Football Article

Five Must-See Football Matches This Weekend

Five Must-See Football Matches This Weekend Photo: TT
Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta and team mates celebrate winning the Europa League in Baku, Azerbaijan. Eden Hazard scored two goals as Chelsea thrashed London rivals Arsenal 4-1 in the final at the Baku Olympic Stadium

The 2019-20 Italian Serie A concludes this weekend while the 2020-21 Scottish Premiership campaign commences and the 2020 English FA Cup final takes place in front of no fans. Weird.

Aberdeen v Rangers

Saturday 1:30pm European time - Scottish Premiership

The Scottish Premiership returns this weekend after finishing up due to the coronavirus, although it’ll be in the carnation of the 2020-21 season.

Aberdeen and Rangers get things underway with Saturday’s early kick-off. Rangers were runners-up last term, while Aberdeen weren’t far behind in fourth and always tough to beat at Pittodrie. Gers sealed permanent deals for Jermain Defoe and Ianis Hagi in the summer, while Leon Balogun has arrived from Wigan and goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin from Sunderland. Aberdeen have lost a long list of players but added Jonny Hayes from Celtic to bolster their attack.

Arsenal v Chelsea

Saturday 6:30pm European time - English FA Cup final

London’s two biggest clubs Arsenal and Chelsea meet in the strangest of FA Cup finals at Wembley Stadium with the decider played behind closed doors.

Both Mikel Arteta and Frank Lampard are chasing their maiden pieces of silverware as respective bosses. Arteta’s Gunners improved late in the season but still finished midtable, missing out on European qualification via the league, but a trophy and passage into the Europa League would satisfy most Arsenal fans after the Spaniard took over midseason. Chelsea finished fourth in the league and will be the marginal favourites for this clash.

Atalanta v Inter Milan

Saturday 8:45pm European time - Italian Serie A

Third-placed Atalanta and second-placed Inter Milan are locked into UEFA Champions League spots already ahead of the final day of the Italian Serie A season but they’ll both want to claim that runners-up spot behind Juventus.

Atalanta are currently behind Inter by one point, meaning only victory will be enough to leapfrog the Nerazzurri. Both sides have enjoyed good recent form, helping them solidify top four spots, although neither is assured of second place, with Lazio also not far behind in fourth, level on points with Atalanta, meaning they could finish second if they beat Napoli away on the final day, if this match ends as a draw. Atalanta are the league’s highest scorers, while Inter have conceded the fewest goals.

Benfica v FC Porto

Saturday 9:45pm European time - Taca de Portugal final

Portuguese giants Benfica and FC Porto both found their way into the Taca de Portugal final with ease earlier this year but it’s been a long wait to claim the trophy.

On Saturday, they’ll belatedly meet in the decider in Coimbra. Only last week Porto won the Portuguese Primeira Liga by five points ahead of Benfica, with the champions-elect defeating Sporting Lisbon with three games to go. Porto did lose on the final day of the season, 2-1 to third-placed Sporting Braga, while Benfica ended their campaign with a strong 2-1 win over fourth-placed Sporting Lisbon. Porto will be the favourites but Benfica will want their own triumph this term.

Genoa v Hellas Verona

Sunday 8:45pm European time - Italian Serie A

Genoa have been back in Serie A for the past decade but they’re top flight status is in jeopardy on the final day on Sunday when they host Hellas Verona.

Either 17th placed Genoa or 18th placed Lecce will go down, with one point and three-plus in goal difference separating the two clubs. Genoa will know if they defeat ninth placed Hellas Verona, they’ll stay up. If not, then it all comes down to Lecce’s result at home to 11th placed Parma. Genoa coach Davide Nicola believes his side deserve to retain their top flight status but that counts for nothing if they cannot win.

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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