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Derbies in Germany and Milan, Mbappe faces Monaco – what to watch in Europe this weekend

Paris (AFP) – There is a Milan derby of huge significance in the Serie A title race, while Schalke and Borussia Dortmund clash in possibly the last Ruhr derby for a while, Kylian Mbappe takes on his old club and the Bundesliga’s other striking sensation measures up to Robert Lewandowski. 

AFP Sport selects some of the standout action in Europe this weekend:

Silva versus Lewandowski

Eintracht Frankfurt v Bayern Munich, Saturday 1430 GMT

Bayern were given a fright by Arminia Bielefeld on Monday, having to come from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 on the back of their Club World Cup exertions. Hansi Flick’s team remain five points clear of RB Leipzig atop the Bundesliga, but they face a tough test at third-placed Eintracht Frankfurt.

Eintracht lost 5-0 when they last faced Bayern, away, in October. However, they have won eight and drawn two of their last 10 Bundesliga outings, powered by Portugal forward Andre Silva, who has 11 goals in that time and 18 altogether in the Bundesliga.

Only Robert Lewandowski, with 25, has more, but Bayern could have one eye here on next Tuesday’s Champions League last 16, first leg against Lazio.

One-sided Ruhr derby?

Schalke 04 v Borussia Dortmund, Saturday 1730 GMT

Erling Braut Haaland is once again the talk of Europe after his Champions League double against Sevilla, and now he has struggling Schalke in his sights with Borussia Dortmund in the Ruhr derby.

Haaland, who has 25 goals in 24 games this season, was on target when Dortmund won 3-0 in the last derby in October. Edin Terzic’s team won 3-2 in Spain but a run of just one win in six in the Bundesliga has seen them slip to sixth.

There is therefore a risk they won’t be in the Champions League next season. Schalke, meanwhile, look unlikely to be in the Bundesliga next season. It is still just one win all season for the Royal Blues, who are bottom, nine points from safety. This could be the last Ruhr derby for a while.

Stakes high in Milan derby

AC Milan v Inter Milan, Sunday 1400 GMT

The Scudetto could be on its way back to Milan after nine years of domination by Juventus. Inter and AC Milan clash in a hotly-anticipated “Derby della Madonnina” with Antonio Conte’s Inter having moved a point clear of their city rivals at the top last weekend after Milan lost at Spezia.

With Roma and Juve both some way off the pace, the winners of this derby, which pits Romelu Lukaku against Zlatan Ibrahimovic again, will be in a very strong position.

Inter have the momentum and have won five of the last six derbies, including a 2-1 victory in the Coppa Italia last month.

However Milan, who rested key players including Ibrahimovic against Red Star Belgrade in the Europa League, won the last Serie A derby in October. 

Mbappe meets old club

Paris Saint-Germain v Monaco, Sunday 2000 GMT

Fresh from a statement performance in the Champions League, Kylian Mbappe faces his old club Monaco in a key game in Ligue 1.

Mbappe scored a stunning hat-trick to floor Barcelona, leaving PSG with one foot in the quarter-finals in Europe just as they find themselves playing catch-up in Ligue 1.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side are second, a point behind Lille, while Monaco are fourth, five points behind PSG.

The principality side are unbeaten in 10 league games, and in Wissam Ben Yedder and Kevin Volland they boast a fearsome strike duo. But they know all about the threat posed by Mbappe, who emerged with Monaco and starred in their run to the title in 2017. 

Barcelona to bounce back?

Barcelona v Cadiz, Sunday 1300 GMT

A humiliating night against PSG was a reminder to Barcelona of how far they have fallen compared with Europe’s elite. Yet the 4-1 hiding came just as Ronald Koeman’s side have been enjoying a revival in La Liga, in which they are unbeaten in 12 and have enjoyed seven straight wins. Lionel Messi has scored 14 in his last 14 league games.

For all that they remain third, nine points behind leaders Atletico Madrid, and now play a Cadiz side who won 2-1 when the teams met in December. However, Cadiz are on a run of four straight defeats in which they have conceded 15 goals. This therefore looks like the ideal game for Barca to bounce back.

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  1. Eric T

    February 19, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    Southampton vs Chelsea could be a really good game. Tuchel and Hasenhuttl had some really interesting chess matches in the Bundesliga. Both games ended 1-0.

  2. JP

    February 19, 2021 at 9:31 am

    Nice list KL. Add PSV v Vitesse 10:45 Sunday on ESPN+. After the Milan derby this is a nice top of the table Eredivise match to nibble on. If it’s exciting keep feasting, if not, Atalanta v Napoli on the table at 12pm to turn to after the 1st half.

