Liverpool v Tottenham leads list of exciting fixtures as club football returns

Sooraj Kamath - Writer 15:40 27/03/2019
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

With the international break well behind us, club football returns with some exciting clashes across the top five European leagues.

With less than two months to go before the season concludes, the fight for the title and the European spots is heating up across the continent.

Now that the Champions League is returning for the quarter-finals stage, there’s an extra incentive for the top teams to get the vital points in the league and consolidate their position.

We take a look at the biggest – or most intriguing – fixture from each of the top five leagues.

LA LIGA

FIXTURE: Alaves v Atletico Madrid

Alvaro Morata

Alvaro Morata

VENUE: Mendizorroza

DATE: Saturday, March 30

TIME: 11:45 PM (GST)

Atletico Madrid are currently 10 points behind league leaders Barcelona and a defeat against Alaves will eliminate any small chance they have of being crowned champions. On the other hand, Alaves will be hopeful of a win that will keep their dreams of a Champions League spot alive and take them a step closer to sealing a Europa League spot at the very least.

Diego Simeone’s men came out as 3-0 winners in the reverse fixture earlier this season and are favourites for all three points as they look to put the 2-0 defeat against Athletic Bilbao and the heartbreak against Juventus behind them.

Alaves are on a six-game unbeaten run and talisman Jony Rodriguez will be hoping to lead them to a result on Saturday. Alvaro Morata – who scored a brace for Spain against Malta in the Euro 2020 qualifiers – will be key for Atletico.

PREMIER LEAGUE

FIXTURE: Liverpool v Tottenham

Harry Kane needs to step up

Harry Kane needs to step up

VENUE: Anfield

DATE: Sunday, March 31  

TIME: 7:30 PM (GST)

It’s first against third in the Premier League as leaders Liverpool host a struggling Spurs in a crucial fixture. The Reds are two points ahead of Manchester City, but the latter do have a game in hand. A defeat on Sunday for Spurs could push them to fifth position and out of the Champions League places.

Jurgen Klopp’s men managed to edge out the London-based club earlier this season and – going by the form of both teams – start as favourites on Sunday. Spurs are winless in their last four league games and are hence in desperate need to get their season back on track.

Harry Kane needs to deliver for Spurs if they are to get something from this game and Virgil van Dijk will be tasked to ensure that the Englishman is kept at bay.

SERIE A

FIXTURE: Roma v Napoli

Will Dzeko help Roma get the Champions League heartbreak behind them and fight for the fourth spot?

Will Dzeko help Roma get the Champions League heartbreak behind them and fight for the fourth spot?

VENUE: Stadio Olimpico

DATE: Sunday, March 31

TIME: 5:00 PM (GST)

The Serie A sees yet another top-of-the-table clash as Roma host Napoli in a tie that could do a lot of good or harm to their UCL chances.

Napoli are 15 points behind league leaders Juventus and 13 ahead of fifth-placed Roma. So, one could say that there is not much to play for if you’re in Carlo Ancelotti’s shoes. But the Italian will be looking to finish the season on a high in his first season at the club.

Four points behind fourth-placed AC Milan, Roma have a tough task ahead of them should they fancy their chances of making it to the Champions League next season. Newly-appointed manager Claudio Ranieri faces his biggest test as Giallorossi boss at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.

The team played out a 1-1 draw earlier this season and if we are to get a result this time, Napoli flyer Dries Mertens and Edin Dzeko hold the keys.

BUNDESLIGA

FIXTURE: Borussia Dortmund v Wolfsburg

Jadon Sancho will be looking to inspire Dortmund

Jadon Sancho will be looking to inspire Dortmund

VENUE: Westfalenstadion

DATE: Saturday, March 30

TIME: 6:30 PM (GST)

A few weeks ago, Borussia Dortmund were on course to break Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga monopoly. However, Lucien Favre’s men collapsed and now find themselves in second position, with Bayern taking the top spot thanks to a superior goal difference.

On Saturday, Dortmund host Wolfsburg in a tie which could prove to be extremely decisive in the title race. Nothing less than a win will work for the hosts, who snatched a last-minute win at Hertha Berlin last time out.

Dortmund will find confidence in the fact that their opponents have not taken three points in any of the last five meetings. However, they must be wary of Wolfsburg, given they barely managed to edge past them in the reverse fixture.

Jadon Sancho and Wout Weghorst are the players most likely to make the back pages should their team come out on top.

LIGUE 1

FIXTURE: Rennes v Lyon

Memphis Depay

Memphis Depay

VENUE: Stade de la Route de Lorient

DATE: Friday, March 29

TIME: 11:45 PM (GST)

Not long ago, Lyon became yet another team to fall victim to Lionel Messi’s magic as Barcelona eliminated the Frenchmen from the Champions League. With high-flying Lille springing a surprise, it’s unlikely Lyon will automatically qualify for the UCL next season. A loss against Rennes would all but confirm third and an entry into the qualifiers.

Rennes were eliminated from the Europa League after they failed to protect their first leg lead against Arsenal and will be looking to end their campaign on a high.

Lyon should fancy their chances, but the fact that they lost 2-0 when the two teams locked horns earlier this season warrants caution.

Hatem Ben Arfa will provide the X-factor for Rennes as Lyon look to ride on Memphis Depay, who had a good international break with the Netherlands.

For the very latest news, analysis and opinion download the Sport360 app

Know more about Sport360 Application

Recommended

Most popular