Wednesday, November 26, 2014
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Seven hot matches

Another Friday means another look at big matches coming up around the world over the next seven days.

Seven hot matches

Another Friday means another look at big matches coming up around the world over the next seven days.

Two games did not make the cut that deserve honorable mention.

The first is Germany's best rivalry game, Borussia Dortmund at Schalke 04, Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. on GolTV. Dortmund is one of Europe's most entertaining team, and is en route toward this season's Bundesliga title.

The second is a clash between the two best teams in MLS this year, Real Salt Lake at Sporting Kansas City. It's Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. The game is not televised nationally, which is why I didn't include it, but you can watch it via MLS' paid online streaming service at MLSSoccer.com.

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Manchester City at Norwich City

7:30 a.m. Saturday (ESPN2/ESPN3.com)

Just when it seemed that Manchester City's hopes of winning the English Premier League had been dashed, first-place Manchester United was upset by lowly Wigan, 1-0, on Wednesday. Now the door has creaked back open, as City is five points behind with five to play. Could mercurial City striker Mario Balotelli's three-game suspension be a blessing in disguise? 

Liverpool vs. Everton

7:30 a.m. Saturday (Fox Soccer Channel)

This Merseyside rivalry, one of English soccer's most famous, will be played out on one of the sport's biggest stages: the semifinals of the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium in London. Liverpool needs a win to take heat off manager Kenny Dalglish, while the Toffees would like nothing more than to get one over on the bigger team across town.

Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur 

1 p.m. Sunday (Fox Soccer Channel)

The second FA Cup semifinal at Wembley will be an all-London affair. Both teams might be just a little distracted: Tottenham is in a race for fourth place in the Premier League, and Chelsea is in the Champions League semifinals against Barcelona. But a rivalry game in the FA Cup is always a big deal, so expect both teams to treat it that way.

Houston Dynamo at Chicago Fire

7 p.m. Sunday (Galavisión)

Houston may lack the flashy stars who play in New York and Los Angeles, but the Dynamo have been one of Major League Soccer's most consistently successful clubs in recent years. This season, Houston is stuck on an extended road trip until its new, soccer-specific stadium opens early next month.

Real Madrid at Bayern Munich

2:30 p.m. Tuesday (Fox Soccer Channel)

This UEFA Champions League semifinal is a true heavyweight bout. Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have combined to win 13 European Cups, and have met four times before in the semis. Each is to its country - Spain and Germany, respectively - as the New York Yankees are to baseball, spending more and winning more than any of their rivals.

Barcelona at Chelsea

2:30 p.m. Wednesday (Fox Soccer Channel)

Although many of the players have changed since, few fans on either side have forgotten the memorable UEFA Champions League semifinal between these two teams three years ago. This will be their first meeting since then. Barca is the heavy favorite, but the Blues will try to make the most of playing at home in the first leg.

Santos Laguna at C.F. Monterrey

10 p.m. Wednesday (Fox Soccer Channel)

The two-game final of the CONCACAF Champions League is an all-Mexican affair, but there's added interest for American fans. Santos striker Herculez Gomez has stormed into contention for a return to the U.S. national team by scoring 11 goals in his last eight games.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
About this blog
The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, U.S. national teams and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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