Dubai: Inter Milan can clinch a first Serie A crown in over a decade, Lille look to stay in control of the Ligue 1 title race and Borussia Dortmund have their sights set on the German Cup final. Here is a look at the key games across Europe this weekend.
Inter on cusp of Italian title
Crotone v Inter Milan, Saturday 8pm
Inter Milan could secure a first Serie A crown since Jose Mourinho led the club to the treble in 2010 if they win and Atalanta drop points at Sassuolo on Sunday.
The Nerazzurri are on the cusp of a 19th Scudetto, which would move them one ahead of city rivals AC Milan but still a distance behind Juventus’ record of 36.
Antonio Conte’s side have drawn two of their past three games but are unbeaten in 17 and will be expected to see off a Crotone outfit all but condemned to relegation at the foot of the table.
Nice roadblock the next threat to Lille
Lille v Nice, Saturday 11pm
Having battled back from two goals to beat Lyon, Lille will need to rewrite the recent form guide against Nice, a club the Ligue 1 leaders have beaten just once in the past 16 attempts.
Burak Yilmaz is the man of the moment for Christophe Galtier’s side, netting 12 goals in 24 games during his first season in one of Europe’s top five leagues, at the age of 35.
Lille have performed better as the hunter rather than hunted but could find themselves in second place come kick-off, if Paris Saint-Germain beat Lens earlier in the day.
Barcelona seek response after Granada setback
Valencia v Barcelona, Sunday 11pm
Barcelona’s shock home loss to Granada means Ronald Koeman’s team no longer have their destiny in their own hands, with the top four in Spain separated by three points with five games to play.
Two defeats in four have stalled Barca’s title charge and handed back the initiative to Atletico Madrid, the visitors to Camp Nou next weekend. Real Madrid, like Barca, are two points adrift with Sevilla another point further behind.
Valencia have won just eight matches this term and are just six points clear of the relegation places but did hold Barcelona to a 2-2 draw in December.
Dortmund full of respect for underdogs Kiel
Borussia Dortmund v Holstein Kiel, Saturday 10.30pm
The Bundesliga takes a step back as the German Cup resumes with second-tier Holstein Kiel, the conquerors of defending champions Bayern Munich, aiming to continue their surprise run against Borussia Dortmund in the semi-finals.
While Erling Braut Haaland and Dortmund are bidding to win the cup for the fifth time, and first since 2017, promotion-chasing Kiel will be making just a second appearance in the final four.
Julian Nagelsmann begins his RB Leipzig farewell when the 2019 runners-up visit Werder Bremen in Friday’s first semi-final. The 33-year-old will leave to take over at Bayern in the summer.
Ajax set to complete Dutch double
Ajax v FC Emmen, Sunday 4.30pm
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year denied Ajax the chance at another Eredivisie title, but the Amsterdam giants have shaken off that disappointment thanks to a top-flight run of 19 games without defeat.
Erik ten Hag’s men sit 12 points clear of PSV Eindhoven heading into the final four rounds of the campaign. Their far superior goal difference effectively guarantees they cannot 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-time winner in a 2-1 victory over Vitesse Arnhem.