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Another weekend, another stacked lineup of soccer action. The European leagues go back into action after the international break. West Ham and Tottenham meets up in a very interesting London Derby, Real Madrid and Barcelona clash in El Clasico, and Juventus host AC Milan.
Here are a few of the games you should keep an extra eye on this weekend.
Real Madrid – Barcelona (La Liga Matchday 12):
El Clasico. One of the biggest games in European soccer takes place on Saturday as Real Madrid host Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Barcelona tops La Liga on 27 points, three points ahead of Real Madrid. The Merengues stumbled before the international break, losing 3-2 to Sevilla allowing Barcelona to go top of the table with a 3-0 win over Villarreal.
Lionel Messi’s participation will be a match-time decision according to Barcelona manager Luis Enrique, as the Argentine forward is trying to get back from a knee injury. Neymar has stepped up for the Catalans during Messi’s absence, scoring five goals in the last three games. Luis Suarez has also been banging in the goals, having found the back of the net six times on his last four games, including a hat trick against Eibar.
Cristiano Ronaldo has eight goals in 11 games for Real Madrid.
Manchester City – Liverpool (Premier League Matchday 13):
Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool will be looking to upset leaders Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. Liverpool has been playing better since Klopp took over, but a win over City would be a huge boost for the Reds.
City will look to keep Arsenal at bay, as the Gunners are level on points with City (26), and bounce back from a disappointing 0-0 draw against Aston Villa before the international break. Raheem Sterling will be going up against his former team after joining City in the summer from Liverpool for an initial transfer fee of £44 million.
Juventus – AC Milan (Serie A Matchday 13):
Two of Italy’s most historic clubs square off on Saturday at Juventus Stadium in Turin. Both teams have had a rocky start to the season, but have slowly started to climb up the Serie A table. AC Milan sits in sixth with 20 points, and Juventus are right behind them in seventh with 18 points.
Milan is coming off a scoreless draw against Atalanta before the international break and is on a five-game unbeaten streak in the league. Juventus beat Empoli 3-1 before the international break, and has won three out of their last five league games. Carlos Bacca leads Milan in scoring with six goals in 12 games, and Paulo Dybala leads Juventus with five goals in 11 games.
Tottenham Hotspur – West Ham United (Premier League Matchday 13):
The London derbies are always special and we are up for another very interesting one as Tottenham welcomes West Ham to White Hart Lane on Sunday. The Spurs are unbeaten since Opening Day when they fell 1-0 to Manchester United. They are coming off a draw against Arsenal before the international break. West Ham has been a very big positive so far this season, as manager Slaven Bilic has gotten the team to play some very effective soccer.
Both teams are in the race for a European cup spot. Tottenham sits in fifth with 21 points, and the Hammers are right behind them in sixth, level on points but with a lesser goal difference.
Portland Timbers – FC Dallas (MLS Western Conference Final):
Dallas will be traveling to Portland and Providence park for the first leg of the MLS Western Conference Final on Sunday afternoon. Top seeded Dallas knocked out the Seattle Sounders on penalties in the quarterfinals, whereas Portland won 2-0 on aggregate against the Montreal Impact.
The teams split their meetings this season, with the home team winning each game. Portland, led by their top goalscorer Fenando Adi (16 goals so far this season), are in the club’s second Conference Finals since joining MLS in 2011. Dallas, who made the MLS Cup Final in 2010, is making their fourth appearance in the Conference Finals. Fabian Castillo leads the team in scoring with nine goals.