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February 13, 2015 at 8:42 AM

Weekend Watch: Must-see matches from around the world

Sound the alarm — it’s another FA Cup weekend! England’s cup-competition-turned-free-for-all again headlines this version of the Weekend Watch.

Bayer Leverkusen vs. VfL Wolfsburg, German Bundesliga, Saturday at 6:30 a.m.

Two of the most entertaining sides in Germany go head-to-head with Champions League stakes on the line. Wolfsburg is second in the league only to Bayern Munich in goals scored with 41 in 20 games. Leverkusen hasn’t matched the highs of its Champions League campaign, but its lurking just a few spots back in the standings in sixth.

Bradford City vs. Sunderland, English FA Cup, Sunday at 6:30 a.m.

It would be just like this topsy-turvy 2014-’15 version of the FA Cup for a League One side to push into the quarterfinals. Bradford isn’t even a particularly good League One team — they’re currently outside the promotion playoffs in eighth — but it is somehow, some way two wins from the semis at Wembley.

Arsenal vs. Middlesbrough, English FA Cup, Sunday at 8 a.m.

Last seen tearing up the Etihad Stadium on counterattack after counterattack, Boro invades the Emirates with a chance to make it two-for-two in Premier League grounds named after United Arab Emirates flagship airlines.

Lorient vs. Lyon, French Ligue 1, Sunday at 12 p.m.

The top team in French football through 24 games isn’t nouveau rich Monaco (currently in fifth) or nouveau richer Paris Saint-Germain (third). It isn’t high-scoring Marseilles (second) or stingy St. Etienne (fourth). The top team in French football is Lyon, and based on a plus-30 goal differential that is nine above any other team’s in the league, that is no fluke.

Preston North End vs. Manchester United, English FA Cup, Monday at 11:45 a.m.

Man United is still in third place in the EPL this season despite a playing style that would be generously described as functional. For some teams, the ability to grind out results is enough on its own. Those teams didn’t drop more than $150 million this past offseason. Long may the FA Cup chaos reign.

 

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