Barcelona face a big test this weekend, while there’s also some major challenges for some giants like Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan with Mario Balotelli hoping to debut.
Los Che were beaten 5-0 at home by Real Madrid a fortnight ago, but this clash still looms as a beauty. Valencia, as always, are in the mix for UEFA Champions League football in seventh, while Barca are well clear at the summit, 11 points ahead of Atletico Madrid. Two good sides who should provide entertainment.
Thomas Tuchel’s high-flying Mainz will give leaders Bayern a genuine test on Saturday. Mainz have only conceded six goals in nine home games in the league this term. Bayern, of course, are unbeaten on the road this term and have only conceded seven goals all season.
Manchester City v [[Liverpool] English Premier League, Sunday 5pm (CET)
The champions will take on the Reds on Sunday night, with City desperate to stay in touch with leaders Manchester United who are seven points clear. The Reds signed Philippe Coutinho this week in a boost to their chances.
German champs Dortmund have resumed after the winter break with back-to-back wins to keep alive their title hopes but there’s still plenty of ground to make up on leaders Bayern Munich. Second-placed Leverkusen are in the mix too, one point ahead of BVB and 11 behind Bayern.
Mario Balotelli arrived at Milan to a rockstar welcome this week after his move from Manchester City and he could make his debut in this big clash. Udinese were surprise packets last term and have improved in recent weeks with Antonio Di Natale always dangerous.