5️⃣ spicy fixtures you must watch this weekend 🌶 | OneFootball

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Dan Burke·17 March 2023

5️⃣ spicy fixtures you must watch this weekend 🌶

Article image:5️⃣ spicy fixtures you must watch this weekend 🌶

The weekend is here and it promises to be another exciting weekend of football, especially if you like it spicy.

Here’s what to look out for.

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Manchester City v Burnley

It’s quarter-final time in the FA Cup and the most eye-catching fixture of the round sees Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany returning to his old club as manager of Burnley.

The Clarets have lost each of their last four FA Cup ties with City and also lost their last 10 meetings with the Premier League champions in all competitions by an aggregate score of 34-1.

But under Kompany they are a club reborn, and Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Hull City leaves them 13 points clear at the top of the Championship and almost certain to gain promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

They will head to the Etihad Stadium this weekend with more confidence than usual, but City’s 7-0 thrashing of RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday was a frightening reminder of what they and striker Erling Haaland are capable of.

Kompany’s last act as a player at the Etihad Stadium was his stunning goal against Leicester to put City on the brink of the 2018/19 Premier League title.

It might take a similar moment of magic this weekend to stop Pep Guardiola’s side reaching the FA Cup semi-final for a fifth consecutive season.

Spice rating: Mild 🌶

Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern Munich

Over in the Bundesliga there’s also a reunion taking place this weekend, as Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso locks horns with his old club Bayern Munich.

The former midfield maestro has done an excellent job since taking charge at the BayArena back in October. Die Werkself had won just one of their first eight Bundesliga matches of the season before Alonso was appointed to replace Gerardo Sone, but since his arrival they are fourth in the form table, having amassed 29 points in 16 matches.

Alonso’s side head into the weekend ninth in the actual table with a late push for a European place in their sights, but getting three points against the league leaders looks like a big ask.

Since a 3-2 defeat away at Gladbach on 18 February, Bayern have calmly strung together three consecutive victories to open up a bit of breathing space at the top of the table.

The Bundesliga record champions have been in this situation so many times before that they know exactly what it takes to keep their noses in front and clinch an 11th consecutive title.

But after they shipped three goals in a 5-3 victory over Augsburg last weekend, Julian Nagelsmann will be hoping to tighten his defence up ahead of what is likely to be a stern examination on Sunday.

Spice rating: Medium 🌶 🌶

Ajax v Feyenoord

Speaking of title races, there’s a huge match coming our way from the Eredivisie on Sunday, as Ajax take on Feyenoord in a fixture they call De Klassieker.

Reigning champions Ajax have had a poor season by their standards and Erik ten Hag’s successor Alfred Schreuder was sacked at the end of January after a run of seven matches without a win.

However, things have taken a turn for the better under Schreuder’s replacement John Heitinga, with the interim coach winning nine of his 11 matches in charge, leaving de Godenzonen just three points off the top of the table.

They will be hoping to draw level with fierce rivals Feyenoord this weekend, who have lost just once all season in the league and are currently on a five-match winning streak.

Arne Slot’s side last won the title in 2016/17 and a win this weekend would take them a huge step closer to ending Ajax’s four-year stranglehold on the trophy.

This massive clash promises to be a great advertisement for Dutch football.

Spice rating: Hot 🌶 🌶 🌶

Inter v Juventus

Later on Sunday, the two biggest clubs in northern Italy go head-to-head in the historic Derby d’Italia.

Both sides enjoyed European success in midweek, with Inter battling to a goalless draw in Porto to qualify for their first Champions League quarter-final since 2011, and Juventus overcoming Freiburg in the Europa League.

Napoli’s near-unassailable 18-point lead at the top of Serie A means European qualification is all the Nerazzurri and the Bianconeri can aim for in the league now this season, and it would be quite remarkable if the Old Lady manage to sneak into the top six after their 15-point deduction earlier this year.

Juventus won the reverse fixture 2-0 earlier this season and are aiming to do the double over Inter for the first time since 2019/20, while Inter haven’t beaten Juve at home in the second half of a season since April 2010.

This will be the 180th top-flight meeting between these two sides and will become the most-played fixture in Serie A history when Sunday’s match kicks off. Let’s hope the spectacle lives up to the occasion.

Spice rating: Fire 🌶 🌶 🌶 🌶

Barcelona v Real Madrid

The fixture list has a habit of spoiling us from time-to-time and in the space of just over a month we will have been treated to not one but three Clásicos. What a time to be alive.

Barcelona pulled off a narrow 1-0 victory at the Bernabéu in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final a couple of weeks ago, but they’ll have to wait until early next month to settle that tie.

Before then the Blaugrana have a huge chance to go 12 points clear at the top of LaLiga when they host Real Madrid at Camp Nou on Sunday evening.

Xavi will be hoping his players can put the looming Caso Negreira corruption case out of their minds and focus on football, while Carlo Ancelotti will be reminding his team that a win in this match would blow the title race wide open.

Los Blancos ran out 3-1 winners when the two sides met in Madrid back in October, and their last two visits to Camp Nou in LaLiga both ended in victory for the visitors.

Extrapolate it further and Barça have lost five of their last six league meetings with their bitter rivals, but the Catalans do have a formidable home record this season, having not lost any of their 12 league fixtures at Camp Nou in 2022/23.

But stats and facts will mean little when a huge roar greets kick-off in Catalonia on Sunday night, and the latest chapter in football’s greatest rivalry will make for compelling viewing as always.

Spice rating: Insane 🌶 🌶 🌶 🌶 🌶