Four matches to watch this weekend

Kano Pillars football team
Kano Pillars football team

Kano Pillars v El Kanemi @Sani Abacha Stadium @4pm on April 7

Coach Ibrahim Musa of Kano Pillars has said winning the league is all the team is after and that ambition will be further enhanced if they can get revenge over El Kanemi, who lead the Group B section of the Nigeria Professional Football League.

Musa told Thisday, “Our focus, for now, is the crucial match against El Kanemi Warriors, it is more like a local derby this weekend, having lost the first ‘stanza’ in Maiduguri. We will be out to give our fans something to cheer with this weekend by winning the match.”

Pillars have scored 18 goals this season and conceded 11 while El Kanemi have scored 15 and conceded nine.

Current Form: Pillars [L-W-W-L-W]; El Kanemi [W-W-D-W-L]

17/01/19 NPF El Kanemi 2 – 1 Kano Pillars

28/01/18 NPF El Kanemi 0 – 0 Kano Pillars

03/09/17 NPF Kano Pillars 2 – 0 El Kanemi

02/04/17 NPF El Kanemi 1 – 0 Kano Pillars

21/09/16 NPF Kano Pillars 1 – 0 El Kanemi

Prediction: Kano Pillars 2-1 El Kanemi

Barcelona v Atletico @Nou Camp @7:45pm on April 6

With the first leg of the Champions League clash with Manchester United looming, Ernesto Valverde must be thinking of not risking Lionel Messi against an Atletico side, who only have the league to play for.

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And this is where Valverde must earn his money. Barcelona hold the Indian sign over their rivals, especially at the Nou Camp, where they have not lost to the Rojiblancos in their last 18 visits.

Matches between these teams have become tighter over the last five seasons and the most common score-line has been 1-1. With so much at stake, it is possible that caution will not be thrown to the wind, with both teams ready to settle for a point apiece.

Arturo Vidal collected a yellow card against Villarreal in midweek and stands suspended while Diego Costa is expected to replace Alvaro Morata, who is sidelined with an ankle sprain.

For Diego Simeone, this is it. There won’t be another chance to reduce the deficit from eight to five points with seven matches left after these round of matches.

Current Form: Barcelona [D-W-W-W-W]; Atletico [W-W-L-L-W]

Sat 24/11/18 LAL Atletico 1 – 1 Barcelona

Sun 04/03/18 LAL Barcelona 1 – 0 Atletico

Sat 14/10/17 LAL Atletico 1 – 1 Barcelona

Sun 26/02/17 LAL Atletico 1 – 2 Barcelona

Tue 07/02/17 CDR Barcelona 1 – 1 Atletico Madrid

Prediction: Barcelona 1-1 Atletico

Juventus v AC Milan @Juventus Stadium @5pm on April 6

Amidst the racism row that has enveloped Serie A and Juventus’ Moise Kean and Leonardo Bonucci, the champions-in-waiting have to do the business against Gennaro Gattuso’s floundering Milan.

If the Old Lady wins and challenger– Napoli lose then Juve will be crowned champions with seven matches to go in the season. Gattuso, as Milan coach has lost all four matches against Juventus, scoring just one goal and conceding 10 added. Also, Milan have lost in all their last seven visits to Turin.

The return to training by Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic, Leonardo Spinazzola, Douglas Costa and Sami Khedira will buoy Max Allegri though Cristiano Ronaldo continues to be closely monitored and will not be risked. AC Milan will hope for a favour from their neighbours, Inter, who host Atalanta, who sit just one point behind AC Milan, in fifth place.

Current Form: Juventus [W-W-L-W-W]; AC Milan [D-L-L-W-W]

16/01/19 SUC Juventus 1 – 0 AC Milan

11/11/18 SEA AC Milan 0 – 2 Juventus

09/05/18 COI Juventus 4 – 0 AC Milan

31/03/18 SEA Juventus 3 – 1 AC Milan

28/10/17 SEA AC Milan 0 – 2 Juventus

Prediction: Juventus 3-1 AC Milan

Bayern V Dortmund @Allianz Arena @5:30pm on April 6

Two points separate Dortmund and Bayern with seven matches left in the Bundesliga season.

This is the motivation for both teams as they file out at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday. If Bayern lose, they will slip five points behind Dortmund with just six matches to play, while a win will give the Bavarians a one-point advantage over Dortmund and all to play for.

Dortmund manager, Lucien Favre has said nothing will be decided on Saturday.

“There are seven matches left to be played. If we beat them, it’s not over. If it’s a draw, it’s not over. If Bayern beat us, everything’s open still.”

The current league leaders have injury doubts, which include top scorer, Paco Alcacer and two fullbacks – Abdou Diallo and Lukasz Piszczek.

The official Bundesliga website, in its preview, wrote, “When the chips are down and there is little to choose between the teams, perspiration, rather than inspiration, might win it once again.”

This means the team that runs faster and covers the farthest will be the winner on Saturday.

Current Form: Bayern [W-D-W-L-W]; Dortmund [W-W-W-L-L]

10/11/18 BUN Dortmund 3 – 2 Bayern

31/03/18 BUN Bayern 6 – 0 Dortmund

20/12/17 DFP Bayern 2 – 1 Dortmund

04/11/17 BUN Dortmund 1 – 3 Bayern

05/08/17 SUC Dortmund 2 – 2 P Bayern

Prediction: Bayern 1-2 Dortmund

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