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        The standout games from Europe's major leagues

        European matches to look out for

        2024/02/09 13:57

        Last weekend was the first time in nearly two months that all six of Europe’s major leagues were playing on the same weekend as a result of either a winter break or domestic cup competitions taking priority.

        This is a look ahead to another fascinating weekend across the continent before the return of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League with a brief preview of one standout games from each of Europe’s six major leagues…


        Bayer Leverkusen vs Bayern Munich | 5.30pm on Saturday

        The Bundesliga title race has been magnificent thus far and now we reach the stage of the season where ‘same old, same old’ occurs or the newest pretender to the throne truly does take charge.

        In 30 matches across all competitions so far this season, Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen remain unbeaten with 26 victories and just four draws. In those 30 matches, they have scored a remarkable total of 97 goals. They are sitting at the top-of-the-table with the chance to go five points clear of Bayern Munich with just 13 games of the season to go on Saturday evening.

        Bayern Munich have lacked fluency and they have been disjointed throughout the campaign and yet the Bavarians have still managed a decent pace with 50 points in 20 games. Harry Kane broke the record for a rookie Bundesliga season last weekend with his 24th of the campaign as Thomas Tuchel’s side defeated Borussia Monchengladbach by three goals to one.

        @Getty /

        LA LIGA

        Real Madrid vs Girona | 5.30pm on Saturday

        The Bundesliga is not the only major European league with a top-of-the-table clash this weekend as Real Madrid take on Girona at the Bernabeu in La Liga at the same time.

        Carlo Ancelotti’s Los Blancos are renowned for their ways of finding a route to victory even when not necessarily playing that well. Real Madrid sit at the top-of-the-table but were held to a 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid in the derby last weekend, leaving the door ajar for one of the most remarkable stories to unfold this weekend.

        If Girona can go to the Bernabeu and, playing with their aggressive and front foot style under Michel, earn a victory then they will head into the final 14 matches of the campaign, a period of time where the UEFA Champions League kicks back in and could become a distraction for their opponents, sitting at the top-of-the-table. 

        LIGUE 1

        Paris Saint-Germain vs Lille | 8pm on Saturday

        The 2021 Ligue 1 champions, and most recent winners of the league aside from Paris Saint-Germain, travel south to the capital on Saturday evening. 

        Luis Enrique has not yet really implemented a fully fast and fluent style of football with PSG but they have most definitely improved since earlier on this season. The Parisiens come into this one with a seven-point lead at the top-of-the-table and they enjoyed a 3-1 defeat of Brest in the cup in midweek to extend their unbeaten run of form to 15 matches.

        Lille, coached by former Roma and Shakhtar Donetsk boss Paulo Fonseca, are also keen on playing a fluent and easy on the eye, attractive style of football but the northerners have actually produced consistently impressive displays throughout the campaign, keeping 20 clean sheets in their 31 matches across all competitions so far this season.


        Aston Villa vs Manchester United | 4.30pm on Sunday

        Aston Villa began the weekend with a lead of eight points over Manchester United. They have the chance to make that pretty much unassailable at Villa Park on Sunday.

        However, Villa come into this one on the back of poor form. Their 3-1 defeat at home to Chelsea in midweek in the fourth round of the FA Cup means they have managed just four victories in their last 11 matches across all competitions with those wins coming against the bottom two in the league, Championship opposition and a late turnaround against an out of form Brentford in December.

        Manchester United, on the other hand, have find a bit of a groove as they come into this one on the back of three successive victories in all competitions, scoring 11 goals in the process. They have, though, remained generally unconvincing in terms of performances with just five victories by more than solitary goal in 32 games this season.




        Vitoria vs Benfica | 8.30pm on Sunday

        Two of the more storied and fiercely supported clubs in Portugal’s top-flight go head-to-head in an eagerly awaited contest in Guimaraes on Sunday evening.

        After back-to-back seasons of finishing in the top six and ensuring UEFA Europa Conference League qualification, Vitoria are sitting fifth this time around and just a point outside of the top four. They come into this one on the back of a 3-1 defeat of Gil Vicente in the Taca de Portugal quarter-finals in midweek, making it just one defeat in their last 12 matches across all competitions.

        Roger Schmidt’s defending champions, Benfica, begin the 21st match day of the 2023/24 Primeira Liga campaign sitting at the top-of-the-table after Sporting CP’s game with Famalicao was postponed last weekend. Benfica defeated Vizela by two goals to one in the cup on Thursday and they have enjoyed seven successive victories in the league.

        SERIE A

        Milan vs Napoli | 7.45pm on Sunday

        On a weekend of fascinating encounters across the continent, Serie A boasts its own with the last two winners of the Scudetto facing off at San Siro on Sunday evening.

        @Getty /

        Under the management of Stefano Pioli, AC Milan have steadily established themselves firmly in the top four ahead of the final few months of the campaign. The Rossoneri have been very entertaining to watch this season with their come from behind 3-2 defeat of Frosinone last weekend meaning their 23 matches so far this season have produced a combined total of 73 goals. 

        Defending champions Napoli, who replaced Rudi Garcia with former boss Walter Mazzarri during the November international campaign, have endured a miserable campaign. The Neapolitans needed yet another late come back to defeat struggling opposition last weekend against Hellas Verona as they just about cling on to as spot in the top seven ahead of the weekend. 

        Comments (3)
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        2024-02-09 14h41m by sparkerfield
        Wow, it's great to have all major leagues back in action together! As a football fan, I'm eager to see which team will come out on top in the Bundesliga title race. It's been an exciting season so far and this weekend's match between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich is definitely one to watch. Can Leverkusen maintain their unbeaten streak against the reigning champions I can't wait to find out!
        2024-02-09 14h26m by gkingsley
        As a football fan, I am excited for this weekend's Bundesliga clash between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich. Both teams have been in top form, but I can't help but root for Leverkusen. They've been unbeaten in all competitions this season and have an impressive goal scoring record. I hope they can make a statement and show that they are true contenders for the title.
        2024-02-09 14h16m by jreedmanbrst
        As a football fan, it's great to have all the major leagues back in action! Excited to see Bayer Leverkusen take on reigning champs, Bayern Munich. Will Leverkusen continue their unbeaten streak or will Bayern show their dominance Let the Bundesliga title race continue!


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