5️⃣ spicy global fixtures you MUST watch this weekend 🌶 | OneFootball

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Joel Sanderson-Murray·26 November 2021

5️⃣ spicy global fixtures you MUST watch this weekend 🌶

Article image:5️⃣ spicy global fixtures you MUST watch this weekend 🌶

We’ve got a big weekend of club football in Europe, and beyond, to look forward to this weekend.

Here are five non-Premier League fixtures you’d be a fool to miss.

Sarri’s return to Naples

Spice rating: Mild 🌶

If history had worked out slightly differently, Maurizio Sarri would’ve been looked at by Napoli fans in the same way they remember Diego Maradona.

Sarri very nearly achieved immortality in Naples by bringing home the Serie A title in 2017/18. A 1-0 win over Juventus in late April looked to have moved the trophy into their possession but a defeat and a draw in their last four games meant it was only a second placed finish on a club record 91 points.

The 62-year-old moved on to Chelsea and then, in the eyes of some Napoli fans, somewhat unforgivably to Juventus.

Now he returns to Naples once more with his new club, Lazio, where he’s made a solid if unspectacular start.

Luciano Spalletti’s Napoli suffered their first defeat of the league season last weekend and need to get back on the horse.

Will the one they used to love come back to hurt them?

📊 Fun fact: Napoli have won by scoring at least two goals in each of their last four Serie A home games against Lazio.

Juve’s last chance

Spice rating: Medium 🌶🌶

Massimiliano Allegri’s return to Juventus hasn’t exactly gone to plan as of yet.

The Old Lady go into the weekend in eighth place, 11 points behind league leaders Napoli. A gap that isn’t insurmountable, but Juve can’t afford too many more slip-ups between now and the end of the season.

This might not be the perfect time to tell them that their next fixture is up against Atalanta – a team they’ve failed to beat in their last three league meetings.

The games between these two are always entertaining and goals are guaranteed. Another defeat for Allegri may turn out to be a devastating blow.

📊 Fun fact: Juventus are unbeaten in their last 24 home clashes against Atalanta, winning 18.

Lopetegui out for revenge in Madrid

Spice rating: Hot 🌶🌶🌶

Julen Lopetegui caused a stir in June 2018 when he left the national side to take up the vacant post at Real Madrid ahead of a World Cup, getting sacked by the Spanish FA a day later because of the apparent “betrayal” without even getting the chance to oversee the tournament.

By the end of October he had been sacked by Real Madrid too.

So we could understand if the 55-year-old holds a bit of a grudge against Los Blancos as he heads back to the Bernabéu this weekend.

A win for Sevilla would move them above Carlo Ancelotti’s side, who currently sit top of LaLiga.

Is revenge on the cards?

📊 Fun fact: Real are currently unbeaten in their last 15 league matches at home.

The Rhine Derby

Spice rating: Fire 🌶🌶🌶🌶

Now, this is a derby.

Köln and Borussia Mönchengladbach despise the sight of each other. Take your seat for one of the fiercely-contested rivalries in the Bundesliga.

The Adi Hütter era at Gladbach started badly with three defeats and a draw from his first five league games but there has been improvement of late, and a win on Saturday could move the Foals into the European spots.

While for Steffen Baumgart it’s worked the other way, where a positive start has been dented by just one win in their last four games.

What’s that old saying about form going out the window when it comes to derbies? Whatever happens, it’s sure to be lively.

📊 Fun fact: Köln beat Gladbach to the Bundesliga title on the final day of the season in 1977/78 despite the latter achieving the biggest win in the competition’s history (12-0 v Borussia Dortmund).

Copa Libertadores final

Spice rating: Insane 🌶🌶🌶🌶🌶

The biggest game of the weekend takes place on another continent as the 62nd Copa Libertadores final takes centre stage.

The last two winners of the competition, Palmeiras and Flamengo, lock horns at the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo for the right to be crowned the kings of Latin America.

Both sides look likely to miss out on winning the Brazilian title this season but one will end up with the biggest prize of them all.

Current champions Palmeiras has lost just two of their last 25 games in the competition but are coming up against a side that has scored 18 goals in their last six Libertadores fixtures.

📊 Fun fact: Palmeiras could become only the second team this century to successfully defend the Copa Libertadores.