It’s been a busy few weeks, but this feature is back for the rest of the season. It’s perfect timing too, with a number of European football’s most high-profile divisions racing towards a brilliant conclusion.
In the Premier League there’s no real chance of a title race breaking out, but there’s a huge derby on Sunday. Meanwhile, in Germany, Italy and Spain there are vital clashes as teams pursue their domestic prizes.
All kick offs are in Eastern time. Enjoy your weekend and enjoy the games.
Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad
Recovery will be the order of the day for Barcelona on Saturday, as they look to put last weekend’s Clasico disappointment behind them against a talented Real Sociedad team.
The Blaugrana were well below their best at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Real Madrid bullying them in the second half of a 2-0 loss. Manager Quique Setien will want to see his players make better use of the ball on Saturday and put the pressure back on their bitter rivals; Barcelona can jump back to the top of the table by a point with a win on Saturday.
But La Real are dangerous and after they booked their place in the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday, they will approach this match with the pressure off. In La Liga, they are just three points off third spot with a game in hand and they have the attacking firepower to trouble any opposition.
The two sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Anoeta earlier in the season. Given the way in which both teams are poised to approach this encounter, a similarly entertaining game is surely on the cards.
Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Borussia Dortmund
Saturday, March 7, 12:30 p.m. ET, FOX Soccer Plus, FOX Deportes and fuboTV (free trial)
Both Monchengladbach and Dortmund have emerged as real challengers to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga title race this season. The chances of one of these teams may look a lot healthier come Saturday evening if they can win.
Dortmund have won their last three games, but remain four points back on the leaders in third position. Monchengladbach trail BVB by a couple of points, although they do have a game in hand on the three sides above them.
With that in mind, a win for Monchengladbach would be a huge boost for manager Marco Rose, with three points almost certain to put Dortmund out of the title reckoning. Having taken 11 points from the last 15 available, BMG appear to be getting close to the form that made them early pace-setters in the division.
Dortmund boss Lucien Favre will be keen to get over the line on the night; as a former Monchengladbach manager the match holds extra significance for him. With Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho poised to start, the hosts’ defence will face an unenviable task seeking to contain the visitors.
Manchester United vs. Manchester City
The pressure is arguably more on Manchester United than Manchester City when these local enemies lock horns at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The Red Devils are seeking to keep pace in the top-four race, having dropped points away at Everton last weekend. They will be hoping the Toffees can do them a favour earlier in the day, when they visit Chelsea, who currently occupy fourth spot.
A derby win would of course be crucial for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer too. This season, the Red Devils have already beaten City twice, although both of those triumphs came at the Etihad Stadium; they haven’t managed to get the better of their sky-blue neighbors in front of their own supporters since 2016 in the League Cup.
City are secure in second place and as things stand, they will not be playing Champions League football next season anyway due to a ban. As such, Pep Guardiola’s team will likely be focused on the cup competitions in the coming weeks, although his team surely will be at full throttle for this occasion.
Real Betis vs. Real Madrid
Although Real Madrid’s win over Barcelona on Sunday felt like a huge result, things could quickly turn around in La Liga again this weekend.
Real Betis may not be enjoying their best campaign, but they are in possession of some hugely talented players. At the Benito Villamarin Stadium they are a dangerous prospect, with the home supporters always there to provide a hostile backdrop when the big-name sides visit.
Madrid will need to be at their best as a result. Manager Zinedine Zidane would have been delighted with the way in which side stepped up their game in the second half against Barcelona and will want them to carry that momentum into this fixture.
Vinicius Jr. was the man who lit up the Clásico last weekend and looks a surefire bet to start on the left flank again on Sunday. If he can find some consistency between now and the end of the campaign, the young Brazilian has the talent to be a difference-maker in the title race.
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