Another weekend, another round of top-notch games in the European leagues. Here are just a few games that you should keep an extra eye on.
Swansea City – Manchester United (Premier League Gameweek 26):
United are riding a seven-game streak without a loss. The Red Devils are currently in 3rd with 47 points, but with Southampton, Arsenal and Tottenham shadowing just a couple points behind, they are looking to keep them all at bay with a win on Saturday at the Liberty Stadium.They take on a Swansea team that lost its biggest star in Wilfried Bony during the January transfer window as they saw him leave for Manchester City.
Swansea’s form has been a bit inconsistent this season, and they are currently in 9th with 34 points. It’s now up to Icelandic star Gylfi Sigurdsson to lead the Swans for the rest of the season. The creative midfielder is now the highest scorer on the team since the departure of Bony.
FC Barcelona – Malaga (La Liga Gameweek 24):
Barcelona are hot on the heels on La Liga leaders Real Madrid, the Catalan club is only a single point behind the Meringues from the capital. Lionel Messi is in fine form with 26 goals in league play, two goals behind Cristiano Ronaldo who’s in the lead. Barca’s other star Neymar, has 17 goals so far, and together they make out a lethal striker pairing.
Barcelona is on an 11-game winning-streak and will be huge favorites going into Saturday’s game at the Camp Nou. Malaga has lost two straight, and currently find themselves in seventh place. It’s up to Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa to keep Messi & Co. at bay. Ochoa who played lights out at the World Cup in Brazil is definitely the most colorful character in the Malaga side and if he has a great game, Malaga might be able to squeeze out a draw.
Sampdoria – Genoa (Serie A Gameweek 24):
It’s time for the Derby della Lanterna (Derby of the Lighthouse) as Genoa’s two biggest clubs clashes for the 91st time in history. The game is played at Luigi Ferraris Stadium, which they both share, so look for both teams to have plenty of support on Saturday. Sampdoria’s form has been abysmal of late, but they have won the two latest meetings against Genoa. The clubs are neck in neck in the standings, with Sampdoria in sixth place and Genoa in seventh and both clubs having 35 points.
Brazilian striker Eder is the top offensive weapon for the home side Sampdoria, but Genoa has one of the better goalkeepers in Serie A in the very talented Mattia Perin who will look to make sure that Eder leaves the derby scoreless.
Tottenham – West Ham (Premier League Gameweek 26):
A high-profile London derby at White Hart Lane is a great way to kick off your Sunday for all you early birds. Spurs won the previous meeting against West Ham back in August, but it was a close affair with Eric Dier scoring the lone goal in stoppage time. West Ham are looking for revenge, and Diafra Sakho will be key if the Hammers are going to win this one. The Senegalese striker has 8 league goals in 16 appearances as has been a great gning since coming over from the French Ligue 1 in the summer.
Harry Kane has taken the Premier League by storm this season, and the striker will even get a call up to Roy Hodgson’s next England squad. With 13 league goals, Kane is tied for third in scoring in the Premier League.
AS Saint-Etienne – Olympique de Marseille (Ligue 1 Gameweek 26):
Two of the top teams in French soccer collide on Sunday as Saint-Etienne play host to Marseille at Stade Geoffrey Guichard. Marseille is in second place with 49 points, two points behind leaders Olympique Lyon. Saint-Etienne is in fourth with 41 points, and will look to keep that last European cup spot with a win as both Monaco and Bordeaux are right behind them with 40 points.
Marseille striker Andre Pierre Gignac is second in Ligue 1 in scoring with 14 goals on the season. He will go up against Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier who has been stellar in net throughout the whole season. He’s definitely the main reason why Saint-Etienne is fighting for that European cup spot.