What to watch in international soccer this weekend
England’s top team finds itself in an unusual position, coming off its only loss of the season, while in Spain Barcelona, which is running away with La Liga’s title, will try to keep its unbeaten league record intact
EPL: For the first time this season, Manchester City will trying to bounce back from a loss when the English Premier League leader plays host Saturday to struggling Newcastle United, which is just three points out of the drop zone (NBC, 9:30 a.m. PT). City has little to worry about in the standings, however, since it enters the weekend 12 points clear of its closest pursuer, cross-town rival Manchester United.
La Liga: Manchester City’s 4-3 loss to Liverpool last week left Barcelona the only major European team unbeaten in league play although Barca is smarting from Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to Espanyol in the Copa del Rey. So Barcelona, too, will be trying to right the ship when it travels to Seville to meet seventh-place Betis on Sunday (BeIN Sports, 11:35 a.m. PT).
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (17 goals) and Luis Suarez (13) are 1-2 in the league scoring race after 19 games and Messi ranks second with eight assists, two better than Betis’ Andres Guardado, the Mexican national team star.
Defending league champion Real Madrid, meanwhile, will have to begin looking ahead to next season if it gets anything less than three points from its home match with Deportivo, which is in position to be relegated. Madrid enters the weekend 19 points back of Barcelona.
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