It’s Friday which means a weekend of football is ahead of us – all over the world and all over the leagues and divisions that make it up, different stories will be written and goals will be scored.
But with so much happening, it’s wise to plan ahead. Therefore, we’ve picked three of the games we wouldn’t want you to miss. They could be picked for their importance, for their undoubted quality, for their intriguing narrative or for the fact that the atmosphere in the stadium is sure to be a source of entertainment itself.
Here are our three not to miss…
Excelsior vs Feyenoord, 12.30 Sunday
This Rotterdam derby comes early in the Eredivisie season and, as always, promises to be a fiery affair.
At the back end of the last term, with Feyenoord needing a result to clinch their long-awaited league title, their neighbors tore up the script. At the humble but exhilarating Stadion Woudstein, Excelsior put three goals past their stunned opponents. The game threatened to derail Feyenoord’s title victory, placing doubt in the minds of the Rotterdam giants although they eventually sealed the title later at De Kuip.
But even so, this same fixture again promises similar amounts of drama as Excelsior will try to embarrass their comparatively more glamorous opponents.
Barcelona vs Betis, 19.15 Sunday
Barca have started the season in the worst possible way – losing to their great rivals. The Super Copa defeat to Real Madrid was a poor start to the campaign for FCB who, after Neymar’s departure, have the press on their back as they have looked far weaker without him at this early stage.
The opening La Liga fixtures this weekend means a chance for redemption but, after the horrific events in their city this week, Barcelona will show more than just their football ability. The city, the football club and Catalonia will show unity this weekend after the tragic terror attacks that hit the Ramblas street on Thursday. FC Barcelona, who represents the city and the region as much as anyone, will have the eyes of the world on them even more so than usual this weekend.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea, 17.00 Sunday
There are games on Saturday, too, but his game completes our suggested viewing of great football this weekend.
London has a lot of teams and that brings with it a lot of rivalries, often specific to each area of the city. North, West etc. However, these two are fierce rivals purely through having been such big London clubs for so long. In recent history, Chelsea have often got the better of their North London counterparts but these days, Spurs are a force to be reckoned with.
A fierce game with several red cards and retrospective bans in the Spring of 2016 ended Spurs’ title bid, gifting the title to Leicester City in one of the greatest Premier League stories of all time. That intensified an already fierce rivalry and now, as two of the strongest teams in the league, sparks will quite likely fly when these two meet on Sunday afternoon.