By AYDEN REYHAN
While MLS takes centerstage in North America, Europe promises a weekend of soccer that promises both league and cup action.
The FA Cup takes centerstage this weekend as Liverpool take on Blackburn Rovers while Aston Villa and West Brom collide after Villa’s victory midweek. In addition, Tottenham faces off with Queen Park Rangers in Premier League action.
In Spain, Atletico Madrid hosts Valencia in La Liga with the hosts looking to protect or build on their one-point lead ahead of their visitors, who sit right behind them in fourth.
Elsewhere, Napoli hosts Inter Milan, Schalke plays Hoffenheim with a two-point lead ahead in the Bundesliga standings and Ligue 1-leading Lyon visits Montpellier.
Here is an overall look at the action from the top five European leagues that is coming up this weekend:
Queens Park Rangers takes on Tottenham Hotspur in the only Premier League fixture of the weekend. Tottenham look to break into the top-six while QPR looks to escape the bottom three. QPR lost 2-1 at home to Arsenal in midweek whereas Tottenham were 3-2 winners over Swansea at home.
On Monday, Arsenal hosts Manchester United in the first leg of the FA Cup quarterfinals. The rivalry is being carried over from the EPL where the Gunners hold a one-point advantage in third place, which could make this a bit more tense than normal.
Here are the important fixtures happening in England this weekend:
Queens Park Rangers vs Tottenham Hotspur
Bradford City vs Reading
Aston Villa vs West Bromwich Albion
Liverpool vs Blackburn
Arsenal vs Manchester United
Real Madrid visits Athletic Bilbao looking to get back to the win column after dropping points in last weekend’s 1-1 home draw against Villarreal.
Barcelona hosts Ray Vallecano hoping to overlap Real Madrid into first place with Atletico Madrid looking to maintain or improve on their one-point lead ahead of the visiting Valencia.
Here is everything happening in La Liga this weekend:
Levante vs Eibar
Deportivo La Coruna vs Sevilla
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid
Elche vs Almeria
Granada vs Malaga
Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano
Real Sociedad vs Espanyol
Villarreal vs Celta Vigo
Atletico Madrid vs Valencia
Cordoba vs Getafe
Schalke hosts Hoffenheim, looking to maintain their two-point lead ahead of their guests in the Bundesliga table. A Schalke win would be a confidence-booster ahead of their return-leg in the UCL Round of 16 at Real Madrid next week.
Bayern Munich visits Hanover 96 with nothing but victory in mind as they look to improve on their eight-point lead ahead of Wolfsburg atop the table. Wolfsburg themselves visit Augsburg, looking to stay perfect in league play in 2015.
Here is all the action in the Bundesliga this weekend:
Stuttgart vs Hertha BSC
Schalke vs Hoffenheim
Augsburg vs Wolfsburg
Hanover 96 vs Bayern Munich
Freiburg vs Werder Bremen
Hamburg vs Borussia Dortmund
Mainz vs Borussia Moenchengladbach
Koln vs Eintracht Frankfurt
Paderborn vs Bayer Leverkusen
Napoli hosts Inter Milan in the most mouthwatering Serie A game of the week, as Napoli looks to cut Roma’s four-point lead ahead in second down to one while Inter look to jump into sixth.
Third-placed Lazio welcomed Fiorentina, while Juventus looks to extend its nine-point lead atop the standings with a win over Sassuolo in Turin.
Here is everything happening in Serie A this weekend:
Sampdoria vs Cagliari
Milan vs Hellas Verona
Cesena vs Palermo
Chievo vs Roma
Empoli vs Genoa
Parma vs Atalanta
Udinese vs Torino
Napoli vs Inter
Lazio vs Fiorentina
Juventus vs Sassuolo
Toulouse kicks off the Ligue 1 weekend by hosting Marseille who look to tie PSG in second with 53 points. PSG looks to overlap Lyon into first when they welcome 19th-placed Lens.
Montpellier looks to rise into fourth when they host league-leading Lyon. Saint Etienne can jump up to fourth when they host Lorient while Monaco looks to bounce back from their Coupe de France loss to PSG when they visit Evian.
Here is all of the Ligue 1 action that will take place this weekend:
Toulouse vs Marseille
PSG vs Lens
Bastia vs Nice
Caen vs Bordeaux
Evian vs Monaco
Reims vs Nantes
Rennes vs Metz
Saint Etienne vs Lorient
Guingamp vs Lille
Montpellier vs Lyon