The Premier League and Ligue 1 will not be in action this weekend, the Bundesliga is still on rest, Serie A and La Liga take the stage of the five big leagues to play this weekend. This does not prevent us from having some exciting fixtures, far from it.
The European leagues have resumed their daily routine after the World Cup break. This weekend, they offer some highly anticipated clashes. First of them: Atletico Madrid which receives Fc Barcelona for the 16th day of La Liga. If the Colchoneros (4th, 27 points), seem to be far from the Blaugrana (1st, 38 points), a victory would allow Diego Simeone's men to get back in the title race. Moreover, one man will be expected from the Rojiblancos. It is Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchman is coming out of a remarkable World Cup with Les Bleus and will want to confirm his improvement against his former club, Barça, where he wandered like a ghost or almost for two seasons.
Barcelona, on the other hand, has a major problem: playing without Robert Lewandowski. The Pole is suspended for three matches. The first of them almost turned into a disaster in the King's Cup. The Catalans had to go to extra time to win against Intercity (4-3), a member of the Spanish third division.
Milan-Roma, clash for the title
Also in Serie A, the 17th day of the championship offers a nice meeting. AC Milan (2nd, 36 pts) are 5 points behind the leader Napoli and will host AS Roma (6th, 30 pts). A crucial face-off in the fight for qualification to the Champions League, but especially for the Scudetto.
Both teams have ensured for the recovery after the World Cup. Milan beat the Salernitana (2-1) while the Romans dismissed Bologna 1-0.
After a chaotic start to the season, the Yellow Submarine has left the troubled waters. Villarreal is 7th in La Liga with 24 points, only four points behind fourth place Atletico. Real Madrid is tied with the leader, Barcelona (38 points). In addition, the match will pit the winner of the last Champions League against the semi-finalist.
Villarreal arrives against the Merengue with its transformation initiated by Quiqué Sétien. The Spanish coach has taken over from Unaï Emery, who left in the middle of the season for Aston Villa. Gone is the 4-4-2 that worked wonders last season, replaced by the 4-3-3 that has certainly had trouble getting off the ground (three defeats and a draw in its first four league games) but that is taking its marks with a possession soccer far from the transitional one of Unaï Emery. Real Madrid has all its forces in tact, including Karim Benzema. The Ballon d'Or 2022, absent for the World Cup because of an injury, scored a double against Valladolid (2-0) for the resumption.