Top 5 Must-See Soccer Games: Dec. 4, 2014

2010 MLS Cup - FC Dallas v Colorado Rapids

It’s almost that time of year again. When the games come thick and fast, when every night of the week yields an intriguing clash to sample. But for some leagues the action is fast approaching an intriguing climax.

The MLS Cup final is the showpiece match of what’s set to be a wonderful weekend of soccer. In addition to that momentous occasion, we’ve got engrossing games from four of European football’s major leagues to indulge in.

All kick-off times are in Eastern time.

Enjoy your weekend and enjoy the games!


Fiorentina vs. Juventus

Friday, December 5, 2:45PM, beIN SPORTS, beIN SPORTS Espańol & DishWorld


Juventus preserved their spot atop of the Serie A standings with a hard fought victory over city rivals Torino in their last outing, but they’ll surely face a much tougher test this time round when they tackle Fiorentina at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

The win over Torino was Juve’s fourth domestic triumph in succession and they subsequently lead Roma by three points in the race for the Scudetto. But with the Giallorossi facing a home clash with Sassuolo, Massimiliano Allegri’s team could have their cushion at the top cut shout they aren’t at their very best here.

Allegri has a host of key players missing too—most notably in defence, with Martin Caceres, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Kwadwo Asamoah all set to miss one—and that will surely give La Viola hope. At the sharp end of the pitch, Carlos Tevez is in red hot form, though, and he’ll surely fancy his chances of cashing in against a Fiorentina side that have struggled for consistency this season.

Juan Cuadrado remains Fiorentina’s finest player and has been deployed in a forward role for much of the season. The Colombian—set to be deployed alongside Mario Gomez—will feel as though he has the dynamism and talent to cause what could be a makeshift Bianconeri back-four major problems.


Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen

Saturday, December 6, 12:30PM, GolTV


Given the perpetual plight of Borussia Dortmund, the Bundesliga looks likely to be a one horse race once again this year. But there’s always a sense of intrigue when two of the giants of German football meet, and it’ll be the same again when Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen face-off again this weekend.

Bayern have found their groove to devastating effect in recent weeks and they’re a team who are threatening to sweep aside all before them given the astounding calibre of their recent displays. Pep Guardiola’s side have a seven point lead atop of the table, and a win over their upcoming third placed opponents would put them a staggering 13 points clear of Bayer.

Leverkusen face the unenviable task of becoming the first team to avoid defeat at the Allianz Arena so far this season, but they’ve found some form after a tough start to the season. They’ve won their last two games in succession—including a 5-1 win last time out over FC Cologne—and in Karim Bellarabi they have a young player who’s enjoying a breakthrough season.

Nonetheless, Bayern are a team that look on course for great things this season, and if they play with the verve and swagger that they’ve showcased in recent weeks, they have the capabilities to sweep any side on the continent aside.


Barcelona vs. Espanyol

Sunday, December 7, 11:00AM, beIN SPORTS, beIN SPORTS Espańol & DishWorld


The “Derbi Barcelona” may not be one of the most competitive derby matches on the continent, but it always makes a thoroughly entertaining spectacle when Barcelona and Espanyol lock horns.

Espanyol haven’t won at the Camp Nou since the 2008/09 season and given their current league form—they’re languishing down in 12th place in La Liga—it’s difficult to see that trend ending any time soon. Although, they pushed Barcelona close in the two meetings last season, losing narrowly on both occasions.

Barcelona came through a tough game with Valencia in their last outing thanks to a late Sergio Busquets winner. They showed a side of their game away from the intricate passing and dazzling forward play, digging in and securing a vital three points that kept them within two points of league leaders Real Madrid.

Given the scintillating form of Los Blancos, it’s vital Barcelona keep pace atop of the table if they’re to keep their title hopes alive. Luis Enrique will also be desperate for a stellar performance in his first Derbi Barcelona, especially after a big disappointment in his maiden El Clasico as manager.


LA Galaxy vs. New England Revolution

Sunday, December 7, 3:00PM, ESPN, ESPN Deportes,, UniMas & Univision Deportes


The American top flight will come to a dramatic conclusion on Sunday afternoon, as LA Galaxy and New England Revolution lock horns in what should be an enthralling MLS Cup Final.

There are few soccer fans who would have anticipated these two would have been meeting in the end-of-season showpiece when Galaxy trounced New England 5-1 early in the season. But Revolution have enjoyed a startling turnaround in form and remarkably, find themselves one game away from the ultimate prize for any American team.

Standing in their way will be a raucous Galaxy crowd at the StubHud Center however; a set of fans that will be willing on Landon Donovan—playing his last ever game—to triumph in this competition for the sixth time in his distinguished career. LA have been a wonderful side to watch this year and playing in their fourth final in six years, know exactly what’s needed to win in these kinds of games.

Home advantage could play a big part for Galaxy, but Revolution have built up spades of momentum in the lead up to this game, making this final an exceptionally difficult one to call. The two met in this game back in 2002 and 2005; Galaxy emerged as 1-0 winners in extra time on both of those occasions.


Southampton vs. Manchester United

Monday, December 8, 3:00PM, NBCSN & NBC Sports Live Extra


You suspect Southampton’s credentials are set to come under major scrutiny in the weeks ahead, and their fine start to the season will be put to the test again on Monday when they welcome a resurgent Manchester United to St. Mary’s.

Manchester City and Arsenal both proved themselves to be too good for Ronald Koeman’s Saints, and while there are plenty claiming this team is about to implode, they’ll fancy their chances in what’ll be a big game under the lights. And while United’s form has picked up as of late, Southampton have the class in their ranks to cause big problems.

Indeed, it’s David de Gea who has shone brightest for the Red Devils in recent weeks. The Spanish stopper produced some magnificent saves to prevent Stoke City from taking a point from Old Trafford in their last Premier League outing and Louis van Gaal will be hoping his midfield and defence make it a quieter evening for their goalkeeper.

Both sides will feel as though a spot in the top four is a realistic ambition this season and if United were to win on the south coast, it would see them move two points clear of Saints in the Premier League table.

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattJFootball

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