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Euro Vision: 5 continental games not to be missed this weekend

There’s plenty action to keep an eye on in La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga.

Ronaldo and Xavi will be in opposition this weekend.
Ronaldo and Xavi will be in opposition this weekend.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

La Liga: Real Madrid v Barcelona

Sunday, 8pm

Football matches do not come much bigger than Real Madrid versus Barcelona and the stakes for the 227th El Clasico could scarcely be higher. With the Liga title race entering the home straight, it is leaders Real who have the advantage and victory on Sunday at the Bernabeu would move Carlo Ancelotti’s side seven points clear of their bitter rivals.

It is a fixture that comes soaked in history and a host of stellar names have contributed to its rich tapestry, not least of all Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Two prolific forwards with a penchant for delivering on the big occasion, the duo have netted 30 Clasico goals between them and Messi will become the fixture’s all-time leading scorer if he can take his tally to 19 this weekend.

Ronaldo was silenced by Gerardo Martino’s men in October’s meeting at Camp Nou, though, as the home side ran out 2-1 winners. It was another global superstar who took centre stage that day, Neymar grabbing his first Clasico strike to put Barca ahead, with Alexis Sanchez doubling that lead before Jese Rodriguez’s late consolation strike.

Real will be without Jese, whose season was this week ended by a knee injury, but fellow forward Karim Benzema, who missed Tuesday’s Champions League win over Schalke, should return. Barca may opt to recall Gerard Pique after the defender was left out of last Sunday’s 7-0 win over Osasuna as a yellow card in the match would have earned him a suspension.

On TV? Sky Sports 1

Source: AP/Press Association Images

Serie A: Napoli v Fiorentina and Lazio v AC Milan

Sunday, 5.30pm and Sunday, 7.45pm

It’s third against fourth in the biggest game of the weekend in Italy, although Napoli have a ten-point advantage on their opponents. Both sides exited the Europa League during the week, Napoli at the hands of Porto while Fiorentina were knocked out by Juventus.

Napoli have only lost once in their last ten games in Serie A whereas Fiorentina have lost three of their last five matches. Napoli are in a commanding position as they seek to  claim Champions League football next season whereas Fiorentina have only a point advantage over Inter Milan.

Lazio will be out to keep alive their Europa League hopes when they host a faltering Milan side on Sunday night. Edy Reja’s men have been in good form of late, losing just two of their last 11 league games – a run that has lifted them to seventh in the table.

The capital club will take comfort from having home advantage against Clarence Seedorf’s struggling side, as they have already beaten Inter and drawn with top two Juventus and Roma at the Stadio Olimpico this term.

Club legend Seedorf took over from Massimiliano Allegri in January and after an initial mini-resurgence, the 18-time Italian champions have fallen away again. Milan, who sit 11th in the table, have lost five of their last six in all competitions, including a 4-1 thumping by Atletico Madrid in their Champions League second leg.

On TV? ESPN and BT Sport 1

Source: AP/Press Association Images

Ligue 1: Monaco v Lille

Sunday, 8pm

Second play third in France on Sunday night with Monaco having home advantage for the clash. Monaco, who are eleven points behind league leaders Paris Saint-Germain, are nine points clear of Lille. Monaco have only been beaten once in their last ten matches while Lille are unbeaten in their last six games.

Source: AP/Press Association Images

Bundesliga: Bayer Leverkusen v Hoffenheim

Sunday, 4.30pm

With Bayern Munich closing in on the Bundesliga title, the attention turns to the battle for European football below them. Fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen are at home on Sunday afternoon against Hoffenhem in tenth.

Leverkusen are only three points ahead of fifth-placed Mainz and three points behind Schalke, who are fourth. But Leverkusen are in the midst of a bad run of form at present, losing four of their last five matches. Indeed they have only picked up seven points from their last ten games.

On TV? BT Sport 1

Additional reporting by Omni Sport

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