TOP 5 LEAGUES – PREVIEW

It’s another sporting weekend as teams look to keep up the momentum in their different quests this season. SoccaVilla gives an analytical look on the upcoming games this weekend.

  • ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Game week 24 kicks off in style with Arsenal taking a trip to Villa Park to face Aston Villa as the team seeks redemption after picking up 1 point in their last 3 League matches forcing them to surrender 1st position to Manchester City with a game in hand. 6 matches kick start the afternoon kickoff on Saturday as Brentford seeks to continue their fine unbeaten run in the league that could stretch to 13 games if they fail to lose at home to Crystal Palace with highflyers Brighton taking up fellow in form team Fulham. Graham Potter would be looking to pick up his second win of 2023 as he seeks to get his Chelsea FC team up and running with time seemingly against them. Two relegation threatened teams Everton and Leeds United take to the pitch in what would be a tightly contested encounter with Everton hoping they get a win like they did in the reverse fixture last season.

Manchester City travels to Nottingham to face a revamped team and would be wary of the threat the team can pose, they would look to pick up a win and further pile pressure on Arsenal. Wolverhampton Wanderers play Bournemouth in the last afternoon fixture on Saturday with Wolves looking to pick up their fourth win in six matches and face a Cherries team that have dropped in form. The last match of Saturday sees Newcastle United take on Liverpool as they seek to revenge after the 1-0 defeat to Jurgen Klopp last time out which coincidentally is their first and only loss this season. Manchester United take on Leicester City on Sunday afternoon as they bid to make it a double over them after a Jadon Sancho strike was the difference between both sides in September and to close this game week is a London derby clash between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United with both teams ready to pick uo winning points after disappointments of the last matchday.

  • SPANISH LA LIGA

The Spanish La Liga continues with matchday 22 already upon us, Girona and Almeria square off in the first match up on Friday with both teams looking for a win after their loss in the last game week. Real Sociedead and Celta Vigo start the Saturday’s matches fixture log as both teams would love to continue their fine run of form lately with Real Sociedad hoping to gain the same advantage they did in the reverse fixture where they ran off 2-1 wins. Manuel Pelligrini and his Real Betis side would be hoping to gain the better part of their form soon and would look to get those games against a strong Real Valladolid team who are unbeaten in their last 3 games. Villarreal have lost 4 of their last 5 games and more misery were heaped on them when they ensured Elche got their first win of the season at their expense, they face a Real Mallorca team who have been struggling with form and would hope to gain advantage on this match. The last match for Saturday sees defending champions Real Madrid travel to El Sadar Stadium to take on Osasuna as they look to reduce the deficit to Barcelona by 24 hours at least with their rivals playing on Sunday.

Elche’s mission impossible football returns as they seek for their second win of the season when they welcome Espanyol in a match where three points could be highly pivotal in their quest to escape relegation. Two top dogs take on each other with Rayo Vallecano welcoming a potentially strong Sevilla challenge with the hopes of reenacting the same result of the reverse fixture where they ran off 1-0 winners. Atletico Madrid face a big test when Athletic Club visits the Wanda Metropolitano in what would be a heated contest between both sides with Bilbao hoping that recent history plays a part again, a history that has seen them win three of their last five meetings between the sides. FC Barcelona closes proceedings on Sunday when they welcome Cadiz to the Camp Nou, they would have to be wary of the threat Cadiz possesses as the team has beaten Barcelona twice and drawing twice with the Catalans picking up just one win. Struggling Valencia travel to fellow strugglers Getafe who they are above with a point difference in what would be a potential season deciding fixture and a win for either team could send them out of the relegation zone.

  • GERMAN BUNDESLIGA

The German Bundesliga returns with each team looking to do better than the week before with things heating up in all spheres of the table. Augsburg starts things off on Friday night when they face a Hoffenheim team currently in a poor run of form, after losing four of their last five games, Hoffenheim seem to be falling deeper in the relegation area of the table and a loss at Augsburg Arena could consign them to that fate. SC Freiburg kick start one of the four mid afternoon fixtures in the League on Saturday with the team traveling to Vonovia Ruhrstadion to take on a VFL Bochum that they have not beaten at this ground in their history. Bayern Munich take on Borussia Mochengladbach and would be brimming with confidence after their 1-0 victory over Paris Saint Germain in the UCL and would be banking on their recent form to take home all the points. Struggling Stuttgart take on FC Koln in a match they need to win to distance themselves from the relegation spot but face a stiff challenge as Koln have been on top form with the team failing to lose in as many as eight games in all competitions. RB Leipzig would be looking to put the last two game weeks behind them with the team drawing and losing each of them, they face a Wolfsburg side who have been less consistent as they bid to get a win that could send them to a UCL spot with the League already past it’s half season stage. Werder Bremen’s winning game run was halted when they lost to Borussia Dortmund last week in the League and would look to make up for it when they travel to face Eintracht Frankfurt in this epic league clash as Eintracht Frankfurt continue it’s chase for UCL football after making the knockout to stages of the current campaign.

