We’ve been a little spoilt this week. The domestic cup competitions in Spain and Italy have provided some excellent midweek entertainment, and have set us up nicely for another weekend crammed with wonderful action.
But once again, we’re treated to some superb midweek action, so we’ve saw fit to extend our top-five selections to feature some games from the Premier League’s round of fixtures on Tuesday and Wednesday.
I’m sure you’ll agree when you see the calibre of fixtures, but fear not, we’ve got some marvelous games for you to sample this weekend too.
They include Germany’s two form sides going head-to-head, Italy’s most in-form side facing a tricky test on the road and a crucial clash at the top of Ligue 1. For good measure, we’ve also thrown in a trio of honorable mentions.
All kickoffs are Eastern time, enjoy the games!
Bournemouth vs. Liverpool, Saturday, January 25, 7:45AM, FOX Sports 1, FOX Deportes and FOX Soccer 2Go
A potential shock on the cards? Liverpool travel to Bournemouth in Saturday’s early kickoff in the FA Cup. They fell to Oldham at this stage of the competition last season, and with the Merseyside derby looming, Brendan Rodgers could rest a few key players. Eddie Howe’s team might just fancy their chances.
Sunderland vs. Kidderminster Harriers, Saturday, January 25, 10:00AM, FOX Sports 1, FOX Deportes and FOX Soccer 2Go
After overcoming the odds at Old Trafford in the League Cup semifinal, it’s Sunderland’s turn to assume the role of cup favorites. Non-league Kidderminster shocked plenty when they knocked out Peterborough United in the previous round.
Verona vs. AS Roma, Sunday, January 25, 6:30AM, beIN SPORTS Play
One for the early bird, but certainly a contest worth getting up for. Verona have been majorly impressive this campaign, but will have their work cut out against an AS Roma side that look to be recapturing their swagger.
Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Bayern Munich
Friday, January 24, 2:30PM, GolTV
The Bundesliga resumes after a month long hiatus, and what a game we have to get things kick started again.
Monchengladbach probably represent the toughest test in the Bundesliga at the moment. Prior to the break they had won five games consecutively and will relish taking on the league leaders on their own patch.
But despite their stellar form heading into this one, Monchengladbach remain underdogs. Bayern are an imperious outfit under new boss Pep Guardiola and are romping to their second consecutive Bundesliga title. They lost a friendly to Red Bull Salzburg last weekend, but expect them to be totally refocused when the serious stuff gets going.
Nonetheless, you can get some strange results after the winter break. Monchengladbach will fancy their chances, and that should make for a thoroughly entertaining spectacle.
Lazio vs. Juventus
Juventus have been magnificent as of late. Their powerful midfield trio of Arturo Vidal, Paul Pogba and Andre Pirlo has dominated the opposition time after time, whilst Carloz Tevez and Fernando Llorente have really begun to click as an attacking partnership.
The result of those playing at their peak has been some pretty majestic domestic form. They’ve won 12 Serie A games in a row and are now eight points clear of second place AS Roma atop of the table.
It’d take something special for such an experienced, well-drilled side to let a lead like that slip, but it is not beyond the realms of possibility that they could drop points this weekend.
They head to the Stadio Olimipico to face Lazio this weekend, and they’ve only fallen to defeat twice on their own patch this season.
Could the capital club cause an upset? Or will the Bianconeri march on?
AS Monaco vs. Marseille
Sunday, January 26, 3:00PM, beIN SPORTS Play
How will Monaco cope without their star-man Radamel Falcao?
We’ll gather an insight into that very question when they lock horns with fellow French giants Marseille on Sunday evening.
After a win last time out, Monaco remain just five points behind Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain. But they will be looking for a big performance and an important win here, showing that they are able to cope without their star-man.
Marseille also need a victory pretty desperately. Their win against Evian last time out was their first in five games, and languishing down in fifth place in the league table, they will be hoping that result will help springboard them up the league table. A win here would be an excellent place to start.
Liverpool vs. Everton
Tuesday, January 28, 3:00PM, NBCSN
The second Merseyside derby of the season has been something of a damp squib in seasons gone by. Yes, pride is on the line, but in terms of positions in the table, the teams have often had little to play for.
But the stakes will be enormous when red and blue clash at Anfield on Tuesday, with both teams chasing a top-four finish. Liverpool currently occupy that coveted fourth spot, but their blue neighbours are just one point back.
Everton haven’t won at Anfield since 1999, but whilst in years gone by they have gone to the home of Liverpool to shut up shop, under the infinitely positive Roberto Martinez, they will surely be looking to take the game to their Merseyside rivals.
But that’s easier said than done when the opposition boast talents like Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. Liverpool have been excellent at home this campaign and will be desperate to put some distance between themselves and the Toffees.
If it’s half as good as the stunning 3-3 draw earlier in the campaign, it’ll be an absolute cracker.
I’ll be at this one. Look out for my column on Wednesday giving you an insight into what it’s like to be an away fan at the Merseyside derby.
Tottenham vs. Manchester City
Wednesday, January 29, 2:45PM, NBCSN
The Manchester City juggernaut just keeps rolling on. After storming into the final of the League Cup, they will have their focus on picking up three points away at Tottenham.
But this looks set to be one of their toughest remaining tests on the domestic front, as Tim Sherwood has reinvigorated a Spurs side that were toiling. They have been playing dynamic, entertaining and attacking football, which has been helped by the reinvigoration of Emmanuel Adebayor.
The Togolese forward will be desperate to get one over his own employers, but City have a plethora of strikers themselves who will surely have a say in the outcome of this one. The triumvirate of Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko have been in sensational goalscoring form, contributing to some irresistible City offensive play.
Manuel Pellegrin’s side have got things together on the road too, and whilst there are still some lingering concerns about the team’s defensive capabilities, they look as though they can outscore anyone at the moment.
Both sides are exponents of a classic 4-4-2 system, so expect and open, end-to-end game with plenty of goals.
What games will you be watching this weekend? Let me know in the comments section or on Twitter @MattJFootball