After a week of Champions League fixtures like the ones we’ve just savored, it does feel like some time is required to take a breath. But we’re back into the domestic grind again early on Saturday.
One of those matches is a repeat of Wednesday’s all-time classic in the Premier League, while in English football’s top flight on Sunday there’s a key contest at both ends of the table.
Spain and Italy have matches that’ll be key in determining who qualifies for the European Cup next term, while two of the biggest names in France face off to round off the weekend.
All kick-offs are in Eastern time. Enjoy your weekend and enjoy the games!
Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur
After the remarkable clash between these two teams on Wednesday, it’s difficult to know what to expect when they go head to head again on Saturday lunchtime at the Etihad Stadium.
An extraordinary game culminated with City beating Tottenham 4-3 on the night, although the former were able to progress on away goals. The drama peaked in stoppage time, as Raheem Sterling thought he had scored the winner, only to see his effort ruled out by VAR.
While Spurs now have a Champions League semi-final to look forward to, City need to refocus quickly. They remain involved in a gripping title race with Liverpool; they trail the Reds by two points going into the weekend having played a game less and can go back to the summit with victory over Tottenham again.
As for Mauricio Pochettino’s team, they too have domestic aims to fulfill, as they’ve yet to secure a place in the top four. However, after the mental and physical efforts of the team on Wednesday, not to mention a number of key injury problems they are having to cope with, it’s hard to see them finding a way to victory.
Inter Milan vs. Roma
Saturday, April 20, 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+ (7-day free trial)
It’s starting to tighten up in the scrap for a top-four spot in Serie A. Going into this game, Inter sit in third, with Roma just six points back in fifth.
Roma’s campaign did appear to be limping towards its conclusion not too long ago, especially after they were hammered 4-1 on home soil by Napoli. However, Claudio Ranieri has managed to get the team back on track, with successive 1-0 wins putting them to within a point of AC Milan.
Inter are looking in a strong position going into the weekend, although a loss here would bunch the contenders for the top four together again. They appear to have hit a purple patch at the right time too, with recent wins over Genoa and Frosinone giving them some momentum at this important point in the campaign.
Given both teams have pragmatic managers on the sidelines, there’s every chance this could be a cagey affair to begin with. The tension in the San Siro should provide a fine backdrop for what is a crucial game, though.
Getafe vs. Sevilla
With Barcelona set to coast to the La Liga title, the scrap for a top-four place and the fight to stay afloat is where the action is at in the remaining weeks of the season. Getafe’s encounter with Sevilla feels like one of the biggest games left on the Spanish calendar.
Few would have tipped Getafe to be challenging at the top end of the table come this point in the campaign. They’ve forged a physical and cohesive identity this term and will be aware the chance to finish in the top four may not come around again any time soon; they are a point behind Sevilla going into this encounter.
On home soil they will fancy their chances, especially against a Sevilla outfit that has been notoriously flaky on the road this term. The Coliseum Alfonso Perez is rarely full, but the Getafe fans will surely create a hostile environment for the Andalusians on Sunday.
As for Sevilla, they’ve put together a run under new boss Joaquin Caparros and won a thrilling derby match a week ago against Real Betis. A win here for them would surely be enough to derail Getafe’s dreams of Champions League football next term.
Cardiff City vs. Liverpool
Cardiff gave themselves a fighting chance of survival in midweek after their win over Brighton & Hove Albion, but face a huge challenge in the form of Liverpool on Sunday.
It felt like a win-or-bust game for Neil Warnock’s side on Tuesday at Brighton. They produced a performance under pressure, winning 2-0 and dragging the Seagulls into the relegation battle; while Cardiff have played a game more than Brighton, the gaps is now just two points and the south-coast club have a challenging run-in.
Should Cardiff pick up the points needed to survive, you sense it will be on days after Sunday’s match, as Liverpool have managed to find a groove late in the campaign. Their Champions League quarter-final in midweek was a breeze against Porto, as they sauntered to a 4-1 win expending little energy.
Cardiff will likely provide a stiffer test and the atmosphere will be raucous given what’s at stake for Warnock and his players. A point would be an almost miraculous result though, with Premier League success still surely Liverpool’s priority this term.
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Monaco
PSG will be out to secure the Ligue 1 title at the fourth time of asking on Sunday, when they welcome Monaco to the Parc des Princes.
After a home draw with Strasbourg and losses away at Lille and Nantes, PSG are stuttering over the line in the final weeks of the campaign. Even so, it’s a case of when and not if they secure the title, as they’ve got a 17-point lead to Lille in second place with six games left in the season.
Even so, manager Thomas Tuchel will be desperate to get the prize wrapped up on Sunday, potentially avoiding a hugely underwhelming end to the campaign. In a big boost for the defending champions, Neymar has been back in training this week and appears ready to play a part.
Monaco will be relieved to head into this game with breathing room to the drop zone, having endured a challenging term to this point. They are seven points ahead of Amiens, who occupy the relegation playoff spot.
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