Derby fever hits Madrid, Merseyside, Manchester and Genoa
Once again, the Gods of the fixture list have smiled down on football fans with four big derbies to look forward to this weekend in the major European leagues.
As we reach the final straight across Europe's major leagues with the likes of Bayern Munich being able to wrap up the Bundesliga title this weekend with a win over Augsburg and PSG taking another step closer to claiming the Ligue 1 with a win at Saint Etienne, the focus across the cities of Madrid, Manchester, Liverpool and Genoa is getting one over on the fierce city rival as derby day comes around.
Liverpool v Everton: kick-off at Anfield: 1330 CEST (07/04)
The week-end derby action gets underway first on Merseyside as Liverpool welcome Everton to Anfield. One has to go back to September 1999 for the last victory at Anfield for the blue side of the city as a solitary Kevin Campbell goal was enough for a win for the Toffees. Can Jurgen Klopp afford to take his eye away from city rivalry with a Champions League quarter final (second leg) against Manchester City around the corner on Wednesday?
Manchester City v Manchester United: kick off at the Etihad Stadium at 1830 CEST (07/04)
Pep Guardiola is another coach with a dilemma. His City side can be proclaimed Premier League winners for the 2017/18 season being the first side to be crowned at this early stage of the season, ever ! He does have to contend with the small matter of a 0-3 deficit from the first leg of the Champions League quarter final after a first half blitz from Liverpool saw the Anfield side claim a convincing win with the return leg to come on Tuesday. City captain Vincent Kompany also recently claimed that beating United to claim the title would be a "once in a lifetime opportunity".
Sampdoria v Genoa: kick off at the Luigi Ferraris stadium at 2045 CEST (07/04)
Despite neither Genovese side being the biggest among Serie A footballing names, it's widely regarded among Italian football cognoscenti that the "Derby della Lanterna" is one of the best in the country. This season both sides are playing for city and their own respective objectives with Genoa hoping for maximum points to avoid looking over their shoulder at the drop zone while Samp will hope to push on from the midweek win in Bergamo to maintain their quest to bag a Europa League spot.
It's a given in Spanish football that the league title is, and has been heading for the Catalan capital for some while now with an unbeaten Barcelona relentless and showing no sign of wavering at the summit of LaLiga. Sunday's derby sees third placed Real Madrid face second placed Atleti with the game sandwiched between European action with Zidane's men facing a second leg in the Champions League against Juve as Atlético travel to Lisbon with a 2-0 first leg advantage in the Europa League.