England: make way for the derbies!
The twentieth day of the Premier League will be animated by derbies steeped in history and challenges.
Saturday (1:30 p.m.), place for the shock of Manchester, at Old Trafford. Humiliated 6-3 in the first leg at the start of October, the Red Devils (fourth) who remain on eight consecutive victories at home, in all competitions, will want to demonstrate the progress made since then and win to return to a point behind the Citizens (second). For Pep Guardiola’s players, recently hung by Everton 1-1 in the league and beaten 2-0 by Southampton on Wednesday in the League Cup, a reaction is imperative so as not to give leaders Arsenal the opportunity to increase his five-point lead.
The Gunners will play Sunday (5:30 p.m.) a still boiling North London derby, in the lair of the hated neighbor, Tottenham. Guaranteed to remain first at the end of this day, they will still have to be wary of Spurs, fifth two points from the qualifying places for the Champions League, who must therefore keep pace.
A little earlier (3 p.m.), another London derby, between Chelsea and Crystal Palace, will be just as crucial for the Blues, tenth, who are ten points behind in the race for the C1.
At the same time, Newcastle (third) will host Fulham (seventh). Saturday at 4 p.m., Liverpool (sixth) will try against Brighton to revive after their 3-1 defeat at Brentford, on pain of being left behind for good.
Italy: clash at the top between Naples and Juventus
Naples and its fiery attack, against Juventus and its iron defense: the duel between this Friday (8:45 p.m.) the Neapolitan leader and his Turin dolphin, at the start of the 18e day of Serie A, promises to be an opposition of styles which can be worth a lot in the classification.
Napoli, assured of the honorary title of winter champion with their seven-point lead over their opponent on the 18th day, and AC Milan two days from the end of the first leg, have the opportunity to confirm their ambitions for a title they have not won for more than thirty years.
But Juve, back at the forefront thanks to a series of eight consecutive wins without taking a goal, want to reverse the trend in the second half of the season.
Saturday (6 p.m.), AC Milan will try to get back in place in Lecce, after their elimination on Wednesday in the round of 16 of the Italian Cup against Torino, yet reduced to ten (1-0 after extra time) .
A victory would allow the Rossoneri to dispel their doubts before competing next Wednesday for a first title: the Italian Super Cup against Inter Milan.
Spain: the absent leaders
In Spain, in the absence of the four teams competing in the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia (Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Betis Sevilla and Valencia CF), the La Liga posters will lose some flavor this weekend. -end.
The match to follow will be the Basque derby between Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao on Saturday (9 p.m.) at the Anoeta stadium. In the event of victory, the San Sebastian club could pick up three points from Real (second with 38 points).
Fifth five points from the podium, Atlético Madrid travels to Almeria (fourteenth) on Sunday at 4:15 p.m. to try to get back into the qualifying places for the Champions League.
This football weekend will continue until Monday at 9 p.m. with Cadiz – Elche, a meeting that is already essential in the race to maintain. Then the 17e Championship day will end for good on February 2 with the match between Real and Valencia (9 p.m.), the day after Betis – Barça (9 p.m.).
Soccer. Tour of Europe: derbies in shambles in England, Naples-Juventus on display in Italy