Weekend, football, and nailbiting clashes – the ultimate stressbuster in existence. After a gloomy, and practically never-ending week; we are finally here, hours away from kicking off this weekend’s scheduled, unadulterated action.
We don’t have any Premier League matches this week, but have a number of intriguing FA Cup fifth round clashes to look forward to.
With a host of football matches to choose from, picking just the right one can often be a hectic task. So, we have taken it upon ourselves to help fellow fanatics out.
Here are five football matches that you can’t afford to miss this weekend:
Newport vs Manchester City (Saturday, 11:00 pm)
On paper, this fixture seems like a mismatch of the highest order, but FA Cup’s knack for churning out unpredictable results makes this an interesting contest. Newport County play in League Two, the fourth tier of English football, and shouldn’t pose much threat to City’s flamboyance, but their home stadium could make things interesting for neutrals.
— Lantan Sport (@Lantansport) February 15, 2019
The pitch at Newport isn’t the greatest out there and won’t aid Manchester City’s effortless passing football. Pep Guardiola‘s men have enough quality to beat any team in the world, but they probably won’t find it a walk in the park, this weekend.
Prediction: Newport 0-2 Manchester City
Real Madrid vs Girona (Sunday, 4:30 pm)
Santiago Solari’s Real Madrid had to dig deep to get the 2-1 win at Ajax in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at Ajax. The match against Girona won’t probably be that competitive, but Real Madrid can’t afford to slack against a side as potent as Girona.
Real Madrid vs. Girona
Sunday, February 17 (12:00 CET)
¡¡HALA MADRID!! pic.twitter.com/HjZwt37fuX
— RMadridHome (@RMadridHome_) February 13, 2019
After a lackluster start to the league campaign, Los Blancos seem to have steadied their ship. They have produced some impressive results over the last couple of weeks — including a 3-1 win at Atletico Madrid — and will look to get another comprehensive win under their belt against the 17th-placed side in the division.
Prediction: Real Madrid 3-1 Girona
FC Nurnberg vs Borussia Dortmund (Tuesday, 1:00 am)
This match isn’t technically this weekend but is still a part of Gameweek 21 in the Bundesliga.
Statistically, the worst team in the division, FC Nurnberg, will look to get an unlikely win when they host Lucien Favre’s leaders on Monday night. The hosts haven’t been able to hold their ground in the division so far but would love to make a statement against the most impressive team in Germany, this season.
#Bundesliga 22. Spieltag 🇩🇪 ⚽ 18.02.2019 20:30 Uhr ++ 1.FC Nürnberg vs. Borussia Dortmund #FCNBVB Sieg #FCN 28,53% UE 20,10% Sieg #BVB 51,38% Elfertipp: 1 : 3 ▶️ Wetten & Quoten | bwin ▶️ https://t.co/JJLSB443OJ pic.twitter.com/ML6QJOupMK
— Elfer Tipp (@elfertipp) February 11, 2019
Borussia, on the other hand, are going through a rough patch. They were handed an emphatic 3-0 drubbing at Tottenham on Wednesday night and will need a proper response. They still have a five-point advantage over second-placed Bayern, which they will be desperate to maintain right at the end of the campaign.
Prediction: Nurnberg 1-3 Dortmund
FC Barcelona vs Real Valladolid (Sunday, 1:15 am)
La Liga leaders, Barcelona, will look to return to winning ways when they welcome Real Valladolid to Camp Nou on Saturday night.
The Catalans haven’t won any of their last three matches across all competitions, delivering sub-par performances in all three of them. Their talisman, Lionel Messi, has struggled in recent games, while players like Philippe Coutinho and Arturo Vidal have failed to justify their potential.
🏆 La Liga – Match day 24
⚽ FC Barcelona vs Real Valladolid
⏰ 20:45 CET
🏟 Camp Nou pic.twitter.com/BJGTdFE1Z2
— Barca Fans Nigeria (@BarcaNaija) February 12, 2019
Beating the league 15th-best side shouldn’t be a problem, but the Blaugrana will be under pressure to produce something worth remembering.
Prediction: Barcelona 2-1 Valladolid
Chelsea vs Manchester United (Tuesday, 1:00 am)
Manchester United will look to will need to at their very best if they are to get the better of Chelsea in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Monday night.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United were handed a harsh reality check by Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. Now, the Norwegian, who endured the first defeat of his Manchester United managerial career on Tuesday night, will seek a fitting response from his spirited men against a familiar foe.
— Malaysia-Soljabiru (@oisoljabiru) February 15, 2019
Chelsea, too, aren’t in the best of forms. They were beaten 6-0 at Manchester City, last Sunday, and could only manage a narrow 2-1 win at Malmo in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie. It’s difficult to pick a favourite here, but United’s 2-0 defeat against PSG could give Chelsea an edge. It is a football match you just cannot miss.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester United