Chelsea fans will be rooting for Arsenal on Sunday when the Gunners host English Premier League leader Manchester United (TV: Fox Soccer Channel, live, 11 am ET).
Third-place Arsenal is only a longshot to win the EPL title, trailing
United by 15 points, but the Gunners could cut into United's six-point
lead over second-place Chelsea with a win. After a slow start, Arsenal
has been in fine form in recent weeks, beating Liverpool handily in the
FA Cup and League Cup. The Gunners will be without Brazilian midfielder
Gilberto, who is suspended
after being red carded in Arsenal's win at Blackburn last weekend.
United will be making its first appearance at the new Emirates Stadium,
where Arsenal is unbeaten. In its last appearance at Highbury last
season, United crushed Arsenal, 4-2.
Chelsea, meanwhile, puts its perfect record under Manager Jose Mourinho against Liverpool on
the line when the Blues travel to Anfield on Saturday (TV: Setanta
Sports USA, live, 7:40 am ET). The game will mark the 100th EPL games
for both managers: Mourinho (73 wins 18 ties, 8 losses) and Rafa Benitez of Liverpool (55 wins,
18 ties, 26 losses).
ITALY. Inter Milan looks
to extend its record Serie A winning streak to 13 games when it hosts
Fiorentina on Sunday (TV: Gol TV, live, 9 am ET). Inter, which holds a
nine-point lead over Roma at the halfway mark, has been bolstered by
the return to form of Brazilian Adriano,
who scored in his last two Serie A games. "When Adriano's playing like
this," said Inter defender Douglas
Maicon, "we are almost unbeatable. He is one
of the greatest strikers in the world."
SPAIN. History could repeat itself when Real Madrid travels to Real
Mallorca on Sunday (TV: Gol TV, live, 3 pm ET). Florentino Perez quit as Real
Madrid president last season after the Merengues lost at Mallorca.
Perez's successor, Ramon Calderon,
is under fire for making disparaging remarks about Madrid players and
fans, and pressure for him to resign will mount if Real again loses at
Mallorca. Real Madrid suffered another setback Thursday when it was
knocked out the Copa del Rey, tying Real Betis, 1-1, at home and going
out on the away goal rule. Their first game ended in a 0-0 tie. Real
Madrid goes into the weekend only two points behind La Liga leader
Sevilla, which has a potentially tough game at Villarreal on Saturday
(TV: Gol TV, live, 4 pm ET). Barcelona, which is tied with Real Madrid
but has a game in hand, hosts last-place Gimnastic Tarragona (TV: Gol
TV, Monday, Jan. 22, delay, 9 pm ET).