🇪🇺 Friday Forecast on tour: Title clash in Italy, must-win for Ole
We’ve only got the pleasure of six Premier League games this weekend due to the winter break.
So, the Friday Forecast is out on the road again, making numerous pitstops in Europe like a teenager on a gap year.
Here is the best of whats to come from around the continent this weekend.
🇪🇸 Viernes Forecast
Make or break for Diego?
This could be a decisive week for Atlético Madrid.
Their 1-0 win over Granada last weekend ended a run of five games without a victory, and propelled them back up to fourth in La Liga.
Gaining qualification for next season’s Champions League will be the main aim now for Atleti, which shows just how disappointing their campaign has been after harbouring title aspirations in August.
Diego Simeone’s men have been dragged into a bit of a scrap for the top four, with just five points separating third from seventh in the league at the moment.
A win for Valencia at the Mestalla on Friday would see them overtake Atleti which shows just how important this game is.
With Liverpool to come in the last-16 of this season’s Champions League on Tuesday, Atlético could really do with gaining some long-awaited momentum.
🇮🇹 Venerdì Forecast
Title showdown in Rome
It’s the standout fixture of the weekend across the whole continent.
After Inter Milan’s heroic comeback over their neighbours AC Milan last weekend, mixed with Juventus’ shock defeat away to Hellas Verona, we are being treated to a proper title race in Serie A.
Inter are out in front going into this weekend, by the virtue of goal difference.
But they are travelling to face a side which is currently in the midst of the best run in the club’s history.
After beating Parma 1-0 last Saturday, Simone Inzaghi’s team are 18 games unbeaten and have shoehorned their way into the picture at the top of the table.
If you didn’t watch the Milan derby last Sunday, you missed out.
Treat yourself to this on Sunday evening, for what promises to be a fantastic game of association football.
Crucial trip for Ole’s men
The Premier League saves the best of it’s action to last this weekend, as Chelsea and Manchester United don’t lock horns until Monday night.
United set the tongues wagging in the return fixture on the opening day, when they smashed Chelsea 4-0 at Old Trafford.
But Chelsea are the ones with the upper hand going into this clash, as they currently occupy fourth spot in the league six points ahead of their visitors.
A win for Frank Lampard’s side could leave United staring into the abyss.
Neither of these clubs have shown the levels of consistency you would expect this season, but they should both to be in the picture for Champions League qualification come the closing stages of the season.
We can’t rule Sheffield United and even, Wolves, at this stage in the talk for breaking into the top four, but this game could give us a big indication on who is going to finish fourth in the Premier League this season.
🇩🇪 Freitag Forecast
Hertha close to crisis at the bottom
It’s all been going off at Hertha Berlin this week.
Former Germany national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann resigned on Tuesday after just 76 days and 10 games in charge of the club.
It was a move that surprised even the Hertha board, despite the 3-1 loss at home to Mainz last Saturday.
This weekend provides a real acid test for the new management, as they travel to bottom club Paderborn – and a defeat could be absolutely disastrous for Hertha, as the gap to the danger zone would then only be four points.
Paderborn have only won four games all season, but are starting to show green shoots of recovery after pulling off a surprise 1-1 draw at Champions League chasing Schalke last weekend.
After spending more than any other club in Europe in January (€74m), relegation would be disastrous for Hertha.
Big game ahead on Saturday.