Football Article

Five Must-See Football Matches This Weekend

Five Must-See Football Matches This Weekend Photo: TT
Marcus Rashford celebrates the second goal in the 95th minute to make it 0-2 to Manchester United

The opening weekend of 2020 produces some exciting match-ups including two big FA Cup third round meetings, along with three tempting derbies on the continent.

Wolverhampton v Manchester United

Saturday 6:31pm European time - English FA Cup

Seventh-placed Wolverhampton host fifth-placed Manchester United in an enticing English FA Cup third round clash at Molineux Stadium.

Wolves recently knocked off United’s rivals Manchester City 3-2 at the same venue, while they narrowly went down to Liverpool 1-0, so they’ll be a handful for the Red Devils. United are without Paul Pogba who’s been ruled out for a month. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be eager to progress, to keep some life in United’s underwhelming campaign.

Espanyol v FC Barcelona

Saturday 9pm European time - Spanish La Liga

It may be bottom versus top in Spain’s La Liga but the Catalan derby is always a tense affair. To add to the spice, new Espanyol boss Abelardo Fernandez takes charge for the first time.

Barcelona sits atop the league by two points from Real Madrid, having gone seven games unbeaten in La Liga, although they drew two of their past three matches. Espanyol have had a wretched run recently, winless in their past eight games forcing their change of manager.

Liverpool v Everton

Sunday 3pm European time - English FA Cup

As the draw would have it, Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton meet in the third round of the English FA Cup on Sunday.

The Toffees have been buoyed by new boss Carlo Ancelotti with two wins since his arrival, although they went down 2-1 to Manchester City in midweek. He’ll have some plans for the Reds, who are near-perfect in the English Premier League, fresh from routing Sheffield United 2-0 on Thursday. Naby Keita is out injured for Liverpool but there’s no shortage of quality options.

Olympiakos v Panathinaikos

Sunday 4:30pm European time - Greek Super League

The derby of the eternal enemies takes place on Sunday night in Athens, but for once, neither side is top of the table Greek Super League table.

PAOK lead the way, two points ahead of Olympiakos, while Panathinaikos are way down in seventh spot, 18 points behind the leaders and seemingly out of title contention already. In further good news, league referees called off their abstention, allowing this game to actually go ahead, but it will be played behind closed doors.

Sporting Lisbon v FC Porto

Sunday 4:30pm European time - Portuguese Primeira Liga

Two Portuguese powerhouses meet on Sunday night as well, with Sporting Lisbon hosting FC Porto in the capital.

Sporting are currently third, but nine points behind second-placed Porto. Benfica are top, with a four-point buffer on Dragoes. Porto are unbeaten across their past 13 league matches, while Sporting have been inconsistent all term.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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