Must-Watch Games in May: European Football’s Final Showdowns

As the heavily anticipated 2024 European Championship kick-off looms larger, fans become impatient to see out the 2023/24 club season. 

Except for an iconic title race in the Premier League, all four remaining top-five leagues have already crowned their champions.

It’s the crunch period in the three continental competitions, with all reigning holders out of the picture ahead of the first set of the semi-final fixtures.

Plenty of mouth-watering ties wait in the wings down the final stretch as we look at the must-watch match-ups in May. 

Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid 

It’s been six years since Bayern Munich and Real Madrid last faced each other in the Champions League, but the Germans’ thirst for revenge is as compelling as it was in 2018. 

Thomas Tuchel’s side ousted Arsenal in the quarter-finals and will enjoy a home advantage in the first leg before travelling to the Iberian peninsula for a rematch on May 8.

Los Blancos have won all three knockout ties against the Bavarians since 2014 and will be confident of reaching their second final in three years after crashing defending champions Manchester City out in the last four.

Unlike Bayern, who lost their 11-year stranglehold on the Bundesliga, Carlo Ancelotti’s high-flyers are on the verge of winning their domestic championship, boasting a 13-point lead at La Liga’s summit. 

While the Spaniards look in better shape to navigate this blockbuster semi-final tie, Bayern’s last-ditch attempt to avoid a first trophyless season in over a decade could be a powerful motive. 

Europa League Final

If the Champions League is the pinnacle of European club football, the Europa League is its counterpart, providing a stage for teams to vie for continental prestige. 

Atalanta, Bayer Leverkusen, Marseille and Roma are the four remaining sides in Europe’s second-tier competition, bidding to claim their place in the grand final.

With record-time winners Sevilla out of the way, the Aviva Stadium in Dublin will see a new team at the podium on May 22.

Following a stunning quarter-final triumph against Liverpool, Atalanta will look to deny Marseille their third appearance in the Europa League final this century and potentially set up an all-Italian showpiece event.

Serie A clubs have failed to lift the title in the Europa League era, but Roma could change that if they become the first team to get the better of ‘Neverlusen’ this season.

FA Cup Final 

Manchester City and Manchester United will go head-to-head in the FA Cup title decider for the second season on the trot, with the Red Devils seeking revenge for last year’s heartbreak.

Only two days after the Europa League final, the iconic Wembley Stadium will form the backdrop for an all-Manchester showdown as the Cityzens look to become the first side in a decade to defend the FA Cup crown.

Ilkay Gundogan’s match-winning brace decided last year’s final, but the stakes are much higher for United manager Erik ten Hag this term. 

The Dutchman’s job is on the line and there’s a feeling that anything other than Man Utd’s 13th FA Cup title could prompt a managerial change at the Theatre of Dreams. 

Manchester United vs Arsenal

Before taking their crosstown rivals in the FA Cup final, Man Utd could hand the Etihad Stadium outfit a decisive boost in a fiercely-contested Premier League title race.

Table-topping Arsenal will touch down at Old Trafford in the penultimate round with the ambition to take three points and strengthen their quest for top-flight glory for the first time in two decades.

Mikel Arteta’s men claimed a pulsating 3-1 win in September’s reverse fixture and could complete their first league double over Man Utd since 2006/07.

Nothing less will do for the Gunners as they fight perennial champions Man City for the trophy, highlighting the latest chapter of this storied rivalry as a season-defining contest. 

Must-Watch Games in May: European Football’s Final Showdowns

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