We preview some of the big clashes in Europe this weekend, with Manchester United, Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea and Manchester City, all in action.
In the English Premier League, Fulham welcome Manchester United to London, while Liverpool head to Manchester, as they take on Manchester City. Will United keep their lead at the top of the table, or can City close the gap?
Newcastle United host Chelsea at St James’ Park, while other fixtures in England see West Bromwich Albion take on Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United play Coventry City. Who will win?
In Spain, Barcelona will be hosted by Valencia, while Bayer Leverkusen go head-to-head with Borussia Dortmund in Germany. Who is your money on?
If you are a betting person, here are tips ahead of the weekend action brought to you by Soccer 6 and guest predictor, Soccer-Laduma journalist, David Minchella.
FULHAM V MANCHESTER UNITED
League position: Fulham 14th and United 1st
Useful facts: Fulham are in dire form after having won just three times in their last 15 matches played. United also walloped the Cottagers 4-1 recently in the FA Cup. This means Alex Ferguson’s men will feel strong favourites in this encounter.
David Minchella: United will be too good for them. United win.
VALENCIA V BARCELONA
League position: Valencia 7th and Barcelona 1st
Useful facts: In what could be an exciting match in Spain, in-form Valencia will look to test Barcelona at the Mestalla. Meanwhile, Barca will feel confident of extending their incredible 11 point lead at the top of La Liga.
David Minchella: I’ll have to pick a Barcelona win.
BAYER LEVERKUSEN V BORUSSIA DORTMUND
League position: Leverkusen 2nd and Dortmund 3rd
Useful facts: In this top of the table clash in Germany, Leverkusen prepare for the visit of a talented Dortmund outfit. Dortmund are the form side after winning all of their last five matches played. This means Factory Squad won’t have it all their own way at Bay Arena.
David Minchella: Win for Leverkusen at home.
SHEFFIELD UNITED V COVENTRY CITY
League position: United 6th and Coventry 7th (both in League One)
Useful facts: In this clash, former Premiership clubs Sheffield United and Coventry City take each other on at Bramall Lane. City are the team in better form, meaning this could be a closely fought contest in Sheffield.
David Minchella: I’ll say a draw.
NEWCASTLE UNITED V CHELSEA
League position: United 16th and Chelsea 3rd
Useful facts: Newcastle will hope their new signings can really make an impact on Newcastle’s fortunes. The Toon are on a dire slide and relegation could become a realistic possibility. Star-studded Chelsea will fancy their chances at St James’ Park.
David Minchella: Chelsea should take the win, Newcastle aren’t playing very well.
MANCHESTER CITY V LIVERPOOL
League position: City 2nd and Liverpool 7th
Useful facts: In what could be the game of the day in England, City face improving rivals Liverpool at the City of Manchester Stadium. City are beginning to peak and look as if they could chase down Manchester United. The Reds may see one point as a good outcome in this contest.
David Minchella: City are in very good fettle. Win for City.
WEST BROMWICH ALBION V TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
League position: West Brom 8th and Spurs 4th
Useful facts: West Bromwich Albion’s great start to the season has started to subside, Albion have lost three of their last five matches played. This could mean Spurs will have the upper hand at the Hawthorns.
David Minchella: Spurs away win.