The 2020/21 football season is heading into the final few weeks and there are still a host of issues to be resolved across Europe.
May promises to be an exciting month for fans, with the upcoming scheduled packed with games that will have a bearing on the final outcome in various competitions.
This weekend is no different in that respect, with some key matches taking place in the Premier League, Ligue 1, La Liga and Serie A.
With the semi-finals of the DFB Pokal also on the agenda, football fans have plenty to keep them entertained over the next few days. We preview some of the top games.
Manchester United vs Liverpool – Premier League
The rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool is one of the most heated in football, and their latest encounter could be another fiery affair.
The Red Devils look a good bet to finish as runners-up in the Premier League this season to continue the progress they have made under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Although they still need to make further improvements to challenge Manchester City, the United manager does appear to have the team heading in the right direction.
By contrast, Liverpool have produced a miserable defence of the title they won so impressively last season and are in danger of missing out on the top four.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have dominated this season’s Liverpool news for all the wrong reasons and head into the weekend four points behind fourth place with five games remaining and they desperately need to beat United.
However, they have failed to pick up three points at Old Trafford since 2014 and it is difficult to imagine them ending that run this weekend.
United currently possess more quality in their starting XI and are strongly fancied to record an important victory over their big rivals.
Related: Premier League: Matchday 34 Preview & Predictions
Monaco vs Lyon – Ligue1
The Ligue 1 title race looks set to go down to the wire, with just two points covering the top three teams with four games remaining.
Lille are leading the way with 73 points, with Paris Saint-Germain (72) and Monaco (71) also in the mix. Lyon (67) are fourth in the table and ready to pounce on any slip-ups.
The latest state-of-play undoubtedly places additional emphasis in Ligue 1 news on this weekend’s clash between Monaco and Lyon at the Stade Louis II.
Monaco have been in fine form in recent weeks, recording five wins and a draw without conceding a goal to boost their title hopes.
Their attacking style of play has drawn comparisons with the team that reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2016/17.
They are unlikely to have things their own way this weekend against a Lyon side who have to win to keep their faint title hopes alive.
Lyon blew a two-goal lead against Lille to lose 3-2 in their latest outing and their clash with Monaco could be another high-scoring encounter.
Valencia vs Barcelona – La Liga
The La Liga news headlines are dominated with a thrilling title race, with four teams still in contention for the title heading into the final few weeks.
Atletico Madrid had a healthy advantage a few weeks ago, but their lead has gradually been whittled down by the chasing pack.
Real Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla are breathing down their necks and a slip-up for any team could prove to be costly.
Barca could well be top by the time they visit Valencia on Sunday, with Ronald Koeman’s side playing their game in hand against Granada in midweek.
Regardless of the outcome of that game, Barca will fancy their chances of recording a victory at Valencia this weekend.
It has been a disappointing season for the home side and they could yet be dragged into the relegation battle.
Valencia are just six points above the drop zone with five games to play and can ill-afford to suffer a defeat against Barca.
Udinese vs Juventus – Serie A
Juventus went into the season chasing their tenth Serie A title in a row, but it is fair to say that things have not gone to plan.
Inter Milan are poised to break their stranglehold on Italy’s top flight, dominating the Serie A news this season and leaving Juve in a five-way battle to join them in the top four.
Atalanta are currently second in the standings on 68 points, with Napoli, Juve and AC Milan all locked together just two points behind.
Lazio are a further five points adrift, but have a game in hand on the teams above them and could yet bag a Champions League qualification place.
With things so finely poised, Juve desperately need to find some consistency on the run-in and will be eager to pick up three points at Udinese.
They have won seven of the last eight meetings between the two sides, with their only defeat coming on their most recent visit to Udinese last July.
With their top four rivals all facing relatively easy games this weekend, Juve must pull out all the stops to secure three points at the Dacia Arena.
Werder Bremen vs RB Leipzig – DFB Pokal
With Bayern close to be coronated as league champions, the Bundesliga news is focusing on the European sports and the DFB-Pokal competition.
Werder Bremen go head-to-head with RB Leipzig in the DFB-Pokal semi-final this weekend, with the winners expected to face Borussia Dortmund in the final.
Bundesliga 2 outfit Holstein Kiel face Dortmund in the other semi-final, and it would be a big surprise if the Black and Yellows fail to progress.
The clash between Bremen and Leipzig could be a cracker, particularly with the latter club yet to win a major trophy in German football.
By contrast, only Bayern Munich (20) have won the DFB Pokal more times than Bremen (6) and the River Islanders will fancy their chances of adding to their tally.
However, Bremen’s recent form is a cause for concern, with a run of seven successive league defeats leaving them perilously close to the relegation zone.
That run of results includes a 4-1 home defeat against Leipzig and they will be keen to produce an improved performance this weekend.
The news that Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann will be Bayern manager next season could work in Bremen’s favour, and he will have to ensure that his team are not adversely affected.
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