As per usual, we’ll be watching football around the clock this weekend, and there are five fixtures that stand out.
🇪🇸 Barcelona vs Getafe
Who would have thought that little Getafe would be third in LaLiga after 23 games? The unfashionable surprise package team from the outskirts of the Spanish capital are gunning for a Champions League place and currently three points above Atléti, and eager to upset the usual pecking order.
It’s been a rocky spell for Barcelona both on and off the pitch, but they’ve steadied the ship with consecutive LaLiga wins to get their title defence back on track. Messi’s men will be tested to their limit again on Saturday and that should make this an attractive clash.
🏴 Norwich vs Liverpool
On paper, this is a complete mismatch. Rock-bottom vs a team 22 points clear of the defending champions, but the Premier League always serves up surprises, right? Don’t bet on it this time though. In the past, Luis Suárez lit up this fixture and any of Liverpool’s current world-class attackers will feel as though this is an opportunity to do the same.
🇮🇹 Atalanta vs Roma
No team in Europe has scored more league goals this season than Neil Lennon’s @CelticFC 🧨
🏴 Celtic: 77
🏴 Man City: 65
🇫🇷 Paris Saint-Germain: 63
🇮🇹 Atalanta: 61
🏴 Liverpool: 60
🏴 Rangers: 60
🇪🇸 Barcelona: 55 #FridayFeeling #futaafacts pic.twitter.com/m6HFReADEP
Only Celtic, Man City & PSG have scored more league goals in Europe’s major domestic competitions than Atalanta this season. Shipping goals at the other end has been their main issue, however, and it’s threatening their hopes of a top-four finish. With visitors Roma possessing similar defensive frailty and needing a win to draw level with their hosts, there should be plenty of goals.
🏴 Aston Villa vs Tottenham
José Mourinho has a selection dilemma on his hands as he looks to nullify the threat of Villa skipper Jack Grealish. Only Norwich has won fewer Premier League games on the road this season than Spurs and Jose can ill-afford another poor result on the road here.
🇮🇹 Lazio vs Inter
Before kickoff in Serie A this weekend, only two points separate the top three, and two of those three sides meet at Lazio’s Stadio Olimpico this Sunday. Not since 2010 when they won an unprecedented treble, has Inter Milan been top of the table with 25 games played. A thrilling 4-2 win over city rivals AC Milan means they arrive full of confidence, although that got dented somewhat by a surprise Coppa Italia loss to Napoli.
Lazio has won 13 of their last 15 Serie A encounters, drawing the other two, making this a titanic test for Conte’s Inter side, spearheaded by Romelu Lukaku and the returning Lautaro Martínez. With Lazio’s Ciro Immobile leading the goal-scoring charts in Italy, this contest will showcase three of the finest strikers in Europe.
🇪🇸 Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo
After all of their struggles last season, who would have thought that Real Madrid would be boasting the best defensive record across Europe’s top five leagues in 2019/20? They’ve only shipped 14 LaLiga goals in 23 matches and only one in their last four, with Sergio Ramos leading by example.
What a weekend we have in store.
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