Top of the table clashes.
With fewer than 10 rounds left in all of Europe’s top 5 leagues, the value of points from each fixture is going to be inflated. Those three points mean a lot more than three points.
On Saturday, the top two teams in the German Bundesliga (Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig), and in the French Ligue 1 ( Paris St. Germain and Lyon) will be facing off for points that will heat up the contest in the final laps of the title races.
Bayern Munich’s lead in the German Bundesliga is up to be reduced to a single point.
Paris St. German can fall to second place in the French Ligue 1 standings and also be allowed for an increase in competition for a Champions League qualification through the league.
Manchester City’s form and the lead they have in the Premier League title race is what denies their fixtures at Leicester from the hype that the games above have. However, Leicester City vs Manchester City will be a top of the Premier League table tie that is bound to help shape the final outcome of the ‘top four’.
Pre-season expectations for Dortmund will require them to finish in a Champions League qualifying spot at the very least. Dortmund must avoid defeat against Frankfurt.
Arsenal and Liverpool also have their pre-season expectations that are not being met. They will meet in London in search of a morale boosting win.
Arsenal and Dortmund will both reduce the point gap to a single point if they are winners on Saturday.
On April 3rd, 2021
Leicester City vs Manchester City (English Premier League)
Manchester City comeback to their domestic season with ambitions of winning the English Premier League title and all other titles allowed. Manchester City are alive and well in all competitions; the FA Cup, the League Cup, and the UEFA Champions League. They are in position to add to the long list of historic records they made under Pep Guardiola.
Leicester City will be the next opponent for Manchester City. A tasty clash since both clubs are technically still in the Premier League title race.
Arsenal vs Liverpool (English Premier League)
Liverpool travels to London to face Arsenal.
While both teams are hitting below pre-season expectations, Liverpool have a 4 point lead in the standings on Arsenal. Earlier meeting between the two was a 3-1 win for Liverpool. Recent form of both teams makes this harder to predict than in the past meetings. The last time Arsenal won a game against Liverpool was in 2016, so Liverpool are still favorite in this fixture.
Dortmund vs Frankfurt (German Bundesliga)
Frankfurt are at Dortmund
Dortmund can’t afford a defeat that will put them 7 points away from the ‘Top 4’. Dortmund can cut the gap between them and a Champions League qualifying spot to a single point if they can pick up a win at home against Frankfurt. On the other end, Frankfurt can do the reverse and possibly pull a point away from the top 3.
RB Leipzig vs Bayern Munich (German Bundesliga)
Robert Lewandowski picked up an injury on international break so Bayern Munich Munich will be put to the ultimate test because they will come into this game without their top scorer.
Bayern are at Leipzig for a clearer path to the title.
Leipzig can ignite more excitement into the Bundesliga title race for the neutrals. RB Leipzig at home can narrow the Bundesliga title race to a single point if they grab a win against Bayern Munich. The last meeting produced 6 goals, a 3-3 draw in Munich. The last four league meetings have ended in draws.
Paris St. Germain vs Lille (French Ligue 1)
Top of the table face-off. Paris St. Germain and Lille go head-to-head to find the points that will separate them. They both sit on 63 points after 30 matches played. Paris St. Germain were 3-0 winners when they met on March 17th in the Coupe de France Round of 16 tie. They will be looking to repeat that outcome. The last league meeting between the two ended goalless.
A draw in this tie won’t be the worst outcome as both sides would hate to lose this in this fixture. The incentive to win is as high as the incentive not to lose.
2020 COPA DEL REY FINAL
ATHLETIC CLUB VS REAL SOCIEDAD (Basque derby)
Athletic Club are dominating the domestic cups competition in Spain. They have won the 2021 Supercopa Espana (Spanish Super Cup)and are in the final of the 2021 Copa del Rey final.
The global pandemic pushed the 2020 Copa del Rey final into 2021.
Athletic Club will be looking to win a record two Copa del Rey titles in one year; and in one month.
They play against Real Sociedad on April 3, 2021 and go again against Barcelona on April 17, 2021.
Athletic Club could be losing two finals, or be winning two finals.
At best, they will be consecutive Copa del Rey winners.
At worst, their hearts will be broken (twice).
Will Athletic Club find success or will Real Sociedad break their hearts?
After the final is played, the two will meet again in the reverse fixture for league points in the Spanish La Liga; where Real Sociedad are currently 10 points ahead in the league standing.
ON APRIL 4, 2021
Sevilla vs Atletico Madrid
11 points separate Sevilla and Atletico Madrid in the ‘top four’ of the La Liga standings. Atletico Madrid’s lead isn’t wide enough to afford dropping points. A victory in Seville is almost a requirement for Atletico Madrid at this stage; especially when both Barcelona and Real Madrid have favorable opponents.
THE OTHER CONTEST IN EUROPE’s T-5 LEAGUE
Chelsea vs West Brom (English Premier League)
Chelsea have been unbeaten since Thomas Tuchel took over managerial duties. Chelsea’s next game is against relegation-zoned West Bromwich Albion.
Manchester United vs Brighton (English Premier League)
Brighton will be at Old Trafford against Manchester United.
Manchester United have scored three goals in their last 4 games against Brighton. Brighton are looking for the points to move away from the relegation battles while Manchester United are looking for the points to stay as prime title contenders against their city rival.
Wolves vs West Ham (English Premier League)
West Ham are away against Wolves
West Ham are touching distance from a Champions League qualifying spot. A win at Wolverhampton will help the cause. The last meeting was a 4-0 win for West Ham so a repeat of that will be ideal.
Spanish La Liga – BEFORE THE EL CLASSICO …
Real Madrid vs Eibar (Spanish La Liga)
Real Madrid are bound to keep their winning streak going and make it three league wins in a row when they welcome Eibar. The last time Eibar took a point from Real Madrid in the league was in 2016; and we don’t expect any change in that streak. Eibar are in need of the points for their relegation battles, while Real Madrid want the points in their quest to defend the league title.
Barcelona vs Real Valladolid (Spanish La Liga)
Barcelona have been in form and will want that to continue for them to keep the pressure on Atletico Madrid.
Barcelona will be looking for the 6th successive win in the league when they host Valladolid. Valladolid’s last league win against Barcelona was in 2014; and we don’t expect any change in that streak. Valladolid are in need of the point for their relegation battles, while Barcelona want the points in their quest to reclaim the league title.
THE MILAN TEAMS WILL LOOK TO SORT OUT POINTS FROM THEIR RESPECTIVE MATCHES, WHILE JUVENTUS WILL LOOK FOR A LOCAL DERBY WIN TO GET BACK ON THE RIGHT TRACK.
AC Milan vs Sampdoria (Italian Serie A)
AC Milan takes on Sampdoria at the San Siro.
Sandwich between two teams that have a game in hand, AC Milan can’t afford dropping points against Sampdoria.
Torino vs Juventus (Italian Serie A)
Turin Derby – Torino host Juventus
Juventus next game will be the Turin derby. They will visit a struggling Torino side to look for a win to make up for their shock defeat against Benevento in the last round.
Inter Milan visits Bologna. (Italian Serie A)
Bologna vs Inter Milan
Inter Milan will want to give the advantage they have of having a game in hand. They are going to Bologna to look for a win that will keep or extend their lead in the Serie A title race.
Wolfsburg vs FC Koln (German Bundesliga)
Wolfsburg will host FC Koln.
Regardless of the outcome, Wolfsburg will keep 3rd place in the Bundesliga standings, but a win here will be a boost to Wolfsburg’s chances of getting a place next season’s Champions League group stage.