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One spot is left up for grabs in the MLS Cup, and that will be the showcase game of the week for American soccer fans. But it's not nearly the only great club footy we've got on tap as we head into December, and bettors have their opportunities here to make some great money on the pitch again this week.
Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact, Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET ( FOX Sports 1 )
For all intents and purposes, the Eastern Conference Final should have been decided in the first hour or so. But that's why they play 180 minutes.
Montreal jumped out to a ridiculous 3-0 lead and looked to be coasting to its first ever MLS Cup Final last week when these clubs met at the Big O, but all of a sudden, Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore came alive with huge efforts in the last half hour of the match to take a 3-0 loss and turn it into a much more manageable 3-2 setback. Sure, the Reds are behind, but the fact of the matter is that they went from dead in the water to favorites to host the MLS Cup in a span of just a half hour.
The Impact don't have to win this match, but for all intents and purposes, they can't afford to lose it if they want to stay alive. With as well as TFC has played at home all season long on the defensive side, it's tough to make any argument for Montreal matching the two away goals scored by Toronto.
Manchester City vs. Chelsea, Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET ( NBC Sports Network )
It doesn't get a heck of a lot better than Man City and Chelsea to kick off Match Day 14 in the Premier League. It's hard to believe that we're inching close to the halfway point of the season, and at some point, you'd like to think that the teams at the top are going to have a bit of a divide. As it is, Chelsea sits at the top of the table with 31 points, while Manchester City is just one point back with Liverpool also level with it at 30.
The magnitude of this game can't be understated. This is a big match for Pep Guardiola. He's already under a lot of pressure, and a loss at the Etihad would be a disaster, even against a good team like Chelsea. Remember that the Citizens are only 3-3-0 at home, and that just isn't good enough at the top flight.
Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, 10:15 a.m. ET ( beIN Sports )
Is the Spanish La Liga effectively already over with? Real Madrid has already gone on the road and beaten Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid, and if it can figure out how to take three points in this match, it's basically all over but the crying for the rest of Spanish soccer.
Barcelona is already six back of Los Blancos 13 matches into the season, and if this fixture is lost, there's a really decent chance that Real Madrid doesn't drop enough points the rest of the way to ultimately fall from the top spot. Let's not forget that Real Sociedad picked up a 1-1 draw against Barca last week, and that came on the heels of a 0-0 draw at home against Malaga. Barcelona is struggling mightily, and this is the worst possible time to run into what very well might be the best club soccer team in the world. This version of El Clasico is certainly one that could be a stamp on the 2016 calendar year for Real Madrid.
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