The top clubs all across Europe are trying to solidify qualifying spots, while clubs elsewhere are looking to get their second half of their season’s campaign on track. One of the world’s best leagues also returns as we prepare for a weekend of exciting matches lined up. Here’s What to Watch for the weekend of January 22-24.
Hamburger SV vs. FC Bayern Munchen – Friday, January 22, 2:30 PM EST
The Bundesliga returns from its winter break, and with it a slate of matchups that are going to get heated this weekend. All the clubs are in pursuit of Bayern Munich, who lead the table and are eight points ahead of their closest rival, Der Classiker foe Borussia Dortmund. Germany’s top flight kicks off their 2016 half of the 2015-16 season on Friday as the current three-time defending champions FC Bayern travel to Hamburg to face HSV, who will want to get into the top half of the table, and a potential place in Europe.
Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Borussia Dortmund – Saturday, January 23, 12:30 PM EST
Another top-tilt match comes Saturday in Germany. A battle of the Borussias with Champions League positions in Europe the focus as fourth-place Mönchengladbach hosts second-place Dortmund. Fabian Johnson and his side will be looking for revenge from their 4-0 Matchday 1 drubbing to BVB and leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who on this fixture scored the first of his eighteen goals to date this season.
Serie A TIM
Juventus vs. AS Roma – Sunday, January 24, 2:45 PM EST
The massive match of the weekend in Italy’s Serie A is the Sunday feature as four-time defending champion Juventus host AS Roma. After a slow start from the champions early in the season, Juve have dominated Serie A to the tune of ten consecutive league wins, en route to their current second place standing. Fourth-place Roma are coming off their fourth straight road draw in the league, and have only won once in their last six away matches.
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Angers SCO – Saturday, January 23, 11:00 AM EST
Over in France, it’s quite evident that Paris Saint-Germain are running away from their Ligue 1 counterparts again. PSG are twenty-one points ahead of current second place AS Monaco with a goal difference of +42. Monaco overtook second from the surprise package of the season and PSG’s opponent this weekend, third-place Angers SCO. The promoted club, who drew in Angers against the Parisian juggernaut in December, were in second place up until the last Matchday, and the end of January sees this quaint club in back-to-back vital fixtures, as they head to the Parc des Princes to face PSG this Saturday, and face Monaco at home the following Saturday. Can Angers continue their fantastic giant-killing run all the way to a dream Champions League berth, or will they be devoured in their attack on the titans of the league?
Atletico Madrid vs. Sevilla FC – Sunday, January 24, 10:00 AM EST
Current Liga BBVA table-toppers Atletico Madrid host a team with aspirations for Europe again in seventh-place Sevilla this Sunday. Atletico are two points ahead of FC Barcelona (who have a game in hand) and four ahead of crosstown rival Real Madrid. Sevilla will be coming in hungry to win on the road, something they’ve never done in any of their nine previous away matches this season. With a giant test with second-place Barcelona and Real’s next couple matches against teams in the lower half of the table, Atletico Madrid cannot afford to overlook Sevilla.
Barclays Premier League
West Ham United vs. Manchester City – Saturday, January 23, 12:30 PM EST
West Ham United, sitting in sixth place on the Premier League, will have a tough task at their feet as they host third-place Manchester City, who have the best goal difference in the league at +22. The Hammers are two points behind Manchester United on the table, who currently hold a Europa League spot. In the last West Ham/Man City Premier League match at Upton Park, the hosts will want to get back on track against a team that’s been excellent in patches, but not consistently. The Citizens haven’t won back-to-back matches in the Premier League in over three months, and are coming off a 4-0 win against Crystal Palace.
Arsenal vs. Chelsea – Sunday, January 24, 11:00 AM EST
All of the focus in the Barclays Premier League will be on Arsenal and Chelsea, as another chapter of this London derby will open on Sunday. Chelsea may be in fourteenth place on the table, but haven’t lost to Arsenal in the league since 2011. The pressure is on the hosts and current leaders, who are tied with Leicester on points, and one point over third-place Manchester City. Arsene Wenger isn’t managing against Jose Mourinho this time around, but current Chelsea skipper Guus Hiddink has never lost to Wenger as Chelsea’s manager, winning twice in 2008-09, with both matches at the Emirates.
Have your say. Any big matches over the weekend worth mentioning that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments section below!