April 11, 2021
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It's Football Season: Five Matches You Shouldn't Miss In March

It's Football Season: Five Matches You Shouldn't Miss In March
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After a frenetic February in the world of European football with the Champions League well and truly kicking in, the action is heating up in the top leagues with fixtures coming thick and fast. Here are a few matches we think you should look out for:

1. Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal: 5th March, 6:15 p.m.

Close to the turn of the New Year, one team from north London was hovering close to the top of the Premier League and the other was slowly creeping up the division table. Ah, how the tables have turned yet again for Arsene Wenger. The Arsenal manager would have been a tad bit shocked at how an under-fire Van Gaal's United ended up with a side closer to their Under-21's and a victory in their last weekend encounter. And although the Gooners had beaten the fairytale-tripping Leicester last month, the foxes have a five point lead at the top now. Between them are Tottenham, who under Mauricio Pochettino just keep climbing. From Wenger's POV, this could be another title race lost if Alexis Sanchez and Co. don't motor out of third gear soon. Its squeaky-bum time.

2. Chelsea vs Paris Saint Germain: 10th March, 1:15 a.m.

You could question us for not featuring the sexy-cum-slick Barcelona-Arsenal encounter but the home side are two away goals up and do you think Neymar-Suarez-Messi will not score? So, next question. The thing about the posh side from London is that they have no business in the Premier League anymore and can concentrate on this encounter. Remember that the last time this happened was in 2012 when they finished outside the top-four yet went on to win the trophy. Yes, Russian money gives you options enough to pick and choose tournaments. Also, with an away goal in the bag, the blues just need to keep it tight at the back and nick one. It may also help that The Zlatan does not have the best record against English clubs in the country and that Jose Mourinho will probably be watching the game from a TV set.

3. Bayern Munich vs Juventus: 17th March, 1:15 a.m.

It has been the glamour tie of the round, the two heavyweights going toe-to-toe in the first leg ended with a two-all draw. FC Hollywood will be kicking themselves though after surrendering a two goal lead courtesy Muller and Robben to have the Old Lady fire rejoinders from Paulo Dybala and Stefano Sturaro, the latter coming on as a second half substitute. And although the Bavarian side dominated proceedings for the good part of an hour, they did find the going tough after Dybala's goal. The Bianconeri now have two away goals and can just sit back and soak up and go ahead on the away goals rule, but let us not forget that this is Pep Guardiola's last tilt at Europe's premier club competition with the Munich-based giants before he arrives to forever rainy Manchester to set up camp. Expect ze Germans to have a bit to say here.

4. Barcelona vs Villareal: 20th March, 8:30 p.m.

It is because of things happening elsewhere and a match happening later that this fixture holds relevance to the magical passing carousel that is already topping La Liga. Two weeks after this fixture, Barca play Real in a match that would have been pipped as the title decider when the fixtures had just come out. It is still that bit important for the side from Catalonia but after losing to city rivals Athletico over the past weekend, Madrid's title push is all but over with their manager Zinedine Zidane almost admitting as much and the former have also pipped them to second place and are breathing down the Blaugrana's neck. The Madrid side also have a comparatively easier set of fixtures and Barca should be wary of the fourth-placed yellow submarine that is Villareal at this juncture.

5. Manchester City vs Manchester United: 20th March, 9:30 p.m.

It is said that form goes out of the window on derby day and the city with its emotion kicks in. Three years ago if anyone had said that the Manchester clubs would be fighting it out for the last Champions League spot in English football (i.e. fourth place) you'd have asked them politely to go see a doctor. With Leicester, Arsenal and Spurs locked in a three-way at the top of the table, the red and blue halves of Manchester find themselves in a rather peculiar situation. And while City have won the Carling Cup and registered a trophy, the bearings have seemingly come off on their league ride already. And United, with all the hoo-haa surrounding Van Gaal and the injuries plaguing their squad have managed to string a couple of victories courtesy a local 18-year-old fairytale-teller by the name of Marcus Rashford. For the partisan observer, this maybe a sad descent for two clubs but for the neutrals, it promises to be a slugfest of major proportions.

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