What to watch in international soccer this weekend
The top televised soccer action from Europe this weekend will feature Manchester United trying to salvage its season in the FA Cup quarterfinals, Juventus hoping to extend its hard-won lead in Italy’s Series A and Atletico Madrid starting a last-ditch sprint to catch Barcelona in Spain.
England: Now that Manchester United has been bounced from the Champions League and has no more than a remote mathematical possibility of catching Manchester City in the league race, the domestic FA Cup is the last shot at earning something from the team’s record-spending spree this season. Man U will try to keep that quest alive Saturday when it meets Brighton in the tournament quarterfinals (FS2, 12:30 p.m. PDT). In Saturday’s other FA Cup quarterfinal, Swansea City meets Tottenham (FS1, 5 a.m.) while Sunday’s quarterfinals will see Wigan — the only lower-tier team left in the competition — playing Southampton (FS2, 6:30 a.m.) and Leicester City playing host to Chelsea (FS2, 9:30 a.m.)
Serie A: With two wins in the last five days — and 12 in a row overall — Juventus has passed struggling Napoli atop the Italian table. Juventus will try to widen its lead Saturday when it travels to Ferrara to meet SPAL, which will start the weekend in the relegation zone. (BeIN Sports, 12:30 p.m.)
La Liga: Unbeaten Barcelona hasn’t been able to shake Atletico Madrid in the Spanish league race, but Atletico is running out of time if it is going to close the eight-point gap between first and second. That makes Sunday’s match at Villarreal crucial (BeIN Sports en Espanol, 10:15 a.m.). Barcelona, meanwhile, will try to keep the gap right where it is when it meets Athletic Bilbao earlier Sunday (BeIN Sports, 8 a.m.).
Follow Kevin Baxter on Twitter @kbaxter11
All about the beautiful game
Go inside the L.A. pro soccer scene and beyond in Kevin Baxter's weekly newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.