It’s already a one-team race for the title in the English Premier League, but there’s still plenty to play for back in the pack, where four teams with tournament aspirations battle one another for valuable points this weekend. But it’s a different story in Spain, where traditional powers Barcelona and Real Madrid are separated by just two scores in goal differential atop the La Liga table. Both will be at home this weekend, highlighting the top televised soccer games from Europe.
EPL: Unbeaten Liverpool has all but clinched the league title and is on pace to shatter the EPL record for points in a season as well — and it’s not even Christmas yet. But there’s some drama just below the Reds, where seven teams are separated by 15 points in the battle for the EPL’s four remaining European tournament invitations. Two of them meet Saturday when second-place Leicester City (12-2-3) visits third-place Manchester City (11-4-2), the defending champions who have already lost as many games this season as in either of the past two full campaigns (NBC, Universo, 9:30 a.m. PT). City hasn’t lost a home league match to Leicester since 2016, but Leicester hasn’t lost to anyone anywhere since Oct. 5, a span of 11 matches. Fourth-place Chelsea (9-6-2) and fifth-place Tottenham (7-5-5) , two other teams still in the running for a continental berth, meet Sunday (NBCSN, Telemundo, 8:30 a.m. PT). Spurs have lost just one of their last seven league matches while Chelsea has lost four of its last five.
La Liga: Wednesday’s scoreless draw in El Clasico left Barcelona and Real Madrid equal in points atop the table, but that could change this weekend in the final games before La Liga’s 11-day holiday break. Barcelona (11-3-3), which has a narrow edge over Real Madrid in goal differential, goes first, facing Alaves (5-8-4) on Saturday (BeIN Sports, 7 a.m. PT). Led by Lionel Messi, who is tied for the league lead in goals (12) and assists (6), Barcelona has lost just one of its last 17 games in all competition. Real Madrid (10-1-6) plays its final game before the break Sunday (BeIN Sports, noon PT) against Athletic Club (7-4-6). Its only loss came in mid-October at Mallorca, and it has shut out five of eight opponents since then, allowing just 12 goals in 17 games overall, same as Athletic Club.