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Soccer

Soccer on TV: Atletico, Real Madrid meet in La Liga showdown

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Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema controls the ball in front of Barcelona defender Nelson Semedo, left, during a Copa del Rey semifinal match on Wednesday.
(Emilio Morenatti / Associated Press)

In the top televised soccer games from Europe this week Madrid’s two teams meet in a battle to stay in contention for the Spanish crown while Chelsea visits Manchester needing a win over City to stay in front of City’s intercity rival, Manchester United. And in Italy, a hot Cristiano Ronaldo takes unbeaten Juventus on the road.

La Liga: With Barcelona holding a comfortable six-point lead atop the standings, Saturday’s Madrid Derby could mark the last gasp for either Atletico or Real Madrid to remain in the race (BeIN Sports, 7 a.m. PST). Atletico comes home following its second loss of the league season, a 1-0 defeat at Real Betis, while Real Madrid has won four in a row in league play for the first time this season. The teams played to a scoreless draw in September, the fourth straight draw in La Liga play for the crosstown rivals. Karim Benzema, with three goals in the last two games for Real, has 10 on the season, matching Atletico’s Antoine Griezmann for fourth in the league.

EPL: Chelsea stopped its first two-game losing streak of the EPL season last week by pounding last place Huddersfield Town 5-0. But it remains in danger of falling out of the top four and losing a Champions League berth when it heads to the Etihad to meet Manchester City on Sunday (NBCSN, Telemundo, 8 a.m. PST). With Wednesday’s win over Everton, City became the first team in Europe to reach 20 wins and moved past Liverpool into the league lead for the first time in two months. Chelsea’s bigger worry, however, is the other Manchester team, United, which hasn’t lost in eight EPL matches and can pass the Blues with a win over Fulham on Saturday (NBCSN, Universo, 4:30 PST) and a Chelsea loss to City on Sunday.

Serie A: Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus is the only remaining unbeaten team in Europe’s top five leagues, a distinction it should have little trouble retaining Sunday when it hits the road to meet mid-table Sassuolo (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, 9 a.m. PST). Ronaldo has six goals in his last five games, giving him a league-high 17 for the season. Juventus played Parma to a 3-3 draw last week — the team’s third tie of the season — despite a brace from Ronaldo.

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kevin.baxter@latimes.com | Twitter: @kbaxter11


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