It’s that time of the week again when we run through a selection of the most exciting matches taking place this weekend and offer our best bets and value picks.
Chelsea v Everton (Saturday)
Chelsea seemed to have turned their form around of late and come into their tie with Everton riding a three-game winning streak across all competitions. The Blues have switched to a back three, which has allowed Graham Potter to go back to his tried and tested tactics. Everton have won just one of their 13 away trips this term and should find the going tough at Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal v Crystal Palace (Sunday)
High-flying Premier League leaders, Arsenal, will be hoping to go eight points clear of Manchester City when they take on Crystal Palace in yet another London derby. The Gunners have won five successive games on the trot in the division, while Palace are yet to win since their return to football after the FIFA World Cup.
Barcelona v Real Madrid (Sunday)
The biggest matchup in world football commences as Barcelona entertain Real Madrid in the El Clasico on Sunday. Barcelona have been a different beast this term and lead the standings by a long, long way. The hosts have also conceded just eight goals in 25 games with just one of those goals coming at the Nou Camp. Madrid will be high in confidence after knocking Liverpool out of the UEFA Champions League in midweek, but Barca pose a much sterner test.
Real Sociedad v Elche (Sunday)
Elche have come good in recent weeks and are unbeaten in two matches. They still lie at the foot of the table with just 13 points from 25 matches. Real Sociedad are in the top four and have the advantage of their home support with them. Sociedad are actually winless in four league outings, but you get the feeling that this could be the game to turn their fortunes around.
Dortmund v FC Koln (Saturday)
Dortmund suffered a setback in their pursuit for the league title last weekend, drawing 2-2 at Schalke in what was one of the shocks of the round in Germany. BVB now return to home soil where they have won nine of the 11 matches they’ve played on their turf. FC Koln are winless in four games and have lost three times in that run.
Mainz v Freiburg (Sunday)
Two of Germany’s most in-form teams meet this Sunday as Mainz host Freiburg, hoping to close the gap between these two sides. The visitors have scored 37 goals in the 25 games they have played, while Mainz have netted 39 times despite being nine points off their opponents. Defensively, they both leave a lot to be desired, suggesting we could be in for a goal fest here.
Sassuolo v Spezia (Friday)
Friday night throws up a favourable tie for Sassuolo who host Spezia, who are one place above the relegation zone. The hosts, meanwhile, have won three successive league ties and are looking to move into the top half of the table. On the road, Spezia have the second-worst attacking record, scoring just eight goals in 12 matches.
Fiorentina v Lecce (Sunday)
Fiorentina are looking to move into the top half of the table and earn a fourth successive victory. The hosts are unbeaten in four games and look to have gained form at the right time of the campaign. Lecce seem to be getting sucked into a relegation battle and have lost three Italian Serie A matches on the bounce.
Lens v Angers (Saturday)
Ligue 1 high-flyers Lens will be looking to build on their 4-0 win over Clermont when they host strugglers Angers on Saturday. The side bottom of the table have lost their last four games in the league and have gone nine matches on the road without a win.
AC Ajaccio v Monaco (Sunday)
Monaco have struggled in recent weeks, going three games without a win, though they still sit comfortably in fourth spot. But the Red and Whites will be confident of securing all three points against an Ajaccio side languishing in the relegation zone after nine defeats in their last 11 games in the league.