So, those cup upsets didn’t quite materialize last Sunday, but such is life – the rarity of such stunners is part of what makes them so special. Here’s hoping for better luck in this weekend watch.
Everton vs. Manchester City, English Premier League, Saturday at 7 a.m.
One of the most depressing sights of this Premier League season has been the slow grinding down of the morale of both Everton manager Roberto Martinez and Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers, their blind commitment to attacking play blowing up in their faces. The (darker) Blues are due a change in fortune.
United Arab Emirates vs. Qatar, 2015 AFC Asian Cup, Saturday at 11 p.m.
Show me the money! Both of these wealthy nations have edged into the top 100 in recent years. Neither has much chance of winning this competition, but even advancing from Group C would be a major success. You don’t even have to get up at the crack of dawn to watch this one.
A.S. Roma vs. Lazio, Italian Serie A, Sunday at 6 a.m.
The Eternal City derby is often more notable for its off-field antics than anything else. Reads Wikipedia: “The derby has been historically marked by massive crowds, violence and, more recently, racist banners in the crowd.” This year, though, with the teams sitting in second and third in the Serie A table, maybe the supporters will actually concentrate on the game.
Napoli vs. Juventus, Italian Serie A, Sunday at 11:45 a.m.
It’s a Super Sunday in Italia. Two hosts three in Rome, four hosts one in Naples. The Little Donkeys might not be the formidable attacking side that finished second in the league behind Edinson Cavani two seasons ago, but they still have more than enough talent to trouble Juve.
Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid, Spanish Primera, Sunday at 12 p.m.
Catalonia is in crisis. Lionel Messi-to-Chelsea transfer rumors are getting less outlandish by the day, and only 27,099 fans showed up to the cavernous Camp Nou to watch Barca toss Elche out of the Copa Del Rey on Thursday. What better time to bring in the defending La Liga champs.