After some thrilling action midweek in the Champions League and Europa League we can once again look forward to a packed soccer weekend. Everything from battles in the lower parts of the standings to huge derbies is available to lovers of the beautiful game. Here are a few suggestions on what to watch during the weekend.
Burnley FC – Leicester City (English Premier League Gameweek 34)
Two clubs that are frenetically fighting for the Premier League lives come together on Saturday morning as Burnley host Leicester in game that could take one of the team out of the relegation zone for now. Leicester sits in 18th place with 28 points and could go up as far as 16th if they manage to find a way to win on Saturday. The team is on a three-game winning-streak so they will be full of confidence going to Burnley. The home side is at the bottom of the table with 26 points but could find themselves just above the drop zone with a win. Burnley’s last win was on March 14 when they shocked Manchester city and won 1-0.
Paris Saint Germain – LOSC Lille (French Ligue 1 Gameweek 34)
PSG is looking to regain the top spot in Ligue 1 as they welcome Lille to Parc des Princes. PSG sits in second with 65 points, same as the leaders Olympique Lyon, but has a game in hand. They will be without talisman striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic as he is serving a three-game suspension after his outburst at the referees in the game against Bordeaux on March 15. The Swede will also miss the next game for PSG against FC Metz on Tuesday before making his return to the lineup. PSG were knocked out of the Champions League Quarterfinals by Barcelona earlier in the week, so now all focus will be on getting another Ligue 1 title. With Ibrahimovic out, Edison Cavani will take his spot at the striker position. Lille sits in 8th with 50 points, and the team has been on a good run of form as of late with four wins in the last five league games.
Everton FC – Manchester United (English Premier League Gameweek 34)
Manager Louis van Gaal and his Manchester United are looking to bounce back after the narrow 1-0 loss to Chelsea last weekend as they travel to Liverpool to take on Everton. With a win, United could leapfrog Arsenal for the second spot in the standings, depending on what happens in the meeting between Arsenal and Chelsea. They also have to look behind them as local rivals Manchester City sit in fourth, just one point back of United. Although a top-4 finish is the goal this season, finish in the top-3 means that you go straight into the Champions League group stage whereas the team finish in fourth must go through a qualification round. Everton has had a pretty disappointing season and can be found in the bottom half of the Premier League table in 12th with 41 points. Coming into the season, many had predicted that Everton would be in the fight for a place in the Europa League, but that seems like mission impossible at this stage.
Arsenal – Chelsea (English Premier League Gameweek 34)
League leaders Chelsea travel the short distance to the Emirates Stadium for a huge London derby. Arsenal is in second place, 10 points behind Chelsea, and if they are going to have even the smallest hope of catching up to their cross-town rivals, they must win on Sunday. If Chelsea wins and then go on to beat Leicester in the following game, they will be the champions. Manager Jose Mourinho has done a great job since coming back to Chelsea and you can see a lot of similarities to the team he had last time around in charge. Chelsea has quality on every single position on the field and they will be a tough nut for Arsenal to crack. Expect high intensity, lots of physical play and a sea of red and white as this is one of the highlights of the season for many English soccer fans.
NY Red Bulls – LA Galaxy (MLS Gameweek 8)
Prepare for an East Coast versus West Coast showdown in the MLS on Sunday afternoon as the LA Galaxy visit the New York Red Bulls. The Red Bulls is the only undefeated side in MLS and they are at the top of the Eastern Conference with 11 points after five games. The reigning champs from Los Angeles has struggled a bit in the opening of the season by their standards and sit in third in the Western Conference with 11 points after seven games. The Red Bulls are coming off a 2-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes where Sacha Klejstan got his first goal since returning to the MLS from Europe. The Galaxy won 2-1 over Sporting Kansas City last week after Omar Gonzalez scored the winning goal late in extra time.