Weekend Boxset: Derby Barceloni and the North London Derby



Seven great matches to take you from Friday to Sunday. It's the Sound of Football Weekend Boxset.

All times are BST (GMT +1)
 


Friday



Bundesliga: Bayer Leverkusen v Schalke


19.30 on BT Sport ESPN


The perennial bridesmaids of the Bundesliga face-off in what would, in any normal season, be a battle for a top four position. Leverkusen sit a concerning four points above the relegation zone, very unfamiliar territory for a side that has competed in the Champions League for the last four seasons. Schalke, are in the bizarre situation of being just six points short of a Europa League spot while also being six points from relegation. Yes, things really are that tight in the Bundesliga mid-table and with four games to go, the run-in should have more than a few twists left in it.
 


Saturday



A-League Semi-final: Sydney v Perth Glory


10.50 on BT Sport 3


Many are saying that Graham Arnold's Sydney side are the best ever to grace the A-League. They won the Premier's Plate with four matches remaining and lost just once, to their local rivals Western Sydney. Their Brazilian marquee signing, Bobo, finished the regular season top scorer with 15 (one short of the league record) but it's their defensive qualities that stands them apart: conceding just 12 goals in 27 games. Perth Glory stand between them and next Sunday's Grand final, having already this season lost to Sydney three times by a three goal margin and knocked out of the FFA Cup by them. The opposing side in the Grand Final will be the winner between Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar (Sunday, 08.00 on BT Sport 2).
 


Bundesliga: Wolfsburg v Bayern Munich


17.30 on BT Sport 3


Without a win in five games and being dumped out of the Champions League and the DFB Pokal, Bayern are a club in crisis. Well no, of course they're not, I just couldn't resist saying it. In fact, a win here would see them claim their 27th German Championship in the (albeit very unlikely) event that RB Leipzig fail to turn over Ingolstadt earlier in the afternoon. Wolfsburg however really are a club in trouble. Defeat for them here will see them overtaken by either Hamburg or Augsburg (who play each other on Sunday) and leave them on the edge of the relegation zone.
 


La Liga: Espanyol v Barcelona


19.45 on Sky Sports 2


Barcelona reclaimed top spot in La Liga with their incredible victory in last Sunday's Clasico; level on points with Real but top on head-to-head results. Real have a game in hand though, so Barca can't afford to drop any points in their final four games if they are to have any chance in holding on to their title. Last weekend's victory aside, their recent away form in La Liga has been patchy, having suffered defeats at the hands of fairly ordinary opposition: Malaga and La Coruna. In fairness, this Derbi barceloni could be seen as a bit "after the Lord Mayor's show" compared to last week's match but Barca's need for a win will add an extra edge to this. Having added two more goals to his season's tally midweek, Lionel Messi's next goal will be his 50th goal of the season. It will be the fifth time he's managed that feat. And while we're on that subject...




Sunday



Premier League: Everton v Chelsea


14.05 on Sky Sports 1


To be honest, I could have packed this weekend's preview with games just from Sunday alone; there are some real crackers on offer. You can start early with the A-League Semi-final, turn over to the Rome derby at 11.30 and even catch the last half hour of Manchester United v Swansea. I'm going to give you a Sunday lie-in though because the action today is going to be pretty full on. Chelsea should be on a high after beating their only title-rivals Tottenham in last weekend's amazing FA Cup semi-final. Facing Ronald Koeman's Everton at Goodison will provide a much different atmosphere and Chelsea will need to reproduce the kind of performance that got them to next month's Cup final if they are to take three points here. If Conte's men do drop points, it sets things up very nicely for...
 


Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal


16.30 on Sky Sports 1


Over the last month talk of pressure of Spurs has been brushed away. "It's Chelsea's to lose" has been the common narrative but now, here we are: this North London Derby could start with Tottenham knowing they could close the gap to just one point. Last weekend's Wembley defeat to Chelsea will have stung but this could provide the perfect antidote. Arsenal may have won their last three games but they're still vulnerable and settling in to a new back three formation - a formation that will be given an even sterner test than City gave them in the other Semi-final. Could be one of those derbies that lives on in the memories whichever way it goes.
 


Ligue 1: Nice v PSG


20.00 on BT Sport 3


Having been part of a fascinating three horse race for the French title, Nice are now falling away from the top two but here they still have a chance to influence which way the title goes. Monaco and PSG are level on points at the top, with the Parisians having played a game more. Nice have already secured Champions League qualification for next season - their first top three finish in over 40 years - but you can imagine the opportunity to halt PSG's push to a fifth consecutive title (and a third consecutive domestic treble) would cap what has already been a fine season for Les Aiglons

Whatever you watch, have a great weekend.

Graham (@grahamsibley)

 


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