There are plenty of interesting European games this weekend, but the main focus could lie on three high-profile matches. In the Premier League, arch-rivals Manchester City and Manchester United will come up against each other at the Etihad Stadium. The Cityzens have the opportunity to extend their stunning 21-match winning streak in all competitions.
In Spain, Atletico Madrid entertain cross-town rivals Real Madrid. Diego Simeone’s side are comfortably placed at the top of the standings and will be aiming to end their poor league run against an injury-hit Los Blancos side to boost their title prospects further.
Elsewhere, in the German top-flight, Bayern Munich have brought the title race back to life after a couple of winless games last month. They are just two points ahead of RB Leipzig at the top and are scheduled to host Borussia Dortmund in a match commonly dubbed as ‘Der Klassiker’.
Here is our preview for the three games.
Der Klassiker – March 7:
Bayern have stayed top of the Bundesliga for most of the campaign but they have dropped five points from the last three games which had reduced their lead over Leipzig to just two points. They are now scheduled to host rivals Dortmund, who are three points adrift of the top four in fifth. Bayern have been on the winning side of the previous four meetings but the last two have been closely fought with a 3-2 scoreline in their favour.
Bayern no longer possess a rubber-tight defence but they are one of the best attacking sides in European football and should prevail in a high-scoring contest again which bookmaker-ratings.com has pegged as a banker for the home team. They will be well rested for this game unlike Dortmund, who were in midweek action against Borussia Monchengladbach in the DFB-Pokal Cup quarter-final where they registered a hard-fought 1-0 win.
Bayern Munich 3-1 Borussia Dortmund
Madrid derby – March 8:
Atletico Madrid seemed to be running away with the La Liga title earlier this year, but they have recently stuttered with just two wins from the last five games. Still, they are five points ahead of both Barcelona and Real Madrid at the top of the standings plus they have a played a game less than their title challengers.
Their league record against Los Blancos has been poor in recent years and have not won in the previous nine encounters with four losses and five draws. Zinedine Zidane’s side are missing key players such as Eden Hazard, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal and top-scorer Karim Benzema and Atletico stand their best chance of beating their fierce rivals at home.
Atletico Madrid 2-1 Real Madrid
Manchester derby – March 8:
Unlike Der Klassiker or Madrid derby, the result of the Manchester derby won’t have any significance on the title race. Manchester City are cruising at the top of the table of the moment and are 14 points ahead of second-placed Manchester United. They are on a stunning 21-match winning streak and have won their last 15 league matches.
United, on the other hand, are winless in the past three matches in all competitions with each of them being goalless stalemates. The Cityzens are definitely favourites going into the derby and they will be aiming to beat their Mancunian rivals for the first time in four league games (one draw and two defeats previously). However, it won’t be straightforward for them.
Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United
Stats from Transfermarkt.com