Football's Weekend Ahead: 6 March 2020
There's more than just Mancunian pride on the line as we take a look at biggest fixtures as we look at the biggest fixtures coming up on the Weekend Ahead.
MANCHESTER UNITED vs MANCHESTER CITY
In the Premier League, the city of Manchester is hurting as the red half falls from grace, the blue half is having the league title ripped from their grasp in the most devastating fashion by the north-west city’s biggest rival in Liverpool.
But on the Weekend Ahead, the city can once more enjoy things as the red and blue halves meet at Old Trafford for United versus City.
The Manchester Derby is driven by the passion of the rivalry at the best of times, and at its worst, it’s no different.
Which is good, considering right now might actually be the worst of times since Sheikh Mansour bought the Citizens and turned them into top-flight contenders. Not only due to United’s dramatic fall, but also with the European ban set by UEFA rendering City’s league position irrelevant.
Thankfully, league position is important for the Red Devils, with Champions League qualification within touching distance.
When it comes to the last five derbies in the Premier League, it’s no surprise that City have more wins with three - including their last two visits to Old Trafford. And if you broaden that to include games across all competitions, United haven’t beaten City at home in three attempts.
So even though there’s no trophy at stake for either team, there’s plenty more than pride on the line.
Not that the Manchester Derby has ever needed there to be.
LILLE vs LYON
In Ligue 1, we have got a meeting of two teams on differing trajectories with Lille hosting Lyon at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.
For the last couple of seasons, Lille has been where Lyon should be in the table, with Les Dogues yet again knocking on the door of Champions League qualification, and though OL is fifth, they are currently seven points off the pace.
Their positions are reflected in their last five meetings in the league, with Lyon failing to win any, while Lille took victory twice, both times in Lyon’s backyard.
But OL did beat Lille as recently as January when they met in the Coupe De La Ligue - albeit with the aid of a penalty shootout. Over 90 minutes though, it was the third draw in six meetings - which probably makes another sharing of the points this weekend more than likely.
ATLETICO MADRID vs SEVILLA
The race to next season’s Champions League is heating up in Spain with just five points separating Sevilla in third from Valencia in seventh.
And that gap could tighten even more after this weekend’s crunch tie.
Because the fifth-placed Atletico Madrid welcome Sevilla to the Wanda Metropolitano, where nothing but a win will do for either.
Atleti’s strong home form gives them the edge. They haven’t lost at the Wanda Metropolitano since December 2... and that was to Barcelona. But that doesn’t mean they can’t draw. And considering Atleti and Sevilla's last three meetings have finished in 1-1 draws, a repeat result looks nailed on.
Which won’t be good for their European aspirations… as both hope to stave off the feeling that Life’s A Pitch!