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Thursday Hoddle of Coffee: Soccer News and Links, December 1, 2016

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The season’s first Clasico is set for this weekend.

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

The season’s first Clasico will kick off at 10:15 EST this Saturday as Real Madrid travel to the Nou Camp to face Barcelona. Heading into the game Madrid is undefeated and has a six point cushion between them and the defending La Liga champions Barcelona. To be sure, the relative importance of a single game in December shouldn’t be over-stated, but should Madrid win that would give them a nine point cushion with 24 games to play and the remaining Clasico set for the Bernabeu.

You can never rule out Barcelona, but nine points without a home Clasico to help make up the margin is a large deficit in the relative terms of La Liga. Who do you have this weekend? I’m predicting a 1-1 draw, but wouldn’t be shocked if Barcelona won by two goals. I think Zidane’s Madrid is sturdy enough that they’ll hold their own, but a Peak MSN performance would likely be enough to top even an in-form Madrid by multiple goals.

On to the links:

Speaking of the Clasico, here are six ways to watch it (legally!) online for free in the United States.

Toronto FC advanced to the MLS Cup last night after a thrilling 5-2 ET victory against Montreal in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Sister site Waking the Red has video and social media reactions.

Bicycle kick goal: Check. Injury-time winner: Check. Goalie goal!: Check. Fantastic celebration: Check. This will be the funnest goal of the year: