Five Must-see Football Matches This Weekend
The bad news is the start of the new Italian Serie A season has been postponed due to a player strike but the good news is Spain’s La Liga will get underway this weekend and already there’s plenty to get excited about.
Sports Pundit’s Game of the Weekend
English Premier League, Sunday 3.45pm (Central European Time)
Sir Alex Ferguson pits his wits against Arsene Wenger in the Premier League on Sunday, and the way things are going for the Frenchman there may not be too many more of these clashes.
Arsenal had an awful start to the new Premier League, yet to score a goal, claiming one point from two games and losing Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. However, Arsenal’s plight could be much worse had it not been for the side clinching Uefa Champions League qualification in midweek after a 2-1 win over Udinese in Italy. That result has eased the pressure.
However, the timing is all wrong for the Gunners to be coming up against Manchester United at Old Trafford, with the reigning champions in ominous form already with two wins from two matches. But you never know.
Uefa Super Cup, Friday 8.45pm (CET)
The Uefa Champions League winners take on the Europa League winners in Monaco on Friday, with an exciting contest predicted.
Porto, of course, are without manager Andre Villas-Boas from the side who won Europe’s second tier competition, but plenty is still expected under new boss Vitor Pereira. For Barcelona, they will show off newly-crowned Best Player in Europe, Lionel Messi and Pereira knows he’ll be hard to stop. He said: “You can’t stop Messi with any special tactic. You stop him with a strong team performance.”
German Bundesliga, Saturday 6.30pm (CET)
The champions are off to last season’s runners-up in Saturday’s late kick-off in the Bundesliga, with both sides hoping to show their title credentials early on.
Dortmund will be without super youngster Mario Gotze due to a groin injury, but Shinji Kagawa has been mostly impressive this term and should run the show. Leverkusen’s Michael Ballack could get a run and show his quality, while Andre Schurrle must be itching to really break through as a Leverkusen player after his move from FSV Mainz. For Leverkusen, this game is an opportunity to make a statement, while for BVB it’s a chance to let the others know they’re ready to go for the title once again.
French Ligue 1, Sunday 9pm (CET)
France’s past two champions meet one another on Sunday in a game where both sides really need a victory to get their seasons underway.
Champions Lille have managed four points from their opening three matches, while Marseille are still winless. Lille are still recovering from the key departures of Gervinho, Adil Rami and Yoann Cabaye in the off-season while Marseille can’t seem to bit the winning formula. Interestingly, in the season’s curtain-raiser, Marseille defeated Lille 5-4 in a thrilling game, but this contest is expected to be a bit more conservative.
Spanish La Liga, Monday 9pm
Barcelona will begin the new Spanish season on Monday, given they must take on FC Porto on Friday in the Uefa Super Cup, and they don’t have an easy task to begin their league campaign, at home to Villarreal.
The Yellow Submarine are a dangerous prospect with Nilmar and Giuseppe Rossi up front, but despite finished fourth in La Liga last term, they didn’t trouble Barcelona at all during the campaign. The Catalan club have been bolstered by the arrivals of Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas during the summer and look in top condition, after easily defeating Napoli earlier this week.
Related news & articles
Friday March 11
This weekend’s edition brings some exciting fixtures from around Europe headlined by England’s FA Cup, while there’s big battles taking place in Italy, Spain, Germany and France. More
Wednesday February 20
The whole of Italy will be rooted to their seats on February 20, 2013 as AC Milan and FC Barcelona square off for the first leg of the knockout stage in the Champions League at the San Siro Stadium at 1945 GMT. More
Wednesday December 5
Barcelona will be playing against Benfica on December 5, 2012. More
Wednesday May 18
Portuguese pair FC Porto and Sporting Braga meet in Dublin in the final of the Europa League on Wednesday night with the Dragons going in as hot favourites. More