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 By Tim Vickery

Luis Suarez and Barcelona a test for River Plate at Club World Cup

River Plate will now focus on the Club World Cup and a potential showdown with Barcelona folllowing their Copa Sudamericana campaign.

The South American club season has ended for continental champions River Plate. The Argentine giants were knocked out of the Copa Sudamericana at the semifinal stage, beaten 3-2 by Buenos Aires rivals Huracan on Thursday.

River will not be in the final against Santa Fe of Colombia, meaning they can concentrate all their thoughts on the trip to Japan for next month's Club World Cup. In truth, they have been licking their lips for months, contemplating a dream final against Barcelona.

This, of course,...

 By Michael Cox

Fiorentina enjoying Serie A and Europa League adventure under Paulo Sousa

Maligned by fans at the start of the season, new Fiorentina boss Paulo Sousa has the club sitting atop Serie A.
Paulo Sousa is in his seventh job in senior management and has guided Fiorentina to the Serie A summit.

By definition, the Europa League is a tournament for also-rans -- but Basel's 2-2 draw with Fiorentina on Thursday night felt like an exception.

Basel are already seven points clear at the top of the Swiss league, while Fiorentina's fine start means they're currently joint-second in Serie A. This was a meeting between two title challengers and there was an obvious link between them.

Paulo Sousa won the Swiss Super League with Basel last season, his second consecutive league victory, having won the...

 By Nick Miller

Jamie Vardy in elite company on the list of Premier League scoring streaks

Jamie Vardy's scoring streak is a big reason that Leicester lead the league and have sights set on the top four.

Leicester City's Jamie Vardy could break the Premier League's scoring streak record this weekend. With that in mind, we look at the top 10 streaks since the start of the league in 1992...

10. Six games - 13 Premier League players, 1992-2015

It was an impressive enough feat to inspire plenty of interest when Jamie Vardy notched in his sixth successive game, back in October, but that didn't earn him entry into quite the exclusive club he is in now. From the early days of the Premier League, 13 players...

 By James Dall

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

The ESPN FC panel discuss whether or not Leicester City can keep their recent form and surprise Manchester United at home.

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...