Preview: A good rehearsal for both teams, staged in Barcelona
Tunisia emphatically failed to reach Brazil 2014 last November. The goalless result of the first leg against Cameroon in the playoffs left them hopeful. However, the Indomitable Lions played with a lot of hunger back home and dismantled their opponents 4-1.
For the Tunisians, the 2014 FIFA World Cup will have to be followed on TV but Wednesday will offer them the opportunity to come up against a qualified team, Colombia.
The South Americans had a rather smooth World Cup qualification campaign. To prepare for their clash against African giants Cote d’Ivoire in Group C, Los Cafeteros will want to beat Tunisia without the help of injured striker Radamel Falcao.
Preview: Milan look to pull off a big upset at the San Siro
AC Milan and Juventus are two of the most historic clubs in Italy. Apart from all of that history, both sides are currently heading in two very different directions.
Juventus are the reigning Serie A champions, and they look destined to win the title again. Antonio Conte’s side has an eight-point lead over AS Roma, but with 13 matches remaining, the visitors will not want to drop points at the San Siro.
Ricardo Montolivo believes that his side has what it takes to embarrass the league leaders, as they did in November of 2012.
Preview: Barcelona has a chance to makeup points
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will square off earlier in the day, which gives Barcelona a chance to gain some points on one, or both of their rivals. The thought of Almeria coming into the Nou Camp and grabbing points from the Catalans is hard to believe, but as we saw in Barcelona's last match, anything can happen.
Last weekends 3-1 defeat at the hands of Real Sociedad caught many by surprise. But with Barcelona still set to take on Real Madrid later this month, Tata Martino believes that his side has the title race in their own hands.
Preview: Nobody is invincible
Everyone at Real Madrid is fired up for Sunday’s exciting match up between Atleti and Los Blancos at the Vicente Calderon. This includes quiet manager Carlo Ancelotti who told the press:
“The Copa final was a final; the game in La Liga went well for us, and not so well for them. They arrived better at the semifinals and we must congratulate them. This Liga game will be different; both teams have a lot on the line.
“There are many games left, but it is true they could go six points ahead. We have always said it: we are going to go from game to game. We will go into the game as if it was a final, as we always do. They are very good in defence and in attack they have great individuals. But nobody is invincible.”
Preview: Roma poised to continue fine run against Internazionale
Inter Milan have recorded just a single win against the capital club in the last nine meeting between the two clubs with the last three matches ending in a victory for La Maggica. Owing to their current form the hosts will definitely be considered the favourite for the tie.
Rudi Garcia’s men second in Serie A, trail leaders Juventus by nine points and talismanic midfielder Daniele De Rossi among others is optimistic that the Old Lady will drop points in their coming fixtures.
Preview: Barcelona have not won at the Estadio Anoeta since 2007
Tata Martino's squad responded well to critics and doubters on Tuesday, when they defeat Manchester City at the Etihad. They will now have to turn their attention to La Liga, where they will be trying to break a streak of winless matches.
Saturday's meeting between these two clubs will be the fourth time they have gone head-to-head this season. This La Liga match will also be the Catalan's second visit to Basque Country in 10 days.
Their last meeting on February 12th ended in a one goal draw, but the Blaugrana already had a 2-0 aggregate lead. Messi gave the visitors the lead in the first half, but a goal from Griezmann in the 87th minute gave Sociedad something to smile about.
Preview: Tricky warm-up for Real before Schalke meeting in Europe
“Today Realmadrid.com embarks on a passionate adventure and you are invited to take part,” the club stated on its newly-designed website on Thursday. On the pitch, meanwhile, the Spanish giants have been doing remarkably well in 2014 but they are yet to win their first major trophy since lifting the 2012 Spanish Supercup at Barcelona’s expense.
It has been a quiet week for Real Madrid in terms of fixtures while La Liga rivals Barcelona and Atletico engaged in Champions League Last 16 action away from home. Could Los Blancos benefit from their week-long rest and guarantee themselves a massive result this Saturday?
Preview: Day 2 without red-carded Ronaldo
Real Madrid’s 4-2 win over Villarreal last weekend assured Madridistas. The squad will now play their second consecutive league game without Ronaldo who is suspended. Once again, the spotlight has fallen on Jese Rodriguez and Gareth Bale.
The former has already been tipped as a future Ballon d’Or winner. He has earned the trust of Carlo Ancelotti, making 14 league appearances already with four goals and four assists.
“[Ancelotti] has helped me position myself better from a tactical perspective. He is a winner who always wants the team to improve, and that is very important,” Jese told Champions Magazine.
Preview: Neymar returns after his injury against Getafe
All the attention around Barcelona has been focused on their upcoming Champions League match. While a meeting with Manchester City promises to be an entertaining affair, the Catalans will first need to get by a Rayo Vallecano side that are in the relegation zone.
Tata Martino’s side jumped back into the top spot of the league standings, taking advantage of a slip-up from Atletico Madrid.
Saturday’s match will mark the return of Brazilian star Neymar, who has been out with an ankle injury since January 16th. But despite his return, he is likely to only see some minutes in the second half.
Preview: An uphill task for Spanish Cup champions Atletico
Almost there. Carlo Ancelotti and Zinedine Zidane are about to experience their first ever Copa del Rey final as managers at Real Madrid. However, as much as upsets happen in football, the Spanish giants remain cautious ahead of Tuesday night’s encounter on the turf of their city rivals.
Atletico Madrid surprisingly conceded three goals without reply at the Santiago Bernabeu last week. This 3-0 first leg defeat requires Diego Simeone to be very smart this time round. What is worse for the Copa del Rey defending champions is that they will be without Diego Costa. The Brazilian-born striker picked up a booking and must now serve suspension.
