The football world is at the business end of the 2020/21 football season in Europe.
It could not be tighter than in La Liga where Barcelona host Atletico Madrid, needing the three points to overhaul the current league leaders. In the EPL, Manchester City host fellow UCL finalist, Chelsea with both needing the three points though Thomas Tuchel and his London side need it more to cement their UCL place for next season.
Man. City v Chelsea @Etihad Stadium @5:30pm on May 8
The two UCL finalists face each other just days after accomplishing impressive feats, but this will not be a dress rehearsal because of fatigue and other factors.
City need the win to be crowned EPL champions while Chelsea need the three points to go ahead of Leicester City, who lost to Newcastle on Friday. Thomas Tuchel has said City is the benchmark, as Pep Guardiola’s team is the ‘best in the world’.
Chelsea will be without Mateo Kovacic for the fourth consecutive match and N’Golo should be given a rest after the 12km he covered against Real Madrid on Wednesday. City have had one more day of rest and John Stones will miss because of suspension and the likes of Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, and Raheem Sterling could be rotated into the squad.
Current Form: Man. City [W-W-W-W-W]; Chelsea [W-W-D-W-D]
17/04/21 FAC Chelsea 1 – 0 Man. City
03/01/21 PRL Chelsea 1 – 3 Man. City
25/06/20 PRL Chelsea 2 – 1 Man. City
23/11/19 PRL Man. City 2 – 1 Chelsea
24/02/19 LEC Chelsea 0 – 0 Man. City
Prediction: Man. City 2-3 Chelsea
Barcelona v Atletico Madrid @Camp Nou @3:15pm on May 8
A title decider is on the cards in Catalonia on Saturday afternoon. Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid title win in 2014 included a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou on the last weekend of the league. This encounter comes four matchdays to the end of the 2020/21 season, and it could not be tighter at the top. Atletico lead the table with two points over Real Madrid and Barcelona on 74 points.
A draw is out of the question for both teams as Real Madrid will become the beneficiary with a win over Sevilla as Los Blancos have a better head-to-head against both Barcelona and Atletico.
Luis Suarez returns to the pitch where he scored many goals and will be extra motivated to get one over his former employers. Both Simeone and Koeman have their best players available for the contest and it should be a tight one with the first goal proving invaluable in the 90 minutes.
Current Form: Barcelona [W-L-W-W-W]; Atletico [W-L-W-W-D]
21/11/20 LAL Atletico 1 – 0 Barcelona
30/06/20 LAL Barcelona 2 – 2 Atletico
09/01/20 SUC Barcelona 2 – 3 Atletico
01/12/19 LAL Atletico 0 – 1 Barcelona
06/04/19 LAL Barcelona 2 – 0 Atletico
Prediction: Barcelona 2-2 Atletico
Juventus v AC Milan @Allianz Stadium @7:45pm on May 9
Inter Milan are already champions but the teams that will join them in the Champions League will not be determined until the last day because just five points separate Atalanta, in second and Lazio in fifth, who have a game in hand.
On Sunday, Juventus will host AC Milan hoping to go second on the log after Cristiano Ronaldo spared their blushes last weekend with two late goals against Udinese.
For AC Milan, who led the table for the first 20 matchdays, the probability of missing out on the Champions League for another season will have serious effects on the finances of the legacy team. Andrea Pirlo’s tentative reign at the Allianz is boosted by having all his players available for this contest, while Samu Castillejo is the only player unavailable for Stefano Pioli.
Current Form: Juventus [W-D-W-L-W]; AC Milan [W-L-L-W-W]
06/01/21 SEA AC Milan 1 – 3 Juventus
07/07/20 SEA AC Milan 4 – 2 Juventus
12/06/20 COI Juventus 0 – 0 AC Milan
13/02/20 COI AC Milan 1 – 1 Juventus
10/11/19 SEA Juventus 1 – 0 AC Milan
Prediction: Juventus 2-1 AC Milan
Borussia Dortmund v RB Leipzig @Signal-Iduna-Park @2:30pm on May 8
RB Leipzig are almost assured of Champions League football next season with their second-place status. They lead third-placed Wolfsburg by seven points with three matches left in the season but Borussia Dortmund are in fifth place, chasing a place in the UCL, which might mean they are the better motivated of the two teams.
Dortmund are one point behind Eintracht Frankfurt, in fourth and host Mainz. Edin Terzic’s side has come into form at the right time, winning their last four and conceding only once in the four matches, while Leipzig’s form has been patchy.
This will be like a dress rehearsal for the DFB Pokal final in which both teams meet on Thursday next week.
Current Form: Dortmund [W-W-W-W-L]; RB Leipzig [W-W-L-D-W]
09/01/21 BUN RB Leipzig 1 – 3 Dortmund
20/06/20 BUN RB Leipzig 0 – 2 Dortmund
17/12/19 BUN Dortmund 3 – 3 RB Leipzig
19/01/19 BUN RB Leipzig 0 – 1 Dortmund
26/08/18 BUN Dortmund 4 – 1 RB Leipzig
Prediction: Dortmund 2-1 RB Leipzig
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