May 11, 2021

Sports Legend

Football: crucial weekend in European leagues with Inter, Lille, Barcelona and Dortmund in crunch matches



Inter celebrates against Hellas Verona
Image credit: Reuters

Dubai: Inter Milan can clinch their first Serie A title in more than a decade, Lille are looking to keep control of the Ligue 1 title race and Borussia Dortmund aim for the German Cup final . Here’s a look at the top games across Europe this weekend.

Inter on the eve of the Italian title

Crotone v Inter Milan, Saturday 8 p.m.

Inter Milan could clinch their first Serie A title since Jose Mourinho led the club to the treble in 2010 if he wins and Atalanta loses points to Sassuolo on Sunday.

The Nerazzurri are on the cusp of a 19th Scudetto, which would put them ahead of their city rivals AC Milan, but still a distance behind Juventus’ record 36.

Antonio Conte’s side have drawn two of their last three games but are unbeaten in 17 and should see a Crotone side almost doomed to relegation at the foot of the table.

Nice roadblock the next threat for Lille

Lille v Nice, Saturday 11pm

After battling two goals to beat Lyon, Lille will have to rewrite the recent guide to form against Nice, a club that Ligue 1 leaders have only beaten once in the last 16 attempts.

Burak Yilmaz is the man of the moment for Christophe Galtier’s side, scoring 12 goals in 24 games in his first season in one of Europe’s top five leagues at the age of 35.

Lille performed better as a hunter than a hunter, but could end up in second place at kick-off, should Paris Saint-Germain beat Lens earlier today.

Barcelona seek answer after Granada setback

Valencia v Barcelona, ​​Sunday 11 p.m.

Barcelona’s shock home loss to Granada means Ronald Koeman’s side are no longer in their hands as Spain’s top four are separated by three points with five games to go.

Two out of four defeats have blocked Barca’s title charge and returned the initiative to Atletico Madrid, visitors to Camp Nou next weekend. Real Madrid, like Barça, are two points behind, Sevilla another point further.

Valencia have won just eight games this season and are just six points clear of the relegation spots, but held Barcelona to a 2-2 draw in December.

Dortmund full of respect for underdogs Kiel

Borussia Dortmund – Holstein Kiel, Saturday 10:30 p.m.

The Bundesliga takes a step back as the German Cup resumes with second-tier Holstein Kiel, winners of defending champions Bayern Munich, aiming to continue their surprise run against Borussia Dortmund in the semi-final.

As Erling Braut Haaland and Dortmund try to win the cup for the fifth time, and for the first time since 2017, Kiel, seeking promotion, will only make a second appearance in the final four.

Julian Nagelsmann begins his farewell to RB Leipzig when the 2019 finalist travels to Werder Bremen in the first semi-final on Friday. The 33-year-old will leave to take over at Bayern this summer.

Ajax set to complete Dutch double

Ajax v FC Emmen, Sunday 4.30 p.m.

The start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year denied Ajax the chance to win another Eredivisie title, but the Amsterdam giants rocked that disappointment with a top-level 19-game unbeaten streak .

Erik ten Hag’s men are 12 points ahead of PSV Eindhoven before the last four rounds of the campaign. Their much higher goal difference does indeed guarantee that they can’t be caught, but a point against Emmen will confirm them as champions.

Earlier this month Ajax hoisted the Dutch Cup for the 20th time as David Neres scored a stoppage winner in a 2-1 win over Vitesse Arnhem.