Outdistanced by Arsenal for the title race in the Premier League (five points difference and a game less), Manchester City has the opportunity to make an impression by dominating its rival in the FA Cup. Friday at 9 p.m., the Mancunians challenge the Gunners in the round of 16 of the Cup, opening a weekend without other major opposition.
The defending champion, Liverpool, also has a revengeful spirit when it comes to Brighton on Sunday (2:30 p.m.). The last duel between the two formations, on January 14 in the league, turned into humiliation for the Reds, beaten 3-0. Manchester United and Tottenham will be opposed to residents of D2 on Saturday. Chelsea, in the doldrums in the league, were eliminated from the Cup in the previous round, swept 4-0 by Manchester City.
Spain: duel of Real
Widen the gap or worry? Real Madrid tackle a crucial duel against Real Sociedad on Sunday for the 19th day of La Liga. Second to three points from Barcelona, the people of Madrid are only three ahead of the Basques, who certainly remain on an elimination Cup this week against Barça (1-0), but have just chained five victories in the Championship .
A victory would do Karim Benzema’s partners good. Barça, for its part, has a more serene trip to Girona on Saturday (4:15 p.m.) to continue its series of invincibility which has lasted for three months. Finally, Atlético Madrid travels to Osasuna on Sunday (4:15 p.m.).
Italy: Pogba finally back?
The big question of the weekend in Italy is whether Juventus will summon its two seriously injured, Paul Pogba and Dusan Vlahovic, for the reception of Monza (13th) on Sunday at 3 p.m. For the Frenchman, who returned to Turin this summer and operated on his right knee in early September, it would be the first appearance in the bianconero group of the season, he who has not played competitively since last April with Manchester United. The Serbian center forward, for his part, has not played since October 25 with Juve, disturbed by a pubalgia which also prevented him from being on top during the World Cup in Qatar.
Behind Naples, leader escaped in the lead, the fight is now focused on the other three qualifying places for the Champions League on this first day of the return phase. AC Milan (2nd) and Inter Milan (4th), the big losers of the final day of the first leg, will try to revive against poorly ranked Sassuolo (17th) and Cremonese (20th). Lazio Rome (3rd) and AS Rome (5th), returned to contact with the Milanese, will have more to do against Fiorentina (11th) for the Laziali, on the field of Naples for the Giallorossi of José Mourinho, 60 years since Thursday.
Germany: Bayern seek victory
Draft for a good part of its last two league matches in Leipzig (1-1) and against Cologne (1-1), Bayern have still not won in 2023. However, the countdown is on until round of 16 first leg of the Champions League in Paris in less than three weeks, with three Bundesliga matches and one in the German Cup.
For the first day of the return phase, Bayern (leader with 36 points) receives Eintracht Frankfurt (4th, 31 pts) led by its French international vice-world champion Randal Kolo Muani, more and more essential and in the lead. of the “Scorerlist” (total goals and assists) of the Bundesliga (12 assists and 6 goals). Behind Bayern, Union Berlin (2nd, 33 pts) took the lead in the chasing pack and travels to the Olympic Stadium in Berlin at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday for the derby against Hertha, in danger in the standings (17th, 14 points).
The day is launched by Leipzig (3rd, 32 pts) Friday (8:30 p.m.) against Stuttgart, while Freiburg (6th, 31 pts) receives Saturday (3:30 p.m.) Augsburg and Borussia Dortmund (5th, 31 pts) moves in Leverkusen on Sunday (3.30 p.m.).
Brayden White, a veteran sports writer at Global Happening, brings his wealth of knowledge and expertise to the sports section. With over a decade of experience, he is committed to delivering high-quality coverage of the latest games and events.