Lionel Messi hopes to give Huesca a memorable parting gift Saturday as the small, underfunded team prepares for relegation from Spain’s La Liga while Manchester City and Liverpool renew their battle from supremacy in the England Premier League on Sunday, highlighting the top televised soccer action from Europe this weekend.
La Liga: Huesca first taste of top-flight soccer is likely to end with relegation next month so the final seven games will be all about building memories. And nothing’s likely to top what happens Saturday when Messi leads Barcelona’s into the city’s tiny 7,600-seat stadium for the first time in a league game (BeIN Sports, 7 a.m. PT). Huesca’s entire club budget is about $10 million less than Messi alone gets from Barcelona, which pounded Huesca 8-2 in the teams’ first meeting this season. Huesca is winless in its last five and entered the weekend at the bottom of the La Liga table, seven points away from relegation safety. The team’s 35 goals in league play are just two more than Messi has scored by himself.
EPL: Just two points separate Liverpool and second-place Manchester City atop the Premier League, making every remaining point crucial as the teams enter the season’s closing stages. City goes first on Sunday, traveling to London to meet Crystal Palace (NBCSN, Universo, 6 a.m. PT). which stunned the defending champions in December and will be looking for its first top-flight season sweep of City since 1972-73. A City win would briefly move it back into first awaiting the conclusion of Liverpool’s home match with Chelsea (NBCSN, Telemundo, 8:30 a.m. PT), which hasn’t lost to the Reds since September 2016. Liverpool’s six-game winless streak against Chelsea at Anfield is its longest against any opponent in Premier League history.