The European leagues are back after the international break, and as most leagues are entering the final stages of the season, we have some really exciting games to look forward to in the next month and half. Here are a few game to keep an extra eye on this weekend.
Arsenal – Liverpool (English Premier League Gameweek 31)
A highly anticipated meeting between third-placed Arsenal and fifth-placed Liverpool is a perfect way to kick off the soccer weekend. Arsenal is on a six-game winning streak in the Premier League which has put them just one point behind second-placed Manchester City. Liverpool desperately wants to grab a top four position and secure playing in the Champions League again next season. They are currently five points behind Manchester United in fourth, so with eight games remixing this is pretty much a must-win situation for manager Brendan Rodgers and his players. The previous meeting between the teams this season back in December ended in a 2-2 draw.
Borussia Dortmund – Bayern Munich (German Bundesliga Gameweek 27)
Although Dortmund’s season has been a huge disappointment, the games against Bayern Munich are always interesting and the “yellow wall” at the Signal Iduna Park will be as loud as ever when the champions comes to visit. Bayern is sitting at the top of the table, and has a 10-point lead over second-placed Wolfsburg. Dortmund are down in 10th place, but they are on a good run of form since the appalling start to the season. Both teams have plenty of star players, so keep an extra eye on Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Thomas Muller in Bayern and Mats Hummels, Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyand in Dortmund.
FC Zenit St. Petersburg – CSKA Moscow (Russian Premier League Gameweek 21)
Top of the table Zenit play host to second-placed CSKA Moscow early on Sunday (kick off at 3:30am PT), so after a night out on the town on Saturday, grab some late night munchies and watch the best of the best in Russian soccer go at it. CSKA is on a three-game winning streak after the league started back up again after the winter break. Trailing Zenit by five points, this is a game that the Moscow side must win in order to have a shot at overtaking Zenit at the top of the table. Both teams have strikers that are at the top of the goal scoring table. Zenit’s Rondon has 10 goals and Hulk has nine. CSKA can counter with Bibras Natcho and Ahmed Musa both on nine goals.
Sunderland – Newcastle (English Premier League Gameweek 31)
Two struggling sides meet up in the Wear-Tyne derby on Sunday at the Stadium of Light. This is a classic fixture as the cities of Sunderland and Newcastle are only 10 miles apart in Northeast England. New manager Dick Advocaat has been given the task to try and save Sunderland from relegation. The Black Cats currently sits in 17th with 26 points after 30 games, just a single point above the drop. Newcastle sits in 12th and is sort of lost in no mans land in the table. The previous meeting between the sides in December ended up with a 1-0 win for Sunderland after a goal in the 90th minute by Adam Johnson.
Olympique de Marseille – Paris Saint Germain (French Ligue 1 Gameweek 31)
The top spot of Ligue 1 is at stake as league leaders PSG travel down south to take on third-placed Marseille in the “French Classique.” PSG top the table with 59 points, Olympique Lyon is in second with 58 points, and Marseille is in third with 57 points. So it’s no understatement to say that this is a huge game. The Stade Velodrome is a very hostile place for visiting teams, and PSG is the most hated teams by the Marseille supporters as the teams are huge rivals. PSG’s Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic was in fine form during the international break as he scored both goals in Sweden’s win over Moldova in the Euro 2016 qualifiers and then he scored again in a friendly against Iran that Sweden won 3-1. Ibrahimovic has 17 league goals for PSG this season, but Marseille also has a goalscorer of note in Andre Pierre Gignac who has 16 goals so far this season.