Soccer Wednesday Preview: City-Spurs "playoff"; Inter-Roma Coppa Italia final

Soccer Wednesday Preview: City-Spurs "playoff"; Inter-Roma Coppa Italia final

European Soccer

Soccer Wednesday Preview: City-Spurs "playoff"; Inter-Roma Coppa Italia final

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By AVI CREDITOR

Although Major League Soccer's seventh week of action gets underway on Wednesday, there are a couple of high-profile matches in England and Italy that deserve the bulk of fans' attention.

Manchester City hosts Tottenham (2:55 p.m EST, ESPN2) in what is essentially a winner-take-all bout for a spot in next year's UEFA Champions League. Spurs have held onto fourth place in the Premier League for quite a while, but City is just one point off the pace after its come-from-behind victory over Aston Villa on Saturday.

Last week, City manager Roberto Mancini likened the match against Aston Villa to a Champions League semifinal, and the match against Tottenham to a Champions League final. Because both teams are likely, though certainly not guaranteed, to win their respective finales on Sunday (Manchester City is at West Ham, Tottenham is at Burnley), Mancini may indeed have a prophetic analogy.

Tottenham handled Manchester City at White Hart Lane on Dec. 16, 3-0, in the teams' earlier meeting this season.

Meanwhile, in Italy…

…two teams tussling for the Serie A crown will meet in the Coppa Italia final, as Inter Milan takes on AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico (2:45 p.m. EST, GOLTV/ESPN3.com).

Inter has become the talk of the world after its masterful Champions League performance against Barcelona, and it can take a giant step toward securing a dream treble by defeating Roma.

Roma has won the competition a record nine times (tied for the most with Juventus), with the most recent title coming in 2008. Inter has won the competition five times, but not since 2006. The two are not strangers to each other on this stage: They faced each other in every final from 2005-2008.

Jose Mourinho's men lead Claudio Ranieri's by two points in the Serie A standings with two league matches to play, but Roma will have the home-field advantage on Wednesday as it tries to secure at least one piece of silverware this season.

The two played to a 1-1 draw in their first league meeting this season, and Roma defeated Inter at home in their second meeting on March 27, 2-1.

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Will you be watching either match? Who are you pulling for to finish fourth in the Premier League? Do you think Inter can win the Coppa Italia, Serie A and Champions League titles?

Share your thoughts below.

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