Weekend Preview: Spurs go to Anfield; Atleti host Valencia; Monaco and Lyon square up

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It was a glorious midweek for ‘Glory Glory Tottenham’, as Mauricio Pochettino’s side impressively saw off Manchester United at Wembley, scoring a goal after 11 seconds in the process. That win has maintained them right behind the top four place, in fact barely far from third place, a position they could easily occupy by the end of this weekend. Spurs travel to Anfield to face third-placed Liverpool, whom they beat back in October, but the Reds have lost just one other league game since that defeat, and Spurs have won just two out of their last 25 league trips to Anfield, a form they’ll need to improve on.

Another side in the Premier League top four hunt are Chelsea, holders of the final spot. The champions were humbled last time out at home to Bournemouth, their heaviest Stamford Bridge defeat since April 2016, and talk of a crisis hasn’t been avoided in West London. Antonio Conte and his side will look to pick up the slack when they face Watford on Monday, the Hornets’ first home game under Javi Gracia.

In Spain, Valencia have been slipping of late, they’ve lost two league games on the bounce, and, if you count their Spanish Cup quarter-final second leg defeat (where they ultimately won on penalties), they’ve lost four successive games. Their next task is barely any easier, as they make their first ever trip to Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano, with Los Che hoping to keep the teams outside the top three at arm’s length.

In France, current Ligue 1 champions Monaco have slipped to fourth in the standings, the league undoubtedly out of reach this time. Les Monegasques host Lyon, who lie in second place, on Sunday.

Elsewhere, it’s a homecoming for Peter Stoger as he takes Borussia Dortmund to face his former side Koln, who have given themselves a fighting chance of Bundesliga survival since Stoger’s departure in November. Real Madrid travel to Levante, hoping to keep up their impressive La Liga form, while Manchester United host Huddersfield in the Premier League.

In Serie A, Juventus host Sassuolo, while leaders and title rivals Napoli travel to bottom-placed Benevento. La Liga table-toppers Barcelona travel to Espanyol for a Catalan derby, the only side who have beaten them in any game, since the Liga season began. Paris Saint-Germain face relegation-threatened Lille, as they aim to maintain their lead at the top of Ligue 1, Bayern Munich travel to Mainz in Bundesliga action, and Milan hope for four wins in a row as they head for Udinese.

Fixtures

Premier League: Liverpool v Tottenham; Bournemouth v Stoke; Leicester v Swansea; Burnley v Manchester City; Arsenal v Everton; Crystal Palace v Newcastle; Manchester United v Huddersfield; Brighton v West Ham; Watford v Chelsea; West Brom v Southampton.

La Liga: Atletico Madrid v Valencia; Eibar v Sevilla; Girona v Athletic Bilbao; Getafe v Leganes; Alaves v Celta Vigo; Real Betis v Villarreal; Levante v Real Madrid; Las Palmas v Malaga; Espanyol v Barcelona; Real Sociedad v Villarreal

Bundesliga: Koln v Dortmund; Wolfsburg v Stuttgart; Mainz v Bayern Munich; Freiburg v Leverkusen; Augsburg v Frankfurt; Hamburg v Hannover; Borussia Monchengladbach v RB Leipzig; Hertha BSC v Hoffenheim; Schalke v Werder Bremen

Serie A: Benevento v Napoli; Sampdoria v Torino; Inter v Crotone; Hellas Verona v Roma; Bologna v Fiorentina; Cagliari v SPAL; Atalanta v Chievo; Juventus v Sassuolo; Lazio v Genoa; Udinese v Milan.

Ligue 1: Monaco v Lyon; Marseille v Metz; Lille v PSG; Montpellier v Angers; Nice v Toulouse; Troyes v Dijon; Caen v Nantes; Amiens v St. Etienne; Strasbourg v Bordeaux; Rennes v Guingamp

About Olakunle Ajao 254 Articles
Olakunle Ajao is a Mass Communication student at the University of Lagos. Commonly known as 'The Major' by friends and fiends alike, he has quite the obsession with football, watching, reading, writing and playing- although he's not very good at that last part.

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