Most of the major European football leagues are finally recommencing this week bar a few, and some have gifted us some great games to look forward to. The Premier League continued without interruption over the Christmas period, while other leagues like La Liga and the French Ligue 1 enjoyed more than 3 weeks off sometimes even 4 in the case of the Bundesliga. This week some great matches with great odds await us.
On Saturday, 14th of January, the reigning champions of the Premier League host the current leaders this season. They meet for the 2nd time in the Premier League. Their first meeting occurred just a few games into the season and Chelsea ultimately won that game 3-0. It was early in the season and Leicester were given the benefit of doubt but 21 games into the league, they still haven’t showed much promise. It seems as though last season was a once off thing. As of now they sit in 15th place while this time last year they would’ve been top of the table. All is not lost though, Leicester host this time around and have an agreeable chance at getting a result, and a result for them here, would see Chelsea’s lead at the top be slashed.
On the Sunday, we are in for a real treat. The North-West Derby takes place as Manchester United meet Liverpool. They too meet for the second time this season, this time at Old Trafford. The first encounter ended nil all. With United playing at home this time around they definitely have an advantage, but will it be enough to get a result. Four places in the standings separate these teams and only a measley 5 points exists between them. The title race is pretty much on already as we enter into the second half of the season and a win for either team here could see a huge shift in the standings. Not only are we gifted with this North-West Derby this weekend but we also have the opportunity to watch as the league unfolds and see the league standings change before our eyes.
In the Championship, we see two former leaders of the league go head to head. Both of these teams stood atop the table at one point in time and as of now, neither of them are currently there. That’s not to say one of them can’t return to the top and take the title. The teams we speak of are none other than Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield. Both have had their good patches but now, Sheffield Wednesday are in 6th place, Huddersfield find themselves in 4th place and Brighton occupy the top spot. The leader of the Championship has been and is subject to change very often which is why the Championship is as good to watch as any other league in Europe.
Sevilla are once again in the spotlight in La Liga this week. Last week they met Real Sociedad in what was the highlight game of the 17th round of the La Liga. They won 4-0 in the end but a similar result here will be close to impossible, Sevilla host Real Madrid in the 18th round this weekend. On Sunday, the La Liga leaders travel to Sevilla in the hopes of extending their lead. A win for them here will distance themselves from second place, who happens to be Sevilla, their hosts for this game. It’s not going to as one-sided as you might think, Sevilla have been very impressive this season and they play at home so although a 4-0 victory may be asking a lot, it doesn’t mean that they can’t get a win all the same.
In the French league, Monaco go to Marseille in search of 3 points which will help them close the gap between themselves and Nice at the top of the League. They meet for the second time this season and this game marks both teams first game of 2017. Monaco demolished Marseille in the first meeting but playing away from home in Ligue 1 has always been difficult and even the strongest teams have been embarrassed by weaker teams away.