Matchups between Marseille and Lyon in France and Leipzig and Bayern in Germany highlight this weekend’s repertoire of fixtures in the top 5 leagues.
– Due to the FA Cup quarter-finals being played this weekend, there are only four fixtures on EPL’s schedule. The only one involving a top 6 team is Liverpool versus Watford. It should be a walk in the park for Klopp’s men, who will be looking to bounce back from last round’s frustrating loss to Manchester United.
– Villarreal will have the intimidating task of taking points away from Atletico Madrid, whose form is peaking at the moment. Sevilla will need to follow up its elimination of Manchester United in the Champions League with three points in Leganes on Sunday. Real Madrid hosts this season’s biggest surprise – Girona, whereas Barcelona will take on a frail and fragile Athletic Bilbao. Both super teams should come away with the three points. Valencia faces tricky Alaves.
– The main event in Germany is Sunday’s clash between RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich. There’s a huge discrepancy between the leader and the rest of the league. Therefore, even though this seems like a possibly thrilling matchup on paper, Bayern could have it easy at the end. Bayer Leverkusen visits last-placed Koln looking to make it three wins in a row, while Schalke travels to 15th-placed Wolfsburg in an attempt to make it five wins in a row. Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Dortmund shouldn’t have any problems at home against Mainz and Hannover, respectively. Borussia Monchengladbach and Hoffenheim play in a direct clash of 7th place rivals.
– The most interesting encounter in Italy is the Sunday noon matchup between Sampdoria and Inter. As if playing Inter wasn’t motivation enough, Sampdoria suffered a shocking 4-1 defeat to Crotone last weekend, that should provide further fuel to ignite a win. Juventus, Napoli, Roma, Lazio and Milan all have relatively easy tasks. Juventus and Roma are going to take road trips to Spal and Crotone, whereas Napoli, Lazio and Milan face Genoa, Bologna and Chievo (in that order).
– With a lack of true exhilaration, Olympique de Marseille vs. Olympique Lyonnais is the cherry on this weekend’s football cake. Derby du Sud (South Derby) or Choc des Olympiques (Clash of the Olympics) are some of the names of this rivalry that will take place at The Velodrome in Marseille on Sunday evening. Lyon won the first match this season 2-0, with goals scored by Nabil Fekir and Mariano Diaz. A Marseille win will presumably eliminate any chances of Lyon climbing back to the 3rd spot, which means no Champions League football next season. A fun fact is that both clubs come into this game with exactly the same goal difference – 59:34. Nice will have the mission to prevent PSG from recording yet another victory, while Monaco will face a Lille team fighting for survival. Bordeaux will look to join the hunt for 5th spot at home against Rennes. After four straight draws, Montpellier should finally grab a win versus Dijon, as should Ranieri’s Nantes at last-placed Metz.