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Dublin: 0 °C Saturday 19 April, 2014

Euro Vision: 4 continental games not to be missed this weekend

Barcelona host Villarreal, Bayern Munich take on Hamburg while Juve looking to bounce back from their Champions League exit.

Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez and Villarreal's Mateo Musacchio when they met in 2012.
Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez and Villarreal's Mateo Musacchio when they met in 2012.
Image: Alberto Saiz/AP/Press Association Images

Bundesliga: Bayern Munich v Hamburg

Saturday, 2.30pm

Bayern Munich may be reeling when they host Hamburg on Saturday after suffering just their third defeat of the year in midweek.

Manchester City came away from the Allianz Arena on Tuesday with all three points in the sides’ final UEFA Champions League Group D clash, but the 3-2 scoreline was not enough to knock the Bavarians off top spot in the pool.

The loss will have been doubly galling for Pep Guardiola, having seen his side race into a two-goal lead in just 12 minutes. Heading into the game, Bayern had won their previous 10 Champions League matches – a tournament record – and secured victories in each of their 19 fixtures at the Allianz.

They are 40 unbeaten in the Bundesliga, and had lost just twice previously in 2013 – to Arsenal in the Champions League in March and Borussia Dortmund in the DFL-Supercup in July.

And Guardiola’s side will take confidence from their recent meetings with Hamburg having won the last three – including last term’s 9-2 mauling in the corresponding fixture.

On TV? Highlights on BT Sport 2 from 11pm

La Liga: Barcelona v Villarreal

Saturday, 7pm

Barcelona host Villarreal knowing they will likely need all three points to maintain their spot at the top of La Liga.

Gerardo Martino’s men suffered their first league loss of the campaign on December 1 as they slumped to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Athletic Bilbao.

That setback allowed title rivals Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid to gain ground on the Catalan club, with the former now behind the defending champions on goal difference only.

Real are a further three points behind in third place, but Martino will be aware that his side can ill-afford another slip-up against a Villarreal team that is enjoying a strong return to the top flight following promotion last season.

On TV? Sky Sports 4

Serie A: Juventus v Sassuolo

Sunday, 5.30pm

image

The Juve players react after being knocked out of the Champions League. Credit: AP/Press Association Images

Juventus will look to put UEFA Champions League elimination behind them when they host Sassuolo 24 hours later than expected.

Antonio Conte’s side were knocked of Europe’s premier club competition by Galatasaray on Wednesday in their rearranged European fixture, much to the disappointment of the head coach.

The Serie A leaders’ original Champions League tie was cut short on Tuesday by inclement weather in Istanbul, before the final 59 minutes were completed the next day.

They had been due to face Sassuolo in domestic action on Saturday, but their extended midweek exploits mean that their return to Serie A duties has now been pushed back 24 hours.

Juve are unbeaten in seven league matches, having kept clean sheets in each, and with Roma not playing until Monday, they could open up a six-point lead at the top with a win.

On TV? BT Sport 2

Ligue 1: Lyon v Marseille

Sunday, 8pm

Jose Anigo will take charge of Marseille for the first time in Ligue 1 this season as they travel to Lyon following Elie Baup’s sacking.

Anigo, who managed the club between 2001 and 2005, was placed in control at the Stade Velodrome on Saturday after Marseille were beaten 1-0 at home by Nantes a day earlier, with the club’s sporting director taking over until the winter break.

The post-Baup era got under way on Wednesday with a 2-1 defeat against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League but Anigo will now turn his attentions to the domestic campaign, with Marseille 13 points off the pace in Ligue 1.

They have lost their last two league outings, suffering defeats to Lille and Nantes, while Sunday’s opponents Lyon have lost just two of their last 11 matches in all competitions – reversals in the league against the top two sides, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco.

On TV? BT Sport 2

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