What a fantastic weekend for football (or soccer for you Americans) fans. So many great derbies to look out for, not just in England, but also in Spain, Portugal and France.
The early kick off in the Premier League would be between the North London sides, Tottenham and Arsenal. Spurs will be the hosts for this crunch tie as both the teams are fighting for the coveted Champions League spot. Alexis Sanchez has been ruled out of the tie at White Hart Lane, but Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott are back after missing most of the matches in the first half of this campaign. When these two sides met in September last year, the match ended in a 1 – 1 draw, and in the same fixture at White Hart Lane last season, Arsenal got one better of their arch rivals. But this time around, Pochettino’s Spurs have accumulated a good force to defeat the Gunners. Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen have had a fantastic year so far and they would cause all sorts of troubles for Arsene Wenger’s men. This old rivalry will surely start this weekend’s action with a bang.
Saturday won’t just start with a bang, but also end with it as Liverpool travel to Goodison Park in their quest to pick up three more points this weekend. Everton finished fifth on the Premier League table last season, but after 23 game weeks they are in the bottom half of the table. Roberto Martinez’s troubles would only amplify if they lose against their bitter rivals. Brendan Rodgers’ side are now back in form after a slow start to the season and after the comeback of Daniel Sturridge, we can expect the Reds to score more goals than the earlier part of the season. Also, Liverpool cannot afford to lose points now, if they want to retain their Champions League spot. Earlier this season in September 2014, this match also ended in a 1 – 1 draw. And in the fixture at Goodison Park last season, Everton held Liverpool in a 3 – 3 draw. Both the teams had a fantastic last season, as Liverpool came in touching distance of the league title while Everton almost made it to the Champions League spot.
The other great match on Saturday will be in Spain as the city rivals, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid go head to head at the Vicente Calderon. Carlo Ancelotti’s team are currently enjoying a seven point lead over the third placed La Liga champions. Also, Cristiano Ronaldo will be back after serving his two match ban for violent behavior against an opponent player. If Atleti lose this weekend, then their chances of retaining the league title will become very bleak. With 17 matches to be played, we can’t say anything with certainty.
Juventus vs Milan will yet another classic this weekend, but at present there is a big difference in the quality of both the teams. The Old Lady are currently ruling the roost with 50 points and Milan are eighth with 29 points. After 21 game weeks, there is a difference of 21 points between the two sides. The chances of Milan picking up three points at the reigning Italian champions’ home stadium are not very bright. The most we can expect from the San Siro based outfit is that they hold Juve to a draw and share the points.
Last but not the least, Sporting vs Benfica is yet another interesting tie this weekend. Although not as popular as rest of the big European leagues, the Portuguese league features some very exciting fixtures. If you enjoy watching good end to end action, then it is a match you should tune in to this weekend.