After a festive period that sees some divisions wind down and other leagues ramp things up, domestic soccer gets back to the regular grind again this weekend.
The FA Cup will take center stage in England and there are a couple of standout clashes to enjoy this weekend from that iconic competition. In addition, there are two exciting games from Spain, including a new era beginning for one of the division’s giants. The other match will see two of Italian football’s grandest outfits lock horns.
All kickoffs are in Eastern Time. Enjoy your weekend and enjoy the games!
Exeter City vs. Liverpool
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp takes his injury ravaged squad to the south west this Friday, as the FA Cup third round gets underway at Exeter City’s St James’ Park.
Although there’s no denying the Premier League side are in possession of the superior quality, this will be a test for Liverpool. Indeed, having recalled the likes of Tiago Ilori and Sheyi Ojo from their respective loan spells, it seems as though Klopp may well turn to some young talent in the cup competitions, which could serve as some incentive to Exeter.
For the minnows, it’s the biggest game in their recent history. This term Paul Tisdale’s side have been seeking to try and steer clear of the relegation zone in the fourth tier and coming into this weekend’s game they’re occupying 16th place in the standings. You can bet this tight venue will be rocking by the time kickoff comes around on Friday, though.
Physically, Liverpool have been pushed to the limit by Klopp’s demand for high intensity football, the congested calendar and the subsequent injuries; the Reds could head to Exeter without a recognized, fit centre-back. So make no mistake, this is likely to be a difficult challenge for the Anfield outfit.
Real Madrid vs. Deportivo la Coruna
Saturday, January 9, 2:30PM, beIN SPORTS, beIN SPORTS en Espańol and fuboTV
After Rafa Benitez was given the boot earlier this week, Zinedine Zidane begins his tenure at the helm of Real Madrid against an impressive Deportivo la Coruna outfit.
Benitez may not have been popular at the Santiago Bernabeu, but he was doing a quietly effective job. Despite his reputation as a pragmatist, no team in Spain’s top flight have scored more goals than Los Blancos and in the last three games on home soil, there have been a staggering 24 goals scored.