The FA Cup weekend felt like a bit of an international break as far as English football was concerned but elsewhere around Europe, action was in good supply.
This weekend, however, has something for everyone. There are massive clashes across all the top divisions and there is even the League Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester City on Sunday.
For now, we’re going to keep our focus on domestic leagues and pick out five of the best fixtures you cannot miss this weekend.
Match: Manchester United v Liverpool
Where: Old Trafford
When: Sunday, February 24 @ 18:05 on beIN Sports 11HD
Although Manchester City have been Liverpool’s prime focus this season, a visit to their city neighbours remains the most important fixture on the calendar.
Indeed, Jurgen Klopp’s title-chasing side face a huge test of their credentials when they travel to traditionally one of the most challenging grounds for the Reds.
Klopp has not tasted victory at Old Trafford in the league and Liverpool have not won their since a famous 3-0 victory back in 2014.
And United’s resurgence under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer means the visitors can expect a much sterner examination than in Jose Mourinho’s final game in charge when they were swatted 3-1 at Anfield.
Match: Fiorentina v Inter
Where: Artemio Franchi Stadium
When: Sunday, February 24 @ 23:30 on beIN Sports 4HD
When these sides met at the San Siro back in September, Mauro Icardi scored his first league goal of the season from the penalty spot as Danilo D’Ambrosio secured three points after finishing a fine team move.
Ironically, Icardi and team, now don’t go together as the Argentine striker has been stripped of the Inter captaincy last week and hasn’t featured since.
His wife and agent, Wanda Nara, has publicly fueled constant speculation over his future and that instability has led to a break down of his relationship with fans and team-mates.
Icardi’s cause won’t have been helped by Inter consolidating third spot by beating Sampdoria 2-1 without him. But they face a tricky clash when Europa League chasing Fiorentina, who are unbeaten in their last eight games in all comps, are their hosts on Sunday.
Match: Sevilla v Barcelona
Where: Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium
When: Saturday, 23 February @ 19:15 on beIN Sports 2HD
Considering Barcelona were beaten 2-0 the last time they travelled to Sevilla – in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final clash – you would think this to be a potential banana skin for the league leaders.
However, Pablo Machin’s side have been a sharp slide in recent weeks, the nadir arriving last weekend when they were hammered by relegation-threatened Villarreal.
They were of course battered 6-1 in the Copa reverse with Barcelona and so this fixture could be over before it begins.
But not quite. Sevilla are desperately clinging onto their spot inside the top four and Barca have actually been quite poor of late, even though results have gone in their favour.
Luis Suarez is off colour and Lionel Messi doesn’t quite look right since returning from a thigh injury. This could be the right time for the home side to get their season back on track.
Match: Borussia Dortmund v Bayer Leverkusen
When: Sunday, 24 February @ 21:00pm on beIN Sports 3HD
There’s every chance football fans won’t be peeling themselves off the couch on Sunday, because following Liverpool’s trip to Manchester United is an absolute corker in the Bundesliga.
Peter Bosz takes his thrilling Bayer Leverkusen back to the scene of his managerial nightmare and he has a team capable of ruining Dortmund supporter’s sleep.
Indeed, Lucien Favre’s hold a slender three-point advantage atop the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich breathing down their neck.
Bayer are pushing hard for Champions League qualification and this clash features some of the brightest young talents in European football with Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi in BVB yellow and Kai Havertz plus Leon Bailey, among others, in the red and black of the visitors. This could be weekend’s best game.
Match: Monaco v Lyon
Where: Stade Louis II
When: Sunday, 24 February @ 00:00+1 on beIN Sports 5HD
Ordinarily this fixture would be one with either title or European ramifications for both teams.
The opposite is of course true for Monaco this season who have been in a relegation dogfight for much of the campaign.
Lyon on the other hand, are in a fascinating fight for second spot with numerous teams all vying for European places in the French top flight.
Bruno Genesio’s outfit possess a Jekyll and Hyde trait this season, exemplified by their infliction of a first defeat of the season on Paris Saint-Germain only to then get beat by Nice and hold mighty Barcelona to a goalless draw in the Champions League.
Don’t be surprised to see a recently resurgent Monaco, under the stewardship once again of Leonardo Jardim, pick up points on Sunday night.
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