Scouting for fixtures is a weekly blog for people who love the beautiful game. It comes out every Sunday and hand picks upcoming matches worldwide that week, which look set for 90 minutes of non-stop action.
All times are in GMT.
Described by the BBC as ‘a sea of colourful flowing banners, screams and roars, chanting, dancing and never-ending fireworks’, sounds alright.
- FC Dallas vs Sporting Kansas ( Mon 18 00:00 )
Blink and you’ll miss it. The phrase ‘first thing in the morning’ has never been more literal (for anyone who lives in the UK) as we see the top 2 in the MLS play in one of the high profile games of the season. Both conferences combined, these two stand above the rest in their rankings and performances. Dallas are the pack leaders with 14 points in 7 games and sit in 1st. Closely behind in 2nd follow Sporting Kansas with 12 points and a mean streak, seeing 3 red cards already. Dallas may have only lost one game so far, but the 5-0 thrashing they took from Houston is an embarrassing display of all the faults, still unresolved in their backline, epitomised by one of the most moronic own goal I’ve seen in a long time. This fixture in particular has a knack for goals, having an impressive record of averaging 5.2 goals a game in 5 games. If for whatever reason you’re awake this early, then you might as well watch this thriller of a game.
4. Hertha Berlin vs Borussia Dortmund ( Wed 20 19:30 )
A cup fixture now in Germany, the semi-finals between Hertha BSC and BVB is Dortmund’s last notable chance of silverware in a remarkable but unfruitful season. It’s an sad truth that BVB fans have to deal with; as Bayern monopolised the Bundesliga since 2011, it seems no matter how good they get they can’t dethrone the Bavarian side. Now out of Europe in a shock 4-3 loss to Liverpool, Bayern are on course for a 4th consecutive Bundesliga title, a feat never achieved in the top tier of german football, ever. 7 points adrift and 4 games remaining the likelihood of BVB overtaking FC Bayern is unlikely, but possible. For HSC, the stagnation of never ending promotion to relegation seems to have ended. Similar to that of Leicester this season, the underdogs have turned from relegation candidates to champions league candidates within 2 seasons. With Europe is still in question, this is most likely chance for Hertha to win this competition for the first time ever. Dortmund will still be hurting from the Europa League exit and will go all out to secure a cup win, and for BSC, this would be the perfect end to an already stelar season.
3. Athletic Club vs Atletico Madrid ( Wed 20 19:45 )
More midweek action from the continent, so we head to Spain in an intriguing matchup between the Bilbao side scrambling for European spots, while Atleti need to find a solution to their unenviable problems. As it stands, As well as Atleti, Bilbao also face their two main rivals in Celta Vigo and Sevilla in the next 5 weeks in the race for Europa league. Only 4 points separate the 3 clubs and with time at a premium, every point counts. The same applies to Atletico Madrid who see themselves with the chance to win an unexpected double. Everything is going right for Simeone and his men. Last week they knocked out cup favourites Barcelona in the Champions league, compounding to what’s been a downward spiral for the Catalonian club. Barca losing 3 matches in a row, Atleti closed the gap to 3 points only and have a very real chance of winning La Liga. This is also a chance to redo the dramatic finish that ended in Atleti losing the final to their polar opposites in Real Madrid, 2 years ago. For a team to keep out MSN and Co. makes them a formidable opponent for any team, and in my eyes I can see them winning the whole thing. It’s going to be interesting to see if Simeone has put all is eggs in one basket, be it La Liga or the Champions League, or believes they can do the double. This is Bilbao’s chance to attack as the Madrid side have a heavy fixture list, as the season comes to it’s final stages.
2. Liverpool vs Everton ( Wed 20 20:00 )
The oldest running top flight derby returns, as Everton travel a brief 0.7 miles south to face Liverpool in the 226th Merseyside derby. Having a history this long, the Merseyside has it’s collection of defining moments. Gary McAllister’s screamer, Fowler’s risky celebration and Terry McDermott’s goal of the season being the ones that come to mind. In the current state, everything looks set up for another cracker at Anfield. Liverpool come into the big game after a resurgence and emphatic win against cup favourites, Borussia Dortmund. Real mental strength was shown by Klopp and his men, coming back from 3-1 down to win 4-3, boosting confidence and morale for the upcoming game against the Toffees. Everton though, are falling apart as Martinez tries to revive the Everton we saw in the first half of the season. This side are a shadow of their former selves, but are still capable of thrashing any team with a potent attack, personified by Lukaku. This is Everton’s chance to hit the reset button. A win against their biggest rivals could be the jumpstart needed to steady the ship, with questions of Martinez’s future looming.
5. Boca Juniors vs River Plate ( Sun 24 20:00 )
The Superclásico returns as now we head to Buenos Aires where the Blue and Gold take on Los Milloranios. For the first time in a long time you don’t have to stay up till 1 in the morning to catch this game, as now the Sunday night fixture allows a huge crowd to witness this footballing event. The atmosphere is second to none, and being in the stadium during the derby is one only a few lucky people get to experience. As the crowd jumps up and down, the stands bounce and shake to the rhythm of the game. Described by the BBC as ‘a sea of colourful flowing banners, screams and roars, chanting, dancing and never-ending fireworks’, sounds alright. The game itself is unquestionably entertaining and the likes of which you won’t find anywhere else in the world, encapsulated by the best 0-1 you will ever see.
Juventus vs Lazio ( Wed 20 19:45 )
Roma vs Torino ( Wed 20 19:45 )
Real Madrid vs Villarreal ( Wed 20 21:00 )
Schalke 04 vs Bayer Leverkusen ( Sat 23 17:30 )
Feel like I missed out any matches or wanna give me any feedback? Comment Below.