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 By James Dall

Leicester's thrilling displays are enough to make Man United jealous

The FC crew answer your tweets on candidates for the USMNT, Leicester's chances of finishing in the top four and more.

Premier League Spotlight previews the weekend's fixtures and highlights the key points to keep an eye on.

Weekend fixtures

Aston Villa vs. Watford
Bournemouth vs. Everton
Crystal Palace vs. Newcastle
Man City vs. Southampton
Sunderland vs. Stoke
Leicester vs. Man Utd

Tottenham vs. Chelsea
West Ham vs. West Brom
Liverpool vs. Swansea
Norwich vs. Arsenal

Battle of the Weekend: Leicester vs. Manchester United

Close your eyes and imagine Leicester City winning the Premier League. Now open them and see the club top of the table after a third of the season played. It's wonderful. Sure, as the boring realists keep reminding us, Claudio Ranieri's side could soon tumble down the division, but why concern yourself with such negativity while the going...

 By Shaka Hislop

In-form Barcelona replace Bayern Munich atop the Power Rankings

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Shaka Hislop believe Barcelona are the best team in the Champions League.
The ESPN FC team debate which European power is in better form between Spanish side Barcelona or German side Bayern Munich.

Given what they achieved over the last week, there was only side who could top Shaka Hislop's Power Rankings!

1. Barcelona (+1)

Away to your biggest rivals without your best player? No worries, said Barcelona, who humiliated Real Madrid at the Bernabeu with a superb display of attacking football. Three days later, with Lionel Messi back in the starting XI, they beat Roma 6-1. Barcelona have scored 28 goals in their last nine games in all competitions. Wow.

2. Bayern Munich (-1)

It might seem...

 By Adam Hurrey

Brazilian players like Coutinho no longer Premier League novelty act

Philippe Coutinho and Firmino both scored in Liverpool's big 4-1 win at Manchester City on Nov. 21.

Isaias Marques Soares isn't a name that will ring many bells among football fans. Apart from being the first Brazilian to play in the Premier League -- and presumably helping to usher in the now-mandatory use of their full names at the start of football articles -- his time at Coventry was unremarkable.

Since Isaias' low-key arrival at Coventry City in 1995, the English top flight has been a port of call for more than 60 of his countrymen, but those 20 years are yet to witness the arrival of an...

Can Leicester City keep their Premier League-leading form up all season?

The FC crew answer your tweets on candidates for the USMNT, Leicester's chances of finishing in the top four and more.

How good are Leicester City? The Premier League season is one-third finished and they sit in first place. It's hard to dismiss them as lightweight upstarts destined to sink back into midtable. On the other hand, their goal differential of plus-eight isn't exactly the stuff that the Premier League's elite is made of. In fact, it's only the fifth best in the league, tied with Everton.

With a headline game this weekend against Manchester United, is it time to start taking the Foxes seriously as...

 By Rory Smith

Real Madrid are more soap opera than legitimate title contender these days

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Alexis Nunes weigh in on whether the politics surrounding Real Madrid are damaging the team.
ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti believes that the odds are stacked against Benitez to succeed as coach at Real Madrid.
The ESPN FC crew discuss who should shoulder the blame for their poor performance, and eventual loss, against Barcelona.

In hindsight, there may have been no more telling quote in world football this year. Only a few hours before, Real Madrid had sacked Carlo Ancelotti, their well-liked, warmly regarded manager. The Italian, popular with his players and respected by his fans, did not even last a year after delivering the club the tenth European Cup in its history.

Even by football's standards -- even by Real's warped standards, in fact -- it was a baffling decision. The world looked to Florentino Perez, the club's...

 By Uli Hesse

Lewandowski, Aubameyang and the race to reach 30 Bundesliga goals

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Dan Thomas discuss Robert Lewandowski's agent's comments on Premier League interest.

On Friday, Borussia Dortmund put in their worst league performance since April and suffered a deserved 3-1 defeat at Hamburg, their new bogey team. Dortmund were erratic at the back, gifting the opposition all three goals, and uninspired in attack, not least because striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a nondescript game.

Yet even on this dismal night, the Gabon international underlined why he might be the biggest marvel of the season so far. In fact, maybe on this night more than ever.