Ten big games to watch this weekend in the European leagues | Football
The Premier League has come to its conclusion, but there is plenty to play for across Europe. Here are 10 hugely significant matches to watch this weekend.
Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt, Bundesliga
We start with a dramatic climax to the season in Germany where, much like with Manchester City and Liverpool in the Premier League, the reigning champions go into the final day of the season with a two-point lead over a club associated with Jürgen Klopp.
Bayern had the opportunity to win the title last week, but they could only draw with in-form RB Leipzig. Facing Eintracht Frankfurt on the final day is far from ideal. This time last year, Niko Kovac was on the winning side as Frankfurt beat Bayern in the DFB Pokal final. Having switched to Bayern last summer, the manager will be desperate to get one over his former club on Saturday.
There is plenty on the line for sixth-placed Frankfurt too. They are just one point off a top-four finish but, with Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim both at their heels, they could also miss out on the European places entirely. The game kicks off on Saturday at 2.30pm BST.
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Borussia Dortmund, Bundesliga
Dortmund know they need to win on Saturday afternoon to have any hope of claiming the title. Bayern only need a point, but Lucien Favre’s side can’t concern themselves with what is going on in Munich.
Dortmund face a side with a significant prize to play for themselves. Gladbach regained fourth place when they beat (and relegated) Nürnberg last weekend. As things stand, Gladbach are only above Bayer Leverkusen in goal difference, so they have to go for the three points in what should be an end-to-end game. Saturday, 2.30pm.
Sevilla v Athletic Bilbao, La Liga
On the final day in Spain, there are three big games in the battle for the European places. Fourth-place Valencia go to Real Valladolid, fifth-place Getafe are home to Villarreal, and sixth-place Sevilla face seventh-place Athletic Bilbao.
By Saturday evening, Sevilla could have qualified for the Champions League or the Europa League or neither of them. They have to beat Athletic and hope that both Valencia and Getafe lose. However, if Athletic win in Seville, they will leapfrog the hosts and reach the Europa League. Saturday, 3.15pm BST.
Porto v Sporting Lisbon, Primeira Liga
It’s still all to play for at the top and bottom in Portugal. Reigning champions Porto find themselves two points back on fierce rivals Benfica with one game to play, so they must beat another old enemy in the form of Sporting CP to have any chance of retaining their crown.
The visitors do not have much to play for as they are already guaranteed to finish third, but they will not want to hand Porto the title. Saturday 3.15pm BST.
Benfica v Santa Clara, Primeira Liga
Having won the title four years running between 2014 and 2017, Benfica were knocked off their perch by clássico rivals Porto last season and are out for revenge. Their task is straightforward: avoid defeat at home to newly promoted Santa Clara to regain their crown.
It sounds simple but Santa Clara will put up a fight. They have only lost two of their last 12 league matches and they were respectable 1-0 defeats away at Sporting and Porto. Santa Clara have been impressive in their first season back in the top flight, particularly at the back, so the leaders will not have it all their own way. Saturday, 6.30pm
Monaco v Amiens, Ligue 1
It has been a nightmare season for Monaco. They were 19th in the league when Thierry Henry was sacked at the end of January, but Leonardo Jardim returned and seemed to be leading them to safety. A run of 15 points from seven matches pushed last season’s Ligue 1 runners-up up the table, but their form has slumped in recent weeks. Having picked up just three points from their last seven games, they are again facing the prospect of relegation.
As we approach the last two games of the season, Monaco are above Dijon by just two points and Caen – who occupy the relegation play-off position – on goal difference alone.
Facing Amiens this weekend will be no simple task. The visitors are just two points above Monaco and could also be dragged into the relegation fight. If Amiens win on Saturday, they guarantee their safety; if Amiens lose, they could drop into the bottom three by the end of the day. Saturday, 8pm BST.
Galatasaray v Istanbul Basaksehir, Super Lig
Rewind eight games and Istanbul Basaksehir looked destined to win their first Super Lig title. They sat eight points clear of Galatasaray at the time but, with just two games to play, Galatasaray are top of the table on goal difference.
Having gone unbeaten in their last 12 games, Galatasaray are now favourites to win the title. But Istanbul Basaksehir are not the only team they have to worry about. If the points are shared between Galatasaray and Istanbul Basaksehir on Saturday, Besiktas will be able to make up some ground on the leaders and ensure there is a three-horse race for the title on the last day of the season next weekend. Sunday, 5pm BST.
Tondela v Chaves, Primeira Liga
It might not be a glamour tie, but few matches on the continent carry greater significance than this relegation shootout.
One of Tondela or Chaves will be relegated this weekend and, with one game to play, they could hardly be closer. They have both played 33 games, won eight of them, drawn eight, lost 17, scored 52 goals and picked up 32 points. Chaves won the reverse fixture earlier in the season so, given the head-to-head ruling in Portugal, they can stay up with a draw. Sunday, 5.30pm BST.
Napoli v Internazionale, Serie A
The top four in Serie A are all in action on Sunday evening. While Juventus are guaranteed first place and Napoli are assured of second, the remaining spots in the top four are still very much up for grabs.
Inter sit third as things stand, though their win over bottom club Chievo on Monday night was just their seventh victory since the turn of the year. That’s where they would sit in the league table if the season began on 1 January too. Inter have to play Empoli – who are battling for survival – on the final day of the season, so will be desperate to pick up a result in Naples this weekend. Sunday, 7.30pm BST.
Juventus v Atalanta, Serie A
To say that Juventus have been the dominant force in Italy this decade would be an understatement but, since wrapping up another title with a frankly ludicrous amount of time to spare, the Old Lady has taken a siesta. Juve have dropped points in four of their last five matches, making Atalanta the form team in Serie A in 2019.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s side have won four on the spin to build up a three-point lead over both Milan and Roma in the final Champions League spot. However, fifth-place Milan boast the better head-to-head record and they will expect to beat already-relegated Frosinone this weekend. If Atalanta lose in Turin, they may drop out of the top four before their final match against Sassuolo. Sunday, 7.30pm BST.