Union Berlin has been terrific form wise with the team still maintaining second place with last game week’s 2-1 away win at Freiburg signaling they are the team to beat this season, they face a Schalke 04 side who have played out 0-0 draws in their last 3 games and would be wary of the threat the defensive minded outfit would pose to them. Since the League’s restart, Borussia Dortmund have been firing on all cylinders with the team winning run stretching to seven games with mid week’s 1-0 win over Chelsea in the UCL and would look to be eighth time lucky when they welcome Hertha Berlin to the Signal Iduna Park on Sunday. Bayer Leverkusen continue their push to be back in the European qualifying places when they host Mainz, bot teams have managed two wins out of their last five games and would be looking to come out on top in the fixture that draws down the curtain on game week 21.

  • ITALIAN SERIE A

SSC Napoli could go as much as 18 points clear if they win their away tie to US Sassuolo in the curtain raiser of matchday 23 in the Italian Serie A as they continue their push for a title they have not won since 1987 and 1990. Winless in their last 6 League games UC Sampdoria play the afternoon kick off match on Saturday against Bologna who have lost only once in their last four League games, Sampdoria would be hoping for a positive point as they are firmly rooted on 19th place in the League. AC Milan look to have picked up some bit of form with the Rossoneri keen on improving their stance in the League with back to back wins in the League and UCL looking to give them a positive look into their clash with AC Monza. Inter Milan were on the losing side when they drew to Sampdoria last time out thus opening a 15 point gap between them and current League leaders Napoli and would hope a win at the San Siro to a form less Udinese could very well spin their season around with an UCL clash to FC Porto next on the cards for them.

Ademola Lookman and his exciting Atalanta side return to acction on Sunday when they take on Lecce with the team set on continuing their fine form that has seen them back in the UCL qualfying spots. Fiorentina welcome Empoli to the Artemio Franchi Stadium and would be brimming with confidence after their Europa League 4-0 away win over SC Braga on Thursday, a win for them in the League would meet a five game winless run would be halted and playing Empoli would be the perfect way to rediscover their winning form in the League. Salernitana and Lazio play at the same time as the Fiorentina match and this clash would be significant to Maurizio Sarri and his side who barely went past CFR Cluj in the Europa League and would be hoping they pick up what could be only their second win in five games. Juventus would hope to be making it six out of six wins against Spezia when they clash on Sunday evening with the Turin based outfit picking up a 100% record against Spezia in the League as they seek to make an European berth after their 15 point deduction. AS Roma play the last match of Sunday with the Jose Mourinho led team looking to return to winning ways if their dreams of a Champions League berth still in the cards for them. Torino play Cremonese in the last match of game week 23 as they face a team still winless in te league with last week’s 3-0 loss to Napoli meaning Cremonese have now lost as many as 14 League matches this season, a stat that Torino would take into account when they square off on Monday night with Torino themselves not too far off an European berth.

  • FRENCH LIGUE 1

The French Ligue 1 has taken some twists in the last few game weeks with PSG now leading Olympique Marseille after the Paris based outfit dropped more points when they lost to AS Monaco and face an even sterner challenge when they welcome high flying LOSC Lille to the Parc des Frances on Sunday’s first League match. The game week starts with in form Olympique Lyonnais taking on relegation threatened AJ Auxerre with the team looking to make it 4 wins and 1 draw in their last 5 league matches should they pick up all three points on Friday evening. An exciting clash awaits football fans with two teams who are on an impressive run lock horns with each other with OGC Nice and Stade Reims meeting for what would be an exciting clash between the sides. Saturday’s late night affair sees Strasbourg play Angers in an all out relegation clash between the duo with a win for either team enough to keep their dreams of retaining their Ligue 1 status next season a possibility.

Four matches air on Sunday afternoon as the Ligue 1 enters her intricate stages as AS Monaco look to continue their impressive run with the team winning each of her last 5 games in the league and a win away to Brest could push them as far as second place especially if things don’t go in favor of second placed Olympique Marseille who also face a tough Toulouse clash later that night as both teams have picked the exact number of points in their last 5 matches after picking up 10 points of a possible 15 points. FC Lorient host relegation battling AC Ajaccio in what would be a feisty clash on Sunday afternoon with Lorient themselves keen on returning to winning ways with the team yet to get a win in any of their last 4 games in the League. With three loses in their last five league games, Rennes quest to get a Champions League spot looks to be blighted by their inconsistency and would hope to gain all maximum points against Clermont Foot in what would be a decisive encounter that could potentially shape up their season. HSC Montpellier would seek to make it three wins in their last five games as they continue their fight to avoid the relegation spot with a trip to Troyes’s Stade de l’Aube next on the cards for them with a win able to keep them away from relegation for a week at least. The last match of the game week pits two teams with contrasting form against each other, despite being in the mix for UCL qualification this season, RC Lens have failed to pick up any win in their last three games and have picked up a lowly 5 points out of a possible 15 point haul whilst Nantes look to have shaken off their mis√©rable form of this season with the French Super Cup runner-ups picking up 3 wins in her last 4 games and a 10 point haul over their last 5 game period with all pointing to a titanic duel between both sides.

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