. AS Roma vs. Inter Milan. Roma has been red-hot and can make things extremely interesting in Serie A with a win.
2. Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid. Real Madrid can't afford slip-ups with Barcelona hot in their trail, but Atletico will offer a tough challenge in the Clasico.
3. Chelsea vs. Aston Villa. Two teams embroiled in tight races and neither can afford a loss right now. Expect a pressure-packed and entertaining affair.
4. New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire. Red Bull Arena makes its MLS debut just in time for the Red Bulls to take on an arch-rival.
5. Bayer Leverkusen vs. Schalke 04. The winner of this one becomes Bayern Munich's top competition for the Bundesliga title.
6. Benfica vs. Sporting Braga. Benfica can essentially lock down the Portuguese Liga crown with a win vs. Braga.
7. FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo. We will find out if Dallas is ready to carry over their late-season momentum, as well as whether Houston is ready to excel without Stuart Holden and Ricardo Clark.
8. Hull City vs. Fulham. If Jozy Altidore is healthy, this becomes Altidore vs. Clint Dempsey. If not, it probably wouldn't make this list.
9. Kansas City vs. D.C. United. Can't get much better for drama than D.C. coach Curt Onalfo facing the team (and man in Peter Vermes) that fired him (and in Vermes' case, took his job).
10. Corinthians vs. Sao Paulo. If you haven't started watching Brazilian League soccer, what are you waiting for?
THIS WEEKEND'S SOCCER ON TV
8:45am- Fox Soccer Plus- Crystal Palace vs. Cardiff City
10:25am- GolTV- Bayern Munich vs. VfB Stuttgart
10:45am- ESPN Classic- Chelsea vs. Aston Villa
11am- FSC/FSE- Tottenham vs. Portsmouth
11am- Fox Soccer Plus- Birmingham City vs. Arsenal
1pm- Fox Soccer Plus- AS Roma vs. Inter Milan
1:30pm- ESPN360.com- Bayer Leverkusen vs. Schalke 04
1:30pm- FSC/FSE- Bolton vs. Manchester United
2:55pm- ESPN Deportes/ESPN360.com- Mallorca vs. Barcelona
3pm- GolTV- Palmeiras vs. Mirassol
3:30pm- FSE- AS Roma vs. Inter Milan (Delayed)
3:40pm- FSC/ESPN360.com- Palermo vs. Bologna
4pm- Direct Kick- Columbus Crew vs. Toronto FC
4pm- Telefutura- FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo
4:15pm- ESPN360.com- Benfica vs. Sporting Braga
4:55pm- ESPN Deportes/ESPN360.com- Real Zaragoza vs. Valencia
5pm- Fox Soccer Plus- Wolverhampton vs. Everton (Delayed)
6pm- FSC- Hull City vs. Fulham (Delayed)
6:55pm- ESPN/ESPN360.com- New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire
7pm- FSE- Jaguares vs. Monterrey
7pm- Galavision- Queretaro FC vs. FC Atlas
7pm- Fox Soccer Plus- West Ham United vs. Stoke City (Delayed)
7:20pm- GolTV- Deportivo Pereira vs. Real Cartagena
8:30pm- DirecTV- Kansas City vs. D.C. United
9pm- FSC/FSE- San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake
9pm- Telefutura- Pachuca vs. Morelia
9pm- Mun2- Tigres UANL vs. CD Toluca
9pm- Telemundo- Chivas de Guadalajara vs. Santos Laguna
9:30pm- GolTV- Deportivo Cali vs. Chico FC
11pm- FSC/FSE- Los Angeles Galaxy vs. New England Revolution
11pm- Telemundo- Atlante vs. Indios
7am- Fox Soccer Plus- Burnley vs. Blackburn Rovers
8:30am- ESPN Deportes/ESPN360.com- VVV Venlo vs. PSV Eindhoven
8:55am- FSC/FSE/ESPN360.com- Juventus vs. Atlante
8:55am- ESPN360.com- Napoli vs. Catania
8:55am- ESPN360.com- Sampdoria vs. Cagliari
9am- Fox Soccer Plus- Derby County vs. Leicester City (Delayed)
11am- FSC/FSE- Liverpool vs. Sunderland
11am- DirecTV- Espanyol vs. Sporting Gijon
11am- ESPN Deportes/ESPN360.com- Deportivo Xerez vs. Real Valladolid
11am- GolTV- Deportivo La Coruna vs. Getafe
11am- DirecTV- Osasuna vs. Almeria
11:30am- ESPN360.com- Borussia Moenchengladbach vs. Hamburg
1pm- GolTV- Villarreal vs. Sevilla
1pm- ESPN Deportes- Borussia Moenchengladbach vs. Hamburg (Delayed)
2pm- Telemundo- UNAM Pumas vs. San Luis
2:45pm- FSC/FSE- AC Milan vs. Lazio
3pm- GolTV- Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid
5pm- FSC?FSE- USA vs. Mexico (Women's soccer)
5pm- GolTV- Corinthians vs. Sao Paulo
6pm- Fox Soccer Plus- AC Milan vs. Lazio (Delayed)
7pm- FSE- Colon vs. Independiente
7pm- Azteca America/ESPN Deportes- Puebla vs. America
7pm- GolTV- Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid (Delayed)
10pm- GolTV- Deportivo La Coruna vs. Getafe
What matches are you most looking forward to?
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