European competition again takes centre stage this weekend with the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals and Europa League semi-finals on, along with some 2020-21 domestic leagues which are underway.
Friday 9pm European time - UEFA Champions League
Spanish La Liga runners-up FC Barcelona take on runaway Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in arguably the best of the four UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. Barca boss Quique Setien is under pressure to claim some silverware after missing out on the league title but Bayern represent a significant challenge in this one-off tie in Portugal. The Germans thrashed Chelsea in the last 16 to qualify for the final eight and loom as the in-form side with Robert Lewandowski on fire.
AS Eupen v Club Brugge
Saturday 4pm European time - Belgian First Divizion A
Reigning Belgian champions Club Brugge started the 2020-21 season with a defeat to Charleroi so they’ll be eager to get three points on the board away to AS Eupen. Last season was cut short by the coronavirus but Brugge were in control in the title race and deserved champions. They’ve kept key players Simon Mignolet, David Okereke and Hans Vanaken. Eupen finished down in 13th last season and are one of the favourites for relegation.
Saturday 9pm European time - UEFA Champions League
English Premier League runners-up Manchester City may be the hot favourites in this clash against French club Olympique Lyonnais but they’ve never won the European title nor made the final, so there will be some jitters among the Sky Blues. Lyon progressed to the last eight with an impressive victory over Italian champions Juventus on away goals and possess enough threat to win this. Sergio Aguero is out again for City but Gabriel Jesus is an excellent stand-in.
Sunday 5:30pm European time - Scottish Premiership
Scottish powerhouse Rangers have had a sensational start to the 2020-21 season, while across town it’s been a disaster for Celtic following the Boli Bolingoli coronavirus breach. Rangers haven’t won the league title in a decade, following the club’s demotion, with Celtic dominating in the meantime, but they could extend their perfect start to four wins from four games away to Livingston on Sunday. Livi, who finished in the top six last term, have struggled early but possess quality.
Sunday 9pm European time - Europa League
Five-time Europa League winners Sevilla takes on English giants Manchester United in the first of Europe’s second tier competition’s semi-finals in Germany on Sunday. Sevilla edged past Wolverhampton 1-0 in the quarters, although they survived a penalty which was saved. Manchester United also got through 1-0, beating FC Copenhagen in extra-time. It’s tough to pick a winner with both sides finishing fourth and third respectively domestically and possessing good league form prior to this.