It’s hard to believe just how quickly this season has gone. It only seems a matter of days ago that we were preparing for the opening weekend of the campaign, and here we stand more than two thirds of the way through. In the Premier League, there are just 11 games to go and we’re on the brink of seeing this season’s first piece of silverware awarded!
Naturally, games take on added significance at this juncture. And with the resumption of European competition in the past couple of weeks, we often get performances at both ends of the spectrum and some freakish results to boot. Hopefully they’ll take place in our five selections, which include the League Cup final and a game of current or historical from Europe’s four best leagues.
All kick off times are Eastern Time. Enjoy the weekend and enjoy the games!
Southampton vs. Liverpool
Saturday, March 1, 12:30PM, NBCSN and mun2
Having moved to within four points of the top of the Premier League in recent weeks, many have singled out this particular clash as a litmus test for Liverpool’s title ambitions.
That’s because a trip to St Mary’s is a great test for any side. Mauricio Pochettino’s Southampton team have played with aggression, dynamism and flair this season, and they will certainly make things difficult for Brendan Rodgers and his players. But they’ve been wholly inconsistent as of late, following up excellent performances like their 3-0 win at Fulham with extremely poor efforts such as their 3-1 defeat to West Ham.
With Saints currently loitering in midtable and all but nothing to play for, Rodgers will be hoping that Pochettino’s side take their foot off the gas a little. But in truth, if Liverpool play to their potential then they should be confident of taking the points back to Merseyside anyway. They’ve been in sensational goalscoring form as of late and there are no signs of this stopping as we head into this weekend’s clash.
It’s worth noting that Southampton are the only team to have beaten Liverpool at Anfield this season, when Dejan Lovren scored the only goal in a 1-0 win for Saints. Granted, Liverpool have come a long way since then, but it’ll be interesting to see if they can cope with Southampton’s patented pressing this time round.
Bayern Munich vs. FC Schalke 04
Saturday, March 1, 12:30PM, GolTV
Whilst Bayern are storming clear at the top of the Bundesliga, the race for the remaining three Champions League spots is really beginning to heat up. There are four teams battling it out for those places and it’s a scrap that Schalke find themselves very much involved in.
They travel to the Bundesliga leaders on the back of a humiliating 6-1 defeat at home to Real Madrid in the Champions League, and you can bet their supporters will be looking for an immediate response. And they should take some comfort to the Allianz Arena having won five and drawn two of their last seven domestic games.