Football Forensic: Previewing the top five games to watch across Europe this weekend

Ben Yedder, En-Nesyri, Mourinho

And just like that, another week in football has passed us by. The last seven days have combined some thrilling domestic derbies, title clashes and relegation dogfights with electrifying Champions League knockout encounters - but what does this weekend have in store for European football's avid viewers?

GIVEMESPORT has outlined the five games to watch across the continent this weekend and used data provided by our good friends at FotMob to look at some of the most interesting statistics behind them.

Sheffield Wednesday vs Norwich

Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore

Competition: Championship
Kickoff: Sunday, 12.15pm GMT

Statistically speaking, this one should be over before it even starts. Norwich City are ten points clear at the top of the table, have won their last six Championship games in a row, boast the most goals of any team in the league and have only lost once so far in 2021.

Sheffield Wednesday, on the other hand, are second-bottom, are the Championship's second-lowest scorers and find themselves enduring a six-game losing streak, in that time only managing four goals.

A foregone conclusion then? Perhaps. But anybody who knows anything about English football will be able to tell you that this is exactly the kind of scenario where all logic and reasoning could flip on its head in favour of the underdog.

The Owls only recently hired Darren Moore who somehow brought winning ways back to West Brom during their previous Premier League relegation, and maybe we'll see the new appointment finally take effect in the most unlikely of manners.

RB Leipzig vs Eintracht Frankfurt

RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann

Competition: Bundesliga
Kickoff: Sunday, 2.30pm GMT

Will this be the season someone finally beats Bayern Munich to the Bundesliga title? RB Leipzig have a pretty good chance, currently laying just two points behind German football's most historically and currently dominant side.

Obviously there's a pretty big gap in terms of quality - Bayern have the best squad in Europe - but Leipzig's elimination from the Champions League this week does give them something of an advantage, now being involved in one less competition than their title rivals.

Crucial, however, will be bouncing back this weekend against Eintracht Frankfurt, who have performed above expectations this season to find themselves in fourth place. That owes in large part to their attacking verve, with Bayern and Dortmund the only clubs to outscore them and star striker Andre Silva netting an impressive 19 times.

Leipzig, however, do boast the best goals conceded record in the league with only 20 let in so far, so this match naturally has an interesting element of yin and yang about it.

That being said, Leipzig boast seven wins in their last eight Bundesliga games - Frankfurt, in contrast, enter this one following a defeat to Werder Bremen and a draw with Stuttgart.

Monaco vs Lille

Kevin Volland

Competition: Ligue 1

Kickoff: Sunday, 4.05pm GMT

It looks set to be a pretty fascinating end to the season in Ligue 1 with just three points separating the top three clubs after an equal number of games played, and this weekend could provide a crucial chapter in the title race saga.

Whereas Lyon face midtable Reims and PSG host relegation-threated Nantes, table-toppers Lille have a tough trip to Monaco, who have lost one home game all season and rank second throughout the division for home goals scored.

That being said, no side has picked up more points on the road than Lille in 2020/21, in no small part due to a run of seven straight away victories, generating an aggregate scoreline of 15-3.
But in Kevin Volland and Wissam Ben Yedder, Monaco boast two of the division's top four goalscorers, so Lille's defence will need to be at the top of their game.

Arsenal vs Tottenham

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho

Competition: Premier League
Kickoff: Sunday, 4.30pm GMT

The Manchester derby may dominate the title race, the Northwest derby may be the most historically grand and the Merseyside derby may be the most feisty, but if it's pure entertainment you want then the North London derby comes out on top every single time.

You'd have to go all the way back to 2009 for the last scoreless draw between these teams, who tellingly have a long and storied history of dogmatic faith in fancy football, often to the point of their own detriment.

Things are a little different nowadays with Jose Mourinho in the Tottenham dugout - he's never going to allow an end-to-end game unfold and would much rather bore every supporter to death for ninety minutes before snatching a stoppage-time winner.

But the former Chelsea manager's presence adds its own unique element having cast a role for himself as Arsene Wenger's arch-nemesis after arriving in England in 2004, declaring himself as "the Special One" and spending millions upon millions to make The Invincibles a quickly forgotten memory.

Arsenal haven't been the same since and on Sunday they'll have to come up against what's quickly emerging as the most feared front three in the Premier League - in their last two Premier League starts together, Harry Kane, Heung-min Son and Gareth Bale have scored a whopping seven goals.

Sevilla vs Real Betis

Sevilla striker Youssef En-Nesyri

Competition: LaLiga
Kickoff: Sunday, 8pm GMT

With Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona all seemingly in line for routine wins this weekend, attentions in LaLiga will turn away from the title race and onto the battle for fourth spot currently held by Sevilla.

They boast a three-point safety net and a game in hand but Real Betis are one of the sides still within a chance of beating them to the final Champions League qualification place, currently laying six points behind.

The big difference between both sides this season has come at the back: while they've both scored an almost equal number of goals, Betis have conceded twice as many as Sunday's hosts.

Nonetheless, Betis tend to be better on the road, ranking fifth in the division's away table, and they're enjoying a run of five wins in six LaLiga outings. Sevilla, meanwhile, have lost back-to-back games against Barca and Elche.

But with Sevilla's Champions League campaign now out of the way after elimination at the hands of Dortmund, they're in a position to fully focus on domestic matters once again. Striker Youssef En-Neysri, who almost inspired a late comeback against the Black-Yellows, will be key to a strong end to the season - he's the joint-fourth top scorer in La Liga.

Download FotMob and keep abreast of all the weekend's action.

News Now - Sport News