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The standout games across the continent this week

Euro matches to look out for

2024/05/03 12:05
E5

The 2023/24 campaign is rapidly reaching its conclusion with plenty still to be decided in all of Europe’s major leagues. With the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League either side of this weekend, there is an even more intriguing element to this weekend.

So, without further ado, here is our round-up of the standout fixtures to keep an eye on from across Europe’s six biggest leagues: the Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, Premier League, Primeira Liga and Serie A…


BUNDESLIGA

Union Berlin vs Bochum | 2.30pm on Saturday

With the Bundesliga now being confirmed as having a fifth spot for next season’s UEFA Champions League, there is little to play for bar drama down at the bottom end of the table.

Union Berlin continued their rapid rise by qualifying for the UEFA Champions League last season and then began this season with back-to-back victories but the capital city club are now under serious pressure down in the relegation battle. With three games left this season, Union are sitting just two points and two places above the bottom three and the danger zone.

The team that is separating themselves and the relegation playoff place are their upcoming opponents, Bochum. The visitors have struggled throughout this campaign but they come into this one on the back of a thrilling and much-needed 3-2 defeat of Hoffenheim last weekend as they moved level on points with Union.

LA LIGA

Girona vs Barcelona | 5.30pm on Saturday

We have a Catalan derby on Saturday evening which could well result in Real Madrid being crowned Spanish champions as soon as this weekend if Los Blancos can defeat Cadiz beforehand.

It has been a wonderfully impressive overachievement from Girona this season. In their fourth season as a La Liga club ever, Michel’s side look set to mathematically confirm UEFA Champions League qualification soon with an attractive style of football that could well be completely dismantled in the summer such is the romance of football.

Barcelona were beaten 4-2 by Girona at the Olympic Stadium back in December and they are coasting through until the end of the season when they will begin their rebuild under the same management, same presidency and with the same squad. The Blaugrana have been much-improved since January, though, it has to be said. 

LIGUE 1

Lille vs Olympique Lyonnais | 8pm on Monday

With just a few weeks left of the French Ligue 1 season, this one is a crucial game for both sides as they chase different types of European qualification.

@Getty /

Former Roma and Shakhtar Donetsk boss Paulo Fonseca has cultivated an easy on the eye style of football at Lille that has an impressive defensive record with over 20 clean sheets across all competitions. The northerners remain firmly in the hunt for a top three finish and potentially sneaking into the UEFA Champions League spots.

Olympique Lyonnais spent much of the first-half of the season in the bottom two and the relegation places with both Laurent Blanc and then Fabio Grosso sacked before December. The appointment of Pierre Sage has been magnificent, though, with 17 wins in 22 matches as they reach the Coupe de France final and propel themselves into the top-half of the table.

PREMIER LEAGUE

Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur | 4.30pm on Sunday

A few weeks ago this one looked like it might be absolutely crucial in both the title race and the UEFA Champions League qualifying race but both sides have collapsed.

The Reds’ 2-2 draw with West Ham United last weekend means Jurgen Klopp’s final season in charge at Anfield is finishing with a bit of a whimper. Their last ten matches has seen them eliminated from the title race as well as the FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League at the quarter-final stage with just four victories in that time.

 

 

No team has ever led the league and then missed out on the top four that season in the Premier League but Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham Hotspur appear set to do that. Their third successive loss came in midweek with Chelsea’s 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge following on from a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Newcastle United and a 3-2 defeat in the north London derby against Arsenal. 

PRIMEIRA LIGA

Sporting CP vs Portimonense | 6pm on Saturday

There is a chance that Sporting CP can be crowned champions of Portuguese football for the second time in four seasons as soon as this weekend when they face Portimonense.

Ruben Amorim, who has been heavily linked with the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea, Liverpool and West Ham United, has overseen a magnificent domestic campaign for the capital city club and a victory on Saturday evening would be enough to win the Primeira Liga title if Benfica drop points on Sunday night when they travel to face Famalicao.

However, there is still something major on the line for Portimonense as they battle against the drop. The Portimao-based club begin the match day sitting in the relegation playoff place but just a point off safety. They do, though, come into this one on the back of a 2-0 defeat at home to Moreirense, making it no wins in four matches.

SERIE A

Roma vs Juventus | 7.45pm on Sunday

Serie A still has a few things wide open down at the bottom end of the table but Sunday evening presents a huge game in the race for a top five finish.

@Getty /

The top five will get UEFA Champions League qualification and Roma are currently occupying fifth spot with a two-point lead over Atalanta. They have been generally magnificent since Daniele De Rossi replaced Jose Mourinho in January. They do, though, come into this one on the back of a 2-0 loss at home to Bayer Leverkusen in the first-leg of their UEFA Europa League semi-final. 

Massimiliano Allegri’s second stint in charge of Juventus has been an underwhelming one and it does look to be coming to an end this summer. The Old Lady were well in the title race as late as January but ever since then, when they were already overperforming, they have managed just three victories in 15 matches across all competitions. 



Comments

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LH
2024-05-03 13h54m by lhalliday_bart
As a football fan, I can't wait for this weekend's fixtures! So many important games across Europe's top leagues. Excitement levels are through the roof!
SP
2024-05-03 13h22m by sparkerfield
As a football fan, this weekend's matches are definitely going to be exciting! The Bundesliga is giving us a potential thriller with Union Berlin taking on Bochum. Plus, with the fifth spot in the Champions League up for grabs, the stakes are high. Can't wait to see how it all unfolds!
2024-05-03 13h14m by jgibsonson
Disappointing to see that the Bundesliga has little to play for at the end of the season. But at least there's still some drama down at the bottom.
2024-05-03 12h45m by edavidson
Union Berlin are still in with a shout of securing European football and will be eager to secure three points against Bochum, who are fighting for their survival in the top flight.

I am a football fan from England and I must say, the end of this season has been quite a disappointment. The top leagues in Europe are reaching their climax and there is still so much uncertainty. But I am most excited for the semi-finals of the UEFA tournaments this weekend. As for the Bundesliga, it seems like
DN
2024-05-03 12h39m by dnelsons
However, with Union Berlin still in with a chance of securing a European spot, this clash with relegation-threatened Bochum could prove to be a surprising thriller.

As a football fan, I am on the edge of my seat with the end of the 2023/24 season approaching. With crucial matches in the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, and Europa Conference League, this weekend is full of excitement. The Bundesliga has its own share of action with Union Berlin taking on Boch

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