While English leagues are in their final or penultimate weekend of action, the big leagues on the Continent still have at least three games still to go.
Across titles, relegation, and European qualification there are plenty of races still open. We’ve picked out and previewed the five best matches of the weekend from Serie A, La Liga, and the Bundesliga.
Juventus vs Torino
Friday night sees the Turin derby take place, with both teams in the midst of very good seasons.
While Juventus already have the title wrapped up, Torino are fighting for fourth-place, and both could well be in the Champions League next season. Walter Mazzarri’s team are in sixth, three points off current fourth-place team Atalanta with four games left.
This is a five-way battle for this final Champions League spot, and Torino will need to get their first win against their city rivals since 2014/15 to keep up.
Juventus haven’t lost at home in Serie A this season, but perhaps the referee will give Torino a hand. Since Christmas, there have been 12 red cards in Torino matches, eight of which were for Torino’s opponents.
Fan Boost: Juventus to win & both teams to score WAS 3.75, NOW 4.15
Lazio vs Atalanta
Lazio are eighth in Serie A and, usually, that would mean that they’d be out of the fourth-place race this late in the season. Not this year. If Simone Inzaghi’s team beat fourth-place Atalanta, they jump to only being a single point behind them.
Unfortunately for Lazio, Gian Piero Gasperini’s side have been in fine form in the second half of the season. Atalanta have lost just twice in the league since Christmas, winning ten and drawing five. They wouldn’t be down in the fourth-place race at all if they hadn’t had seven-match winless streak in the early months of the season.
Lazio’s form is much more variable. They’ve won two, lost three, and drawn one of their past six matches and, apart from a good month in September, struggle to put together good runs. The reverse fixture finished 1-0 to Atalanta, and their last away match before this one was a 2-1 win at Napoli.
A defeat for Lazio could end their top four hopes, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if it happened.
Atalanta to win, 3.05*
Getafe vs Girona
Last season, these two sides finished eighth and tenth respectively. This season, they’re fighting for the top four and against relegation.
Getafe are level on points with Sevilla in fourth but ahead of them thanks to their results against each other this season. Girona, meanwhile, are just two points above the drop.
Coincidentally, last week Girona broke a six-game losing streak by beating Sevilla at home, so they may have found a taste for beating top-four chasing teams. Getafe are also slightly fortunate to be in the mix that far up the table — their expected goals statistics, a measure of chance quality that go deeper than just the final score, are noticeably worse than Sevilla’s.
Could they be brought down to earth?
Girona to win, 5.05*
Levante vs Rayo Vallecano
These teams might not be big names, but this match could be crucial in the relegation battle. Levante are on 37 points, alongside Girona, while Rayo Vallecano are on 31.
With three games left to go, the away side in this match are six off safety. If they lose, and Girona and Celta de Vigo both pick up points, then Rayo will be officially relegated. But win, and they narrow the gap to safety to just three points, and their final two matches of the season are also against fellow strugglers.
Rayo Vallecano showed with a 1-0 win over Real Madrid last week that they can turn up to matches, but the week before they lost 5-0 to Sevilla. Which version of them shows themselves this Sunday could well decide this fixture.
Levante to win, 1.95*
Gladbach vs Hoffenheim
The Bundesliga title race is very much on, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are separated by two points with three games to go. However, this week they each face teams they will be expected to beat.
The most interesting tie of the weekend, then, is in yet another battle for fourth-place. That valuable spot is currently held by Eintracht Frankfurt on 54 points, with Borussia Monchengladbach and Hoffenheim three and four points behind them. The winner of this match will continue the race, the loser will drop out of it — a draw will probably suit neither.
The two are in very different runs of form. Gladbach have won only twice in the league since early February; Hoffenheim have won five of seven since early March.
This tie has seen more draws when played in the Bundesliga than any other result, and once again it looks like these teams will be evenly matched.
Borussia Monchengladbach and Hoffenheim to draw, 3.80*
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