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          The standout games from Europe's major leagues

          European matches to look out for

          2023/03/16 17:04

          This is the final match day ahead of the March international break before clubs begin the dramatic ‘run-in’ to the end of the 2022/23 campaign. This is a look at an individual standout match from each of Europe’s six major leagues…


          Bayer Leverkusen vs Bayern Munich | 16:30 on Sunday

          Even if this game didn’t have much riding on it, it would have been an entertaining encounter between to progressive and aggressive sides in attack.

          @Getty /

          Bayer Leverkusen have been much-improved since the appointment of Xabi Alonso but they will still view this season as a bit of an underperformance. The home team begin this weekend’s round of fixtures sitting just inside the top-half of the table after another entertaining 3-2 win away at Werder Bremen in their most recent outing, last weekend. 

          Julian Nagelsmann’s Bayern Munich managed to earn a two-point lead at the top-of-the-table, above Borussia Dortmund. The Bavarians took advantage of Dortmund dropping points against arch-rivals Schalke and dispatched of Augsburg by five goals to three. These are two high-scoring teams that will go at each other, especially at the BayArena.

          LA LIGA

          Barcelona vs Real Madrid | 20:00 on Sunday

          Arguably there is no bigger game in world football than El Clasico: Barcelona vs Real Madrid. Socially, historically, politically and in a sporting context; it is the peak. 

          These two meet again next month in the second-leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final, which Barcelona currently lead by a goal to nil. The Catalans, under the management of Xavi, have the opportunity to extend their lead at the top-of-the-table to 12 points in La Liga, should they defeat their arch-rivals this weekend.

          Los Blancos come into this on the back of a 1-0 win at home to Liverpool in the second-leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie, completing a 6-2 aggregate victory. Carlo Ancelotti’s side are the 14-time European champions and may well have to focus on the European cup for any sort of silverware this season if they lose at Camp Nou this weekend. 

          LIGUE 1

          Stade Reims vs Olympique de Marseille | 19:45 on Sunday

          These are two sides in similarly impressive form in France’s top-flight but they have different goals between now and the end of the campaign.

          Under the management of Will Still, Stade Reims come into this on the back of an impressive performance and 1-0 win away at Monaco in their most recent outing at the weekend. The home team are now unbeaten in their last 19 matches in Ligue 1 as they chase potential European qualification, sitting three points outside of the top six.



          They now face an Olympique de Marseille side that have been very impressive throughout the campaign but they now sit ten points behind Paris Saint-Germain at the top-of-the-table. Igor Tudor’s side have been entertaining to watch and that entertainment came at a cost last weekend as they were held to a 2-2 draw by struggling Strasbourg. 


          Southampton vs Tottenham Hotspur | 15:00 on Saturday

          Southampton come into this bottom-of-the-table on the back of a defeat at home to Brentford, whilst Tottenham dispatched Nottingham Forest last weekend… what happens next is obvious.

          Under the management of Ruben Selles, Saints have improved and have earned good results at both Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford, as well as a victory over fellow relegation rivals Leicester City. They have continued to struggle for goals, though, despite nearly £50 million being spent on the likes of Paul Onuachu, Kamaldeen Sulemana and Mislav Orsic in the January transfer window.

          Tottenham Hotspur tend to follow up relatively impressive performances and results with poor performances and results and they have done it throughout Antonio Conte’s reign as manager. Spurs have an opportunity to tighten their grip on top four, at least in terms of points, with their major competitors either not playing or in FA Cup action this weekend.


          Braga vs Porto | 18:00 on Sunday

          This is a huge game between one of the pretenders to ‘The Big Three’ and one of those three established teams in Portuguese club football.

          Braga, under the management of Artur Jorge, have improved upon the impressive work done by Carlos Carvalhal in recent seasons. The home team begin this weekend’s round of fixtures sitting tucked inside the top three and the UEFA Champions League spots. Their most recent outing was a 4-0 hammering of Vizela last weekend. 

          They now face a Porto side that were held to a goalless draw at home by Inter Milan in midweek, consequently exiting the UEFA Champions League at the Round of 16 stage due to a 1-0 aggregate defeat. Sergio Conceicao’s side sit second in the table, just two points above their upcoming opposition with Benfica continuing to streak away at the top-of-the-table.

          SERIE A

          Lazio vs Roma | 17:00 on Sunday

          @Getty /

          On a weekend in which the Derby d’Italia between Inter and Juve takes place, it needs something special to be the standout Serie A game instead…

          Derby della Capitale is a fierce rivalry, regardless of the situation and context for the two teams, but this one is crucial in the battle for a top four spot and potential UEFA Champions League qualification. There are three points separating second-place Inter Milan and fifth-place Roma with Lazio and AC Milan, the other side of respective major city derbies, in between.

          Both teams were in action in midweek in the UEFA Europa Conference League and the UEFA Europa League respectively. Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio come into this on the back of some poor form in terms of goal scoring recently and they face a Jose Mourinho team that are heading into a major game so this may not exactly be a thriller encounter in terms of being high-scoring. 

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