Barcelona’s title hopes appear dead and they face a huge test this weekend, while there’s a massive top two clash in France’s Ligue 1.
Sports Pundit’s Game of the Week
Spanish La Liga, Sunday 9.30pm (CET)
The pressure is on Barcelona in Spain’s top flight, with a 10-point gap opening up at the summit as Real Madrid begin to run away with the title. There’s been talk it’s over, but you know Barca won’t be giving up on it just yet. However, their first assignment since the gap became double figures is a tricky one against the impressive third-placed Valencia. Barcelona’s home form is stunning, having conceded just three goals at Nou Camp in La Liga this term, but Valencia are capable of pulling off a shock result.
German Bundesliga, Saturday 3.30pm (CET)
This match presents an interesting clash between two sides in totally different predicaments. Hertha’s form has been woeful in recent weeks following four straight defeats which led to Michael Skibbe’s sacking during the week. Dortmund, on the other hand, are in a purple patch having won all their league games since the winter break although they are without key man Shinji Kagawa due to injury. BVB, the league leaders, have Bayern and Monchengladbach hot on their heels so three points is crucial here.
English FA Cup, Saturday 6.15pm (CET)
One of England’s in-form sides Sunderland take on Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal in the FA Cup on Saturday evening. It’s a big game for the Gunners who haven’t won any silverware for years, and with Manchester United and City out of the cup, this could be their chance. The Black Cats, though, are in hot form under Martin O’Neill, although they did lose a week ago to Arsenal at the same venue, but the Gunners did require Thierry Henry’s late intervention for a 2-1 win. Arsenal are also reeling after a midweek 4-0 loss to AC Milan in the Uefa Champions League.
Italian Serie A, Sunday 3pm (CET)
This is another uneven match-up between one side at the top of the table and another way down the bottom, but there’s plenty to like about this contest. For starters, AC Milan were sensational in their midweek 4-0 rout of Arsenal in the Uefa Champions League with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho sparkling, which suggests we’ll see something special, if not a contest. Cesena are second last in Serie A but have been scrapping of late without much success. Milan’s recent form hasn’t been overly convincing so there is scope for a shock.
France Ligue 1, Sunday 9pm (CET)
It’s one versus two in France’s Ligue 1 as the big-spending PSG take on the modest Montpellier. It’s been a stunning campaign for the visitors who are remarkably just one point behind the Parisians. There’s a massive gap between the top two to third, with Lille a further 10 points back so the importance of this clash is huge. Oliver Giroud is Montpellier’s gun goalscorer, while PSG have no shortage of talent including Nene and Kevin Gameiro.