The cities of Liverpool, Manchester and Madrid will be a buzz of excitement this weekend.
That’s because it’s derby time.
Everton host Liverpool at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon, before Manchester City look to secure the Premier League title later in the evening against old rivals United.
Then on Sunday, Real Madrid will look to move to within one point of city foes Atletico.
Here are the key talking points ahead of the action…
Everton v Liverpool – Saturday 12:30pm
The red half of Merseyside will be absolutely bouncing after their sensational Champions League win over Man City on Wednesday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were at their best at both ends of the pitch, and that should give Everton cause for concern.
Sam Allardyce’s Toffees have nothing but pride to play for, although they could be given a boost with Mohamed Salah unlikely to feature.
Klopp needs to think about next week’s second-leg against the Citizens too, but the German will also be out to maintain pressure on Man United and Tottenham Hotspur in the race for top four.
Liverpool are unbeaten in the last 16 Merseyside derbies, however, and they’re odds-on at 10/11 to win the 231st meeting with their Stanley Park neighbours.
Manchester City v Manchester United – Saturday 5:30pm
Later on, blue hosts red in Manchester as Pep Guardiola’s men home in on the Premier League title.
The premise here is simple. Victory for City would see them secure the title at home to their fiercest rivals with six games to spare. There’s no more symbolic and emphatic way to win the league.
The Citizens will be eager to make amends after being unusually subdued in their defeat to Liverpool on Wednesday.
As for United, seeing City win the title by beating them wouldn’t go down well at all. Jose Mourinho will be out to ensure that doesn’t happen. But defeat would also allow Liverpool and Tottenham the chance to close in on second place.
Are City and Pep heading for a fairytale finish? Or will Jose spoil the party? This one will be tense and quite possibly spectacular.
Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid – Sunday 3:15pm
After a dismal first half of the season, Real Madrid are sizzling now and could yet overhaul Atletico in the table.
Zinedine Zidane’s men were at their best to defeat Juventus 3-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday, and crucially they’ll have an extra 48 hours rest on Diego Simeone’s side.
And victory on Sunday would see Real move to within just a point of the Rojiblancos. Barcelona are all-but uncatchable for the La Liga title, but local pride is still to be won in Madrid.
Atleti aren’t without their own threats up front though. The arrival of Diego Costa has seen a noted improvement in their forward play, and he and Antoine Griezmann could cause Sergio Ramos and co problems.
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication