As the European football season rumbles on, SportsPundit looks forward to five of the biggest matches that will be played out over this weekend.
The first Merseyside derby of the season promises fireworks as both sides are in form and will head into the match looking for a win. While visitors Liverpool could end the weekend in pole position in the Premier League if they win on Saturday and results elsewhere go their way, hosts Everton will move into the top three for a few hours at least and level on points with the Reds. Roberto Martinez’s side have been very entertaining to watch and have yet to lose at home, so they could just about come out on top. However, Liverpool have two star and in-form forwards in Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez, so they are likely to score at least once at Goodison Park.
It’s second against first in the Bundesliga on Saturday as Borussia Dortmund host unbeaten and record-breaking Bayern Munich. Jurgen Klopp’s side are four points behind the Bavarian giants in second place and will do their chances of regaining the title a huge amount of good with a win in front of their own supporters on Saturday afternoon. Dortmund have not lost to Bayern in the league since February 2010, while Pep Guardiola’s side have not suffered a league defeat away from home in 24 matches. The fixture promises goals and entertaining football and one that should not be missed.
Hellas Verona and Chievo will contest the Derby di Verona on Saturday after 11 years. This is one of the biggest and most fiercely contested rivalries in Italian football and one that cannot be missed by any football follower. While hosts Verona are sixth in the table with 14 points from 12 matches, visitors Chievo are struggling at the foot of the table, having picked up just six points so far this campaign. However, the form book will fly out of the window as the two teams will be keen to go hammer and tongs at each other and collect the city bragging rights.
Rapid Vienna vs. Red Bull Salzburg, Austrian Bundesliga, Sunday 16.30CET
It’s second against first in the Austrian Bundesliga on Sunday in Vienna as Rapid Vienna host Red Bull Salzburg. The home side are second in the league table with 24 points from 15 matches, while the visitors are 10 points clear of them at the top. A victory for Red Bull could just about see them run away with the title, so a win for Rapid is imperative.
The Andalucian derby is one of the fiercest matches in entire Europe and football observers would be in for a treat on Sunday evening when Sevilla host Real Betis at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. Unai Emery’s side have picked themselves up from a poor start to the season to move up to 11th in the league standings with 16 points from 13 matches and will head into the match as favourites. On the other hand, visitors Betis are rock-bottom having collected just nine points. However, in a derby everything’s possible and so is a Betis win.