Weekend Preview by the Numbers – March Kicks off with Ten Massive Matchups

European soccer never runs out of massive fixtures. Last weekend, Manchester United topped Chelsea, Roma fell to Milan, and Marseille couldn’t keep up with Paris Saint-Germain. This weekend has even more mouth-watering fixtures.

The Derby di Milano takes place in Italy on Sunday. The top two teams in Spain meet at the Camp Nou on Sunday as well, as Barcelona hosts Atletico Madrid.  Napoli has an encounter with Roma, Lazio is playing Juventus, Manchester City is taking on Chelsea at home and… the Derby of the Eternal Adversaries – the most anticipated match-up in the Greek Superleague – will take place between Panathinaikos and Olympiacos.

Take ten minutes out of your day to read this weekend's Preview by The Numbers:

10. Real Madrid will look to bounce back from their loss to Espanyol with a win over 10th placed Getafe. Getafe defeated Deportivo de La Coruna in their last outing but hasn’t earned a win over Los Blancos in 10 years.

9. Borussia Dortmund is on a nine-game winning run. Their next match is against RB Leipzig at the Red Bull Arena in Germany – a place where they have never defeated Leipzig. Last time they met, both sides were reduced to nine field players as red cards were issued to Papastathopoulos for Dortmund and Ilsanker for Leipzig. Late 90s baby Timo Werner leads The Bulls in scoring, while Marco Reus is the player to watch for the Black and Yellows; he has netted twice in their last three outings and performed an odd Liverpool tribute celebration recently.

8. Still in Germany, Bayern Munich is planning to inflict an eighth league loss on Freiburg. It won't be an easy one for Munich as most would expect though; Freiburg has been one of Bayern’s toughest away opponents. It took an injury time goal from Robert Lewandowski for Bayern to beat Freiburg last time they met at Schwarzwald-Stadion and in the previous two meetings there Munich lost and tied. Number 18 Nils Petersen leads Freiburg in scoring and Lewandowski is still the marksman for Bayern, despite a training ground bust-up with Mats Hummels in the midweek.

7. Napoli could go seven points over Juventus at the top of the table with a win over Roma, who will be fighting to avoid a painful seventh league loss. Napoli number 17, Marek Hamsik, is doubtful to play due to illness (the flu). But the club’s top scorer this season Dries Mertens will be available. Mertens will be hoping to score his 17th Serie A goal.

6. Elsewhere in Italy, A.C. Milan will host Internazionale at the San Siro on Sunday. ACM hasn't lost or conceded a goal in six outings. Meanwhile Inter will be hoping to record their first win streak of the year. The second youngest player in A.C. Milan’s roster, Patrick Cutrone, leads Milan in scoring in domestic competition. Cutrone has six Serie A goals to his name.

5. Liverpool will take on 15th placed Newcastle at Anfield this weekend. The Reds are on a five-game unbeaten run while Newcastle have only won a single match – against Manchester United – in their last five. It won’t be an easy game to get to for the Newcastle fans; according to The Echo, the M-62 is closed between junctions 21-24 westbound and police are asking people not to travel unless it’s really needed.

Newcastle sporting website The Mag called on Liverpool to refund tickets to Newcastle fans who can’t make the game. Despite the outrageous weather in Newcastle, Rafa Benitez was spotted wearing shorts at training on Friday.

4. Juventus will attempt to lessen their four-point gap under Napoli with a win against Lazio. Juve is leading Lazio by 14 points. However, Lazio already defeated Juventus twice this season, with Ciro Immobile scoring four goals. The Old Lady’s Serie A top-scorer, Gonzalo Higuain, is unlikely to play due to an ankle injury. Higuain has netted 14 league-goals for Juve.

3. Following their dominating 3-0 win over Arsenal, Manchester City is welcoming Chelsea to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. A loss or a tie will drop The Blues to three straight winless games.

2. Atletico, currently second in La Liga, can cut their gap below Barcelona to just 2 points with a win over the Blaugrana this Sunday. The last two matches between these two clubs ended in draws. Antoine Griezmann has scored seven goals in his last two matches (three against Sevilla and four against Leganes). Griezmann said he wants to “score and celebrate” at the Camp Nou. Barcelona wants to sign the French striker, which, according to Diario Gol, Lionel Messi is not happy about.

1. It’s going to be a hot weekend in Greece as the Derby of the Eternal Enemies between Panathinaikos and Olympiacos will be played on Sunday. It’s the most notable matchup in Greek football, however neither club is currently in first place. The last two Eternal Adversaries derbies finished 1-1.


Author: Onz Chery