We are starting to close in on the homestretch in the European leagues and each game takes on more meaning and could be the decider if a team still has a chance to reach the promise land.On the other side of it, you have teams desperately fighting for their lives to stay up and avoid relegation.
Here are some of this weekend’s highlights:
Arsenal – West Ham (English Premier League Gameweek 29)
It seems like we have a London Derby each week in the Premier League, but in my opinion you can’t have enough derby meetings as they add something truly special to the game. Coworkers will be chirping all week leading up the game and whoever is victorious will have bragging rights until next time. Arsenal are currently in third, one point ahead of Manchester United. Gunners manager Arsene Wenger will want to keep the distance to the teams beneath them, but also take sight on Manchester City in second that are four points ahead.
A top 4 finish is crucial for Arsenal as they don’t want to miss out on playing in the Champions League next season. West Ham are in 10th, but if they get a string of victories together they could very well compete for one of the Europa League spots. Arsenal are heavy favorites for this one as the Hammers hasn’t won a game in the league since Jan. 18 when the beat Hull City 3-0.
Palermo – Juventus (Italian Serie A Gameweek 27)
Juventus has been steamrolling through Serie A this season and has a commanding grip of the top spot in Italy as they lead the league on 61 points after 26 games, 11 points ahead of AS Roma in second.
Paul Pogba has blossomed out into one of the world’s best midfielders and Manchester United must be kicking themselves for not being able to sign him to a contract while he was in the Reds’ youth system. Palermo is currently 10th in the table, but still have some hopes to climb up and grab a Europa League spot. The game will feature two Argentinian strikers of the highest class in Carlos Tevez for Juventus and Paulo Dybala for Palermo. Tevez leads the league with 15 goals and Dybala is fifth wit
h 11 goals. Juventus won the previous meeting 2-0 when the teams played in Turin, but you have to give Sicilian side a shot to at least grab a point at home at the Stadio Renzo Barbera.
Seattle Sounders – San Jose Earthquakes (MLS Gameweek 2)
Seattle started of the 2015 MLS season with a convincing 3-0 win over the New England Revolution, and the Sounders are definitely one of the favorites this season. U.S. national team star Clint Dempsey, who had two goals in the season opener, will try to lead this side to its first MLS Cup championship win. They are the defending Open Cup champions, but the league must be the priority this season. In addition to Dempsey, the Sounders can field a strong lineup with names like Designated Players Osvaldo Alonso and Obafemi Martins alongside veterans like Tyrone Mears, Kenny Cooper and Tyler Perkins.
The San Jose Earthquakes are looking for the first win of the season as they lost a 1-0 game to FC Dallas on the road. The Earthquakes have two very capable strikers in captain Chris Wondolowski and new arrival Innocent Emeghara. Earthquakes fans will be hoping that Wondolowski and Emeghara can find some chemistry fast as San Jose had a very disappointing campaign last year and ended last in the Western Conference.
Manchester United – Tottenham Hotspur (English Premier League Gameweek 29)
Both teams will go for the win in this one, as United are trying to go pass Arsenal who are a single point ahead of the Reds going into this weekend. The Spurs are looking to break into the top 4, and the London side is currently in sixth, three points behind United in fourth. United have two straight league wins, a 2-0 win at home to Sunderland and a 1-0 win over Newcastle on the road. Spurs also have two straight wins coming into this game, a 3-2 win over Swansea at home and a 2-1 away win at Queens Park Rangers.
It will be a clash of two potential England national side strikers as Wayne Rooney will go up against Harry Kane. Both players have scored some spectacular goals this season and Kane is in third in the scoring table with 16 goals so far this season.
Olympique De Marseille – Olympique Lyonnais (French Ligue 1 Gameweek 29)
Third placed Marseille play hosts to league-leading Lyon on Sunday in a game that could ultimately determine where the silverware end up when we summarize the season. Lyon sits at 57 points after 28 games, one point ahead of Paris Saint-Germain and four points ahead of Marseille. The Stade Velodrome will be boiling with Marseille fans who are looking for their side to keep winning and challenge for the title.
Andre Pierre Cignac has been banging in the goals for Marseille and he has 16 league goals so far this season. Lyon can brag about having the top scorer in the league right now in Alexandre Lacazette who has a tally of 23. Lyon won the previous meeting this season at home with a score of 1-0 with Yoann Gourcuff scoring the lone goal.
Check local listings for kick-off times.