  3. KL

    February 19, 2021 at 8:55 am

    My top 6 to watch:
    Fri-Caligari v. Torino-2:45pmEST-ESPN+-Nothing really is going on on friday except for mid-table clashes. but if you need something to watch, watch this game crucial to the relegation battle in Serie A. 18th placed Caligari are two points behind 17th placed Torino. I’m a bit shocked to see Torino this low in the table but I haven’t really watched many of their games though. Torino are coming off a 0-0 draw against Genoa and Cagiari are coming off a 1-0 loss to Atalanta.

    Sat-Eintracht Frankfurt vs Bayern Munich-9:30amEST-ESPN+-1st place vs 3rd place. Who would have thought that at the beginning of the season? But with the surge of Andre Silva, the second leading scorer in the Bundesliga, and the struggles of Leverkusen, Gladbach, and Dortmund, Frankfurt have a soild chance at making the Champions League. Bayern Munich barely got a point against Armenia Bielefield, tying 3-3. This be because of Bayern’s recent endeavors in the FIFA Club World Cup where they beat Al Alhy 2-0 and Tigres 1-0 to become the world champions. Eintracht Frankfurt are coming off a 2-0 win over FC Koln last week. Can they keep up the momentum against the league champions? This is one you won’t want to miss.

    Sat-FC Schalke vs Borussia Dortmund-12:30pm EST-ESPN+-On a certain fateful day last May, sports returnedback to our screens as we watched Dortmund beat Schalke 4-0. Since then much has changed. Dortmund are struggling to make the Champions League and Schalke are fighting relegation. Dortmund are coming off a 3-2 win against Sevilla in the Champions league. Schalke are coming off a 0-0 draw last week against Union Berlin, earning them a point. Both teams need this win to coming their momentum going. Although the first two times I have watched this matchup they have resulted in lopsided scores in the favor of Dortmund, I’ll still be watching this matchup because it holds a special place in my heart as the first sporting event I’d watched since the start of the pandemic. It was also my introduction to European soccer and I think if it weren’t the pandemic, I wouldn’t be watching these European games. Although the stakes are high in this matchup, if you want to watch one with the stakes even higher you should watch…

    Sat-Liverpool vs. Everton-12:30pm EST-NBC-We all remember the controversy when this derby was at Everton. Now we go to Anfield with Liverpool 2 points away from a Champions league spot and Everton 5 points away from European competition. Everton are looking for something to show for their amazing start to the season. Liverpool, after Klopp conceded the title, are just trying not be get embarrassed by falling below Champions League soccer. Everton lost 3-1 Wednesday to Manchester City. Liverpool, however, had a good win against Leipzig recently, beating them 2-0 in the Champions League. Can they capitalize on that win or will Everton come away with the points?

    Sun-AC Milan vs. Inter Milan-9:00am EST-ESPN+-I’m sure others would agree with me that this is by far the biggest game of the weekend. After Milan’s blunder against Spezia and Inter’s 3-1 win over Lazio, Inter are ahead of Milan by 1 point with 16 games to go. Both teams however are coming off disappointing showings with AC Milan drawing against Red Star Belgrade 2-2 in the Europa league and Inter Milan losing 2-1 on aggregate in the Coppa Italia semifinals to Juventus. Regardless, this is a derby you won’t want to win.

    Sun-PSG vs. Monaco-3:00pm EST-beIN Sports-Another top of the table clash, this time in France. PSG, coming of a 4-1 win against Barcelona in the Champions League, are 1 point behind first-place Lille. Can PSG transfer some of that international sucess to the domestic season to leapfrog into their normal position in the table or will AS Monaco control the likes of Mbappe to get some points? This clash, even though it’s not as important as other fixtures this weekend, can be a good game to watch to end your weekend.

    **Honorable Mentions**
    Fri-Watford v Derby County-2:45pm EST-ESPN+
    Sat-Real Vallodid v Real Madrid-3:00pm EST-beIN Sports
    Sun-Arsenal v Manchester City-11:30am EST-NBCSN
    Sun-Flamengo v Internacional-2:00pm EST-Fanatiz
    Sun-USWNT v Brazil WNT-3:00pm EST-FS1
    Mon-Greuther Furth v Holstein Kiel-2:45pm-ESPN+
    Mon-Juventus v Crotone-2:45pm-ESPN+

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