Games to Watch: Club World Cup final, EPL, Serie A
Manchester United at Aston Villa
10:00 a.m. Saturday (NBCSN)
Maybe United's charge up the Premier League table is real after all. Robin van Persie's seven goals and Wayne Rooney's six have helped the Red Devils rise to third place. It will be up to U.S. national team goalkeeper Brad Guzan to try to stop them.
Real Madrid vs. San Lorenzo
2:30 p.m. Saturday (Fox Sports 2, Fox Deportes)
You're forgiven if you didn't know that the Club World Cup was taking place this month in Morocco, but this game is worth the effort to find. Real Madrid has all its stars, including Cristiano Ronaldo. San Lorenzo, former home of Union defender Carlos Valdés, is the underdog. But the Argentine club knows where to turn if it needs inspiration: Pope Francis is the Matadores' most famous fan.
AC Milan at AS Roma
2:40 p.m. Saturday (beIN Sports)
Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman is one of the hottest prospects in Europe. The 24-year-old Dutchman has been chased by Manchester United, but Roma owner James Pallotta - an American, by the way - refuses to let him go. Strootman will be in the spotlight again this weekend as he matches wits with Milan playmaker Jérémy Menez.
Sunderland at Newcastle United
8:30 a.m. Sunday (NBCSN)
Is Jozy Altidore's time at Sunderland coming to an end? The U.S. national team's top striker has scored just three goals in 50 appearances for the Black Cats since they signed him last year for a $10 million transfer fee. Recent reports have linked him with possible moves to German or French clubs in the coming months. The Tyne-Tees Derby against Cheikh Tioté and rival Newcastle could be one of Altidore's last chances to make an impression.
Arsenal at Liverpool
11:00 a.m. Sunday (NBCSN)
Arsenal's fragile confidence got a big boost last weekend as Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla led the Gunners to a 4-1 rout of Newcastle. Liverpool, meanwhile, saw its tailspin continue with a 3-0 loss at Manchester United. Star striker Mario Balotelli has been a bust, and top goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has been benched. Expect the heat to grow on manager Brendan Rogers if the Reds suffer their eighth loss in their 17th game of the season.