The 2021-22 season is nearing the end and there is plenty up for grabs this weekend.
Here is what you won’t want to miss out on.
Manchester City to reap the rewards
Spice rating: Mild 🌶
The Women’s Super League is one of the first to wrap up this season and despite Chelsea and Arsenal’s battle for the title, the tight race for the top three earns our attention.
Manchester United currently sit third following their latest slip up which opens the door for rivals Manchester City to overtake them this weekend against Brighton.
It’s not really a surprise to see Gareth Taylor’s side creeping towards the top of the table but what started off as a terrible year (only four points from their first five matches) has turned into just one loss in their last 12. As such, City can now reap the rewards of their hard work.
A win against seventh-place Brighton means they could open up a two-point lead over United with a game in hand. The schedule is in their favour, too, with their remaining matches against bottom-side Birmingham City and Reading while their rivals face West Ham and then Chelsea on the final day.
However, a draw this weekend, would keep both Manchester clubs in the running for the final Champions League spot.
Espanyol to delay Real Madrid’s title win?
Spice rating: Medium 🌶 🌶
The next two matches at the Santiago Bernabéu are going to be firecrackers for Real Madrid but the first is their opportunity to reclaim the LaLiga title from rivals Atlético Madrid.
Espanyol travel to the capital with the aim of preventing Los Blancos from celebrating early and proved in October that they know how to stump the league leaders, despite being a newly-promoted side.
At the RCDE Stadium, the hosts executed their game plan to perfection, scoring two from their four shots on target.
Former Real striker Raúl de Tomás smashed the ball past Thibaut Courtois after 10 minutes before Aleix Vidal made a mockery of Nacho for the eventual winner. Karim Benzema pulled one back for the visitors and had two others ruled offside but the loss stands as one of the leaders’ three this season.
Espanyol have not won at Real since 1995/96 and will have to find a way to come out on top in what is expected to be a rocking atmosphere but they will not shy away from this fight. The hosts, meanwhile, only need one point for glory.
Marseille host the Olympico
Spice rating: Hot 🌶 🌶 🌶
In the Clash of the Olympics, Marseille face Lyon in Ligue 1 and there is a lot on the line for the hosts in this clash despite the title race already being complete.
Jorge Sampaoli’s men sit second in the table behind winners Paris Saint-Germain but continue their hunt for a Champions League spot against Peter Bosz’s side.
However, despite their strong league form, Marseille are coming off a 3-2 loss in their Conference League semi-final first leg against Feyenoord on Thursday. Could Lyon add to their misery? It’s certainly possible.
The visitors have the historical advantage over their opponents in this clash, losing just two of their last 10 meetings.
The matches are usually close to call, too, often ending in draws or one-goal contests such as the 2-1 result earlier this season. Moussa Dembélé scored an 89th minute winner that night and is in fine form at the moment with six league goals in his last five games.
UWCL semi-final doubleheader
Spice rating: Fire 🌶 🌶 🌶 🌶
We have not one but two UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-finals incoming with the doubleheader scheduled for Saturday evening.
The first meeting sees Wolfsburg host reigning champions Barcelona in Germany and since they are down 5-1, the hosts will need a miracle if they want to pip arguably football’s most in-form side from reaching the final.
But you can’t ever count out the likes of Jill Roord, Alexandra Popp and Tabea Waßmuth, especially in front of over 20,000 home fans.
Meanwhile, over in France, things are much more dramatic. It’s a one-goal match between rivals Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon after a thrilling first leg which the hosts won 3-2.
Things truly can go either way at the Parc des Princes and big names like Ada Hegerberg, Wendie Renard, Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Ramona Bachman have the potential to miss out on the final. So who will step up to make sure they avoid that happening?
Regardless of the result, the final in Italy at the end of May looks like it will be a memorable one given all the talent on display.
Celtic out to reclaim Rangers’ crown
Spice rating: Insane 🌶 🌶 🌶 🌶 🌶
Just two weeks since their last meeting, Scotland’s fiercest rivalry is back again as Celtic host reigning league champions Rangers this weekend.
Their most recent meeting saw Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men pull off a comeback in the Scottish Cup semi-finals to not only down their rivals in extra-time but also erase Celtic’s treble dreams.
However, the visitors are coming into this match having lost their Europa League semi-final first leg to Leipzig, meaning morale may have taken a dip. And now they’re about to enter the lion’s den.
Celtic find themselves with the chance to get revenge in the best way possible by adding more misery on their rivals as Ange Postecoglou’s men are also in line to clinch the Scottish Premiership.
They sit six points ahead of Rangers with four matches to go meaning a win in front of home fans would all but secure the title, barring the most stunning of capitulations.
It’s going to be derby drama at its best on Sunday afternoon.