The Bundesliga’s return highlights televised soccer from Europe this weekend while in Spain there’s a battle atop the table and in England, Liverpool plays a rematch against a desperate Manchester United, the only team it hasn’t beaten this season.
Bundesliga: Germany’s top league returns to action Friday after a nearly month-long break with Borussia Monchengladbach (11-4-2) , two points back of Leipzig in the league table, traveling to Schalke (8-3-6), the league’s fifth-place team. (FS2, TUDN, 11:30 a.m. PST). Monchengladbach, which led the league for eight weeks earlier in the season, has lost just once since November while Schalke has lost just once since late October. The teams faced one another in their season openers in August, playing to a scoreless draw. Monchengladbach has allowed a league-low 18 goals in 17 games.
La Liga: No team in Spain is hotter than Real Madrid (11-1-7), which was unbeaten in its last 10 league matches before knocking off both Valencia and Atletico Madrid in last week’s Spanish Supercopa. But all that has gotten the team is a tie with Barcelona atop the La Liga table heading into a home match with fourth-place Sevilla (10-4-5) on Saturday (BeIN Sports, 7 a.m. PST). Real Madrid hasn’t lost in 12 matches while Sevilla — playing its first match since the season’s opening month without Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, who is near completion of a move to the Galaxy — is unbeaten in its last four. Real Madrid has won its last 10 consecutive league matches with Sevilla at Santiago Bernabeu, averaging 3.5 goals a game in the process. As for first-place Barcelona (12-3-4), it plays mid-table Granada (8-8-3) at home Sunday (BeIN Sports, noon PST).
EPL: Unbeaten Liverpool (20-0-1) enters the weekend with a commanding 14-point league atop the EPL standings, making the rest of the season more a coronation than a title race for the Reds. Manchester United (9-6-7), on the other hand, is locked in a bitter fight for a European tournament spot, leading four teams by less than four points for a Europa League berth. And United is the only EPL team that hasn’t lost to Liverpool this season, playing the Reds to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in October. Much will be at stake for United in Sunday’s rematch at Anfield (NBCSN, Telemundo, 8:30 a.m. PST).