• Friday, 20 April 2012

    Marking your card #6

    What we'll be looking out for this weekend. We feel quite sure there's a big game going off somewhere on Saturday evening. Errmmm.... errrr.... Oh, it'll come to us. Onward...

    Lots of things can be resolved in Germany this weekend. A win for Dortmund over Gladbach in the big Borussia derby will seal the championship for the second year running for the Schwarzgelb no matter what FC Bayern do at Bremen. Gladbach need a win to secure at least fourth place and the Champions League qualifying berth and Schalke, away to Augsburg, need a win to be safe in that top four. Anything other than a win for Lautern will condemn them to relegation and even that might not be enough if Koln get anything out of their game against Schalke. In the division below, Greuther Fürth just need a point for promotion and play away at FSV Frankfurt tonight. Eintracht Frankfurt need a win to seal an immediate return to the top flight and are also away, to Alemania Aachen on Monday. Paderborn, Fortuna Dusseldorf and St Pauli are all still in the mix for third and the promotion play-off against the 16th placed team in the Bundesliga which looks like being either Hertha BSC or Koln.

    Ajax opened up a six-point gap at the top of the Eredivisie last week, not a decisive lead, but one big enough to make one think they're almost home. Four games to go here and everyone else is looking for them to slip up at home to Groningen this weekend. Twente are away to Excelsior, Feyenoord - all of a sudden in third place - got to Den Haag, AZ have VVV at home, PSV - outside the European places now - play NEC at home and Heerenveen host Vitesse. With only one down automatically, one of Excelsior and De Graafschap - at home to Heracles - look doomed. There's a point between them.

    Still six games remaining in Ligue 1 which means nobody from 12th down can consider themselves safe. Auxerre are beginning to be cut adrift though and look like one of the three to go down. The top two look clear, Montpellier leading from PSG, and they are both at home this week to Valenciennes and Sochaux respectively. A midweek loss for Lyon has all but ended their hopes of Champions League football and locked with Toulouse for fourth. Lille run in a lonely third.

    If Genoa beat Siena on Sunday, Cesena will be relegated from Serie A even if Cesena manage to beat Palermo. Novara - away to Napoli this week - also need to start picking points up before it's too late. A point continues to seperate Juventus and Milan at the top. Milan are at home to Bologna this weekk while Juve have the game of the round, at home to Roma who still have chances to make the Champions League places.

    Another big game in Turkey this week with Fenerbahce going to Galatasaray. A win for the latter and they'll have an almost decisive lead.

    Spain now and if Villarreal beat Real Sociedad and Granada beat Getafe, Racing will be relegated. Even if not, it's a long road back for Racing who host Athletic on Sunday. Sporting Gíjon and Zaragoza also remain deep in the mire and are at home to Rayo and away to Mallorca respectively.

    And that's it for this week.

    Oh no, wait. There's the small matter of Barcelona v Real Madrid on Saturday. The Catalans are four points behind. Both come off Champions League defeats. A draw will probably do for El Real. Nothing but a win will suffice for Barcelona. It will probably be a pissy, whiny bitch-fest, but some football could break out. Strap in.

    Us? Well we're off to Huddersfield v Scunthorpe, so you don't have to. Enjoy the game wherever you end up.

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