Old rivals Liverpool and Manchester United provide the headline act this weekend across Europe with big games in several of the major leagues.
Schalke 04 v Borussia Moenchengladbach
Friday 8:30pm European time - German Bundesliga
Second-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach make the short trip to Gelsenkirchen on Friday night to face fifth-placed Schalke 04 in a Bundesliga blockbuster. Only five points separates the two clubs who are firmly in title contention. Revived Gladbach striker Breel Embolo faces his former club, while Schalke goalkeeper Alexander Nuebel remains out suspended folllowing his ‘karate kick’.
Sporting Lisbon v Benfica
Friday 10:15pm European time - English Portuguese Primeira Liga
Two Portuguese powerhouses meet on Friday evening with fourth-placed Sporting Lisbon entertaining leaders Benfica. Benfica have remarkably won 13 matches in a row in the Primeira League to take a four-point buffer at the summit ahead of FC Porto. Sporting are way back but are dangerous, especially with Manchester United target Bruno Fernandes certain to play.
Sunday 3pm European time - Italian Serie A
In-form title contenders Lazio host midtable Sampdoria in Saturday’s early kick-off in Serie A. Lazio have enjoyed a remarkable run, claiming 10 consecutive victories and will be looking to extend that record against their 16th-placed opponents. Ciro Immobile has been on fire for the Romans, who are unbeaten at home and six points behind leaders Juventus.
Saturday 4pm European time - Spanish La Liga
Real Madrid currently sit second in La Liga and need three points to keep the pressure on leaders Barcelona who they’re level on points with, but behind on goal difference only. Fourth-placed Sevilla pose a significant test for Real but the visitors have only won one of their past four matches. Real lifted the Super Cup last weekend in a morale boost but they have drawn three of their past four in the league.
Sunday 5:30pm European time - English Premier League
Runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool have only dropped points once this season and that was against Manchester United whom they host on Sunday. The Red Devils are currently fifth and pushing for the top four and UEFA Champions League qualification. The Reds are 14 points clear at the summit but they’re always desperate to defeat their arch-nemesis United as they strive for their maiden Premier League title.