Preview: Lazio confident of putting an end to Roma’s win streak
Rudi Garcia’s men have enjoyed an incredible start to the season and currently occupy the second position in the Serie A trailing leaders Juventus by nine points with a game in hand.
The Lupi are on an incredible run having won all of their last five matches and will be looking to record their sixth consecutive win as they hope to keep their Scudetto hopes alive.
Preview: The first of three games without Ronaldo
Carlo Ancelotti has enough talent at his disposal and may not struggle in the absence of red-carded Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese’s role is expected to be taken by flamboyant starlet Jese and returning winger Gareth Bale.
Meanwhile, Di Maria and Modric are set to keep their spots in the starting XI after impressing the Santiago Bernabeu crowd during Real Madrid’s remarkable 3-0 win against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey in midweek.
Preview: Revenge mission – Ronaldo's Real to fail or succeed?
Cristiano Ronaldo’s name is making a lot of rounds in the media today – not only because he is celebrating his 29th birthday, but because the verdict following his dissmissal against Athletic Bilbao on Matchday 22 of La Liga has fallen. CR7 has been slapped with a three-match ban but it only applies in the league.
Coincidentally, Ronaldo’s penultimate sending off happened at the Santiago Bernabeu against Atletico Madrid; that was in the Copa del Rey final, last season. This Wednesday, the visitors and their traveling fans might do all they can to provoke Ronaldo in their favour. While the Ballon d’Or winner’s temper is set to be tested once more, his desire to make up for his moment of madness at San Mames could work out in Real Madrid’s favour.
Preview: Huge test for perfect Real Madrid
Perfection. This is what Real Madrid exhibited in January. Eight games, eight wins, eight clean sheets, and 17 goals scored. Carlo Ancelotti stuck with his policy of playing Diego Lopez in La Liga and Iker Casillas in the Copa del Rey and both goalkeepers kept their lines safe.
In attack, Jese and Karim Benzema made their presence count whenever luck didn’t favour club topscorer Cristiano Ronaldo. Angel Di Maria spent most of his minutes playing as a number 10 while Modric continued to produce energetic performances in midfield. To sum it up, Ancelotti and Zidane successfully led the Spanish giants to a successful start in 2014 after saying goodbye to a cupless and stressful period in 2013.
Preview: Barcelona with a chance to put pressure on their rivals
Saturday's afternoon meeting between Barcelona and Valencia will give the Catalans a chance to pull three points ahead of Atletico Madrid. The bad piece of news for Los Che is that they have lost their last six visits to Camp Nou.
With only two goals in six matches when visiting the Catalans, Juan Antonio Pizzi's men are going to have to put together a very good performance.
Barcelona come into the match on great form, having won three straight, after their one goal draw away to Levante. Tata Martino's men followed that draw up with a 4-1 victory over that same Levante in the Copa del Rey, and finished them off mid-week at Camp Nou with a 5-1 drubbing.
Preview: With a three goal lead, Barcelona have good chances to progress
The first match at the Ciutat de Valencia was kind to the Blaugrana, as they came away with a 1-4 victory. Levante now has to travel to the Camp Nou, where they will have to overcome that first leg defeat. Joaquin Caparros' squad have a difficult task ahead of them, especially playing away form home.
After their president stepped down, many expected Barcelona to struggle, but that has not been the case. The Catalans have won twice in a row, and a victory on Wednesday night could make it three wins in a matter of seven days.
Preview: A perfect end to January for Ronaldo and Real?
In the 2013/14 Copa del Rey, only one team is yet to concede a goal. This team is Real Madrid. If the Spanish giants maintain this record on Tuesday, they will make it into the semi-finals.
Ten times this season, Cristiano Ronaldo has netted Real Madrid’s opening goal in a game. The La Liga topscorer possesses amazing goalscoring stats but luck hasn’t favoured him much in the Copa del Rey where he remains with a single strike against Osasuna, a shot crashing against the post and a failed overhead kick attempt at the Cornella-El Prat.
Preview: A chance for Ancelotti’s men to reach La Liga's summit
Granada have not scored away from home in 2014 and Saturday’s clash will only be their second as visitors. After going down 3-0 at Almeria, they seem to have little hopes of record a decent result at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Granada are a mid-table team with 24 points. While they are eight points safe from the relegation zone, they could fancy their chances of playing in Europe come next season. At the very least, Lucas Alcaraz will want his players to showcase character against Real Madrid.
Preview: Barcelona will be out to avenge their 1-1 draw from the weekend
The Blaugrana were not all that impressive in their latest match against Levante, but they will be looking to change that. Fortunately for Tata Martino's squad, Atletico Madrid was able to drop points at home, which allows Barcelona to remain top of La Liga.
On Wednesday, both sides will go head to head once again, in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final.
Being able to take on an opponent that you just drew will give both sides a chance to prove their true value. For Barcelona, they will want to show their doubters that mishaps will occur, while Levante will be out to prove that the draw at the weekend was not coincidental.
Preview: Real Madrid favourites to clinch first-leg advantage
Los Blancos will be confident of triumphing following their 1-0 win at the Cornella El-Prat on Matchday 19 of La Liga. Pepe’s solid header in the second half of the game denied the Catalonia-based club’s impressive defensive setup.
One player who will want to redeem himself is Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese attacker had a night to forget in his last game against Espanyol.
Fresh from being made a ‘Grand Officer of the Order of Prince Henry’ in Lisbon by Portugal’s government on Monday, the Ballon d’Or titleholder will be keen to increase his goal tally in the Copa del Rey. As of now, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is the topscorer with 4 goals. Ronaldo only has one.