Football is not just for the weekend. Teams all over Europe once again clash on this Friday evening and there are some very interesting fixtures – here are our three, picked out especially for you to keep an eye on.
LA LIGA: Espanyol (8th; 32PTS) vs Real Sociedad (5th; 32PTS) (KO 19:45)
The pick of the games on Friday evening, Real Sociedad have an opportunity to briefly surpass Atletico Madrid into 4th place in La Liga as they bravely fight the Madrid club for a Champions League qualification spot. However, it is far from an easy game as they visit the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat in Barcelona to play an in-form Espanyol side who are pushing for a Europa League spot thanks to a fantastic run of results. Espanyol have won their last three games scoring seven goals including an impressive win over title challengers Sevilla and the thrilling Pablo Piatti is in a rich vein of form. Meanwhile, the higher placed La Real have struggled to just one win in their last three – a 3-2 win at home to relegation-threatened Osasuna which makes this an extremely intriguing tie.
TURKISH SUPER LIG: Karabukspor (10th; 24PTS) vs Besiktas (1st; 44PTS) (KO 16:00)
Turkish Super Lig leaders Besiktas have hardly put a foot wrong of late, having scored nine goals in their last two league games against Alanyaspor and Konyaspor. However, they are after 19 rounds just two points clear of second place Istanbul minnows Basaksehir meaning each game is a high-pressure situation. Unfortunately for them then, they travel to the fortress that is the Dr. Necmettin Şeyhoğlu Stadium, the home of Karabukspor. Karabukspor are tenth in the table but are fourth in the home table, plundering an impressive 20 points from 10 games there in the league. They’re in the mood for home upsets, too, having beat Turkish giants Galatasaray 2-1 recently (round 18). However, Besiktas’ quality away record means they are very prepared for this tough trip, and they are equipped with quality attacking talent such as Quaresma and Tosun which makes this game very interesting.
BUNDESLIGA: Mainz (13th; 22PTS) vs FC Augsburg (10th; 24PTS) (KO 19:30)
An Augsburg side enjoying a post-winter break revival who have won their last two games including a 3-2 thriller over Werder Bremen will be buoyed for their visit to FSV Mainz 05 who have picked up just two points in their last four Bundesliga games, and are coming off a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Julian Nagelsmann’s Hoffenheim. This one is sure to be an open game, with a confident yet somewhat unconvincing Augsburg side looking to attack a Mainz side that has conceded 35 goals in their 19 Bundesliga games. Raul Bobadilla particularly will be a threat for Augsburg after his 94th minute winner at home to Bremen, while Mainz will possibly start their new loan signing Bojan Krkic to give their team and fans a lift in this crucial game between two sides very close in the table.
A-League – Adelaide United vs Perth Glory (KO 08:50)
Belgian Pro League – St. Truiden vs Genk (KO 19:30)
English Championship – Sheff. Wed vs Birmingham (KO 19:45)
Ligue 1 – Bordeaux vs Paris Saint-Germain (KO 19:45)
Serie A – Napoli vs Genoa (KO 19:45)
Eredivisie – Zwolle vs Nijmegen (KO 19:00)
Primeira Liga – Benfica vs Arouca (KO 20:30)