>In this weekend’s wrap I’ve taken a different approach by trying to share the action out over the course of the weekend, so you can maximise your viewing.
Sports Pundit’s Game of the Weekend
Saturday’s early kick-off in England’s Premier League marks a massive game in the context of the title race and the battle for the fourth and final UEFA Champions League spot.
Spurs, fresh from defeating Chelsea and Arsenal, visit Old Trafford to take on the mighty Manchester United. The Red Devils have to closed to within a point of leaders Chelsea, while Tottenham are fourth, two points ahead of another Manchester outfit, City.
Manchester United can, temporarily at least, return to the summit with victory and they’ll be boosted in that quest with the return to fitness of Wayne Rooney, along with Rio Ferdinand. Spurs recent giant-killing form suggests it won’t be easy for the Red Devils.
Not often will there be a match from Austria in this section, but this weekend’s top of the table clash with five games to go deserves some attention, especially on a Friday evening.
Red Bull, led by star striker Marc Janko, currently hold a six-point advantage on Rapid and could all but seal the title with victory here. Rapid’s prolific pair Steffen Hofmann and Nikica Jelavic might have something to say about that though. A victory for Rapid would reignite the title race.
With three rounds of football to play in Germany’s Bundesliga, every weekend now is crucial, but this clash has plenty at stake as Hertha Berlin have one final shot at survival, while Schalke hope to keep in touch at the top.
Felix Magath’s Schalke remain two points behind Champions League semi-finalists Bayern and know nothing less than victory will do. Hertha, though, will be desperate for victory as they are five points from safety. Realistically it is their final shot at survival, with a win essential. A loss will virtually spell the end for the capital club.
Sunday marks a real test to the title credentials of upstarts Bursaspor as they journey to the Ali Sami Yen to face third-placed Turkish giants Galatasaray.
Cimbom are five points behind leaders Bursaspor with four games to play, with Galatasaray’s rivals Fenerbahce in second, one point off the top. Galatasaray’s Harry Kewell may return from injury, while Bursaspor who’ve won at both Fenerbahce and Besiktas this season will hope to complete the big Istanbul treble.
In Italy there’s another game with big implications on not only the title race, but also the Champions League spots when leaders AS Roma host fourth-placed Sampdoria.
Claudio Ranieri’s men are in ridiculously fine form in the league with six wins on the trot, but a midweek Coppa Italia loss to Udinese was a shock. Perhaps, though, they are prioritising but the worry is they’ve put all their eggs in the one basket. Sampdoria, on a run of three wins including victories over AC Milan and Genoa, could be set to cause an upset.