After we saw some good games midweek in Champions League and Europa League it’s time to turn back to national championships. Similar to last weekend, the English Premiership will be giving us the most interesting matches this weekend.
We have some important derby matches in the Premiership this round, both of them will be playing on Sunday.
The first game is considered to be one of biggest rivalries in Europe – Manchester United vs. Liverpool. Manchester is now in 6th place and Liverpool is in 2nd place.
David Moyes is hoping that with a good game (and win) against Liverpool his team will get a moral boost, that will help them in the Champions League rematch against Olympiakos (0-2) next week.
Brendan Rodgers hopes that his team will continue their winning streak (now on their 4 win). There is no doubt this is the must see match this weekend.
But we are not done with Premiership; on Sunday afternoon (after United vs. Liverpool) we will see the “North London Derby” otherwise known as the match between Tottenham and Arsenal.
Arsenal is holding on to 3rd place with the same amount of points as Liverpool while Tottenham are now in 5th place, 6 points behind Arsenal.
Points will be imperative for both teams for Arsenal to continue their chase for Chelsea and for Tottenham to keep their Champions League dream for next season alive.
France Ligue 1:
French soccer fans will have an interesting weekend. On Saturday evening, we will see “Derby de la Mediterranean” otherwise known as the game between Nice and Bastia.
Both of these clubs are in the middle section of the table and points are needed so that they will be in front of the “relegation party”.
On Sunday we have a game between Lyon and Monaco. Lyon is now in 5th place only 3 points away from the place that leads into Europe.
Monaco is second, a huge 8 points behind Paris Saint-Germain. After their surprise defeat two rounds ago in Saint-Etienne, they will try to get back into a winning streak.
Italy Seria A:
This round of Italy’s national championship will not see any derby matches. The leaders are playing versus clubs from the bottom part of the table.
Napoli will probably have the hardest job. They are going to Torino who are still hoping to catch 5th place (8 points behind) that could bring them to Europe next season.
Sassuolo and Catania are playing the “last place derby”: they are now the two worst ranking clubs in Seria A.
The interesting thing is that in last round both clubs broke their losing streak. Catania lost the last 2 out of 3 games and Sassuolo lost the last 5 of 6 games.
Since the winner of this game will likely be caught up with the rest of clubs that are fighting to get out of the relegation danger zone, it is expected that players from both teams will try their best to create victory for their clubs.
Spain Liga BBVA:
Spain also has two interesting games this round. First on Sunday evening spectators will see the game between Real Sociedad and Valencia and on Monday we have a game between Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao.
Real Sociedad is in 6th place, the place that leads into Europa league. Valencia are 2 points behind them, so this game might decide which club from Spain will get in to the Europa League.
Athletic Bilbao on the other hand are holding 4th place, the place that leads into the Champions League qualification. Villarreal are7 points behind them in 5th place – if they lose this game they are facing double danger.
Not only that, they will probably lose their Champions League qualification for next season. They are also in danger of losing the Europa League for next season (especially if Valencia manages to beat Real Sociedad)
We have left Bundesliga for last but not because there are no interesting games this round. The reason is simply that Bayern are just playing brilliantly and nobody from Bundesliga are able to match them.
On Saturday we have the “derby” game between two Bayer(n)s – Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen. I don’t want to be disrespectful or anything but in last round we also had a derby match (Wolfsburg vs. Bayern Munich 1-6) and two rounds ago (Bayern Munich vs. Schalke 04 5-1).
So I am not sure can we can call this a derby anymore: everything but a Bayern win will be a miracle.