After a big week of European action across both the Champions League and the Europa League set us up for a magical weekend of domestic again, another slate of stellar performances and matchups is likely to be seen across many of Europe's top leagues.
What are the big games to watch in the English Premier League, Serie A and La Liga this weekend, and who will emerge victorious from them all?
Read on find out in our European predictions this week.
Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. ET
Few true classic games appear this weekend in La Liga, which is understandable given the plethora of options that the Spanish competition had on offer last weekend.
The bigger contest is clearly of that of Atletico Madrid playing Real Sociedad, with the "smaller" Madrid club looking to keep their current lead over Los Blancos in the domestic competition.
Atletico are strong—no doubt—but they haven't produced on the field consistently since the turn of the new year, whilst their opponents have only lost once since November. And that was a 4-3 loss to reigning champions Real Madrid at the Bernabeu Stadium.
Real Sociedad have been a definite danger team to watch this season and have shown they can mix it with the best in the league. That form, coupled with Atletico's inconsistencies, should be enough to see them split the points on the night and give Jose Mourinho's side a chance to nab second place.
Prediction: Atletico Madrid 1, Real Sociedad 1
Sunday, March 9, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. ET
We head to Italy now where competition leaders Juventus—who impressed nightly in the Champions League during the week—will take on Catania. The home side will definitely enter as the favorites here, but there's a real case to be made for the visitors perhaps stunning the hosts.
Juve haven't playing very well domestically—just one win from their past three matches—and had it not been for the plethora of points that second-placed Napoli have dropped also, you'd likely think that the Italian powerhouse would have been challenged on top of the ladder.
Perhaps they've been focusing on the Champions League or whatever, but the reality is that Juve simply haven't been as strong in the past month or so as they have been throughout the rest of the year.
Catania probably don't have the goal-scoring abilities in them to challenge the Old Lady at home, but they'll definitely put up a fight here. It might only be one goal that separates them on the night, but for Juve, that one goal will no doubt suit them just fine.
Prediction: Juventus 1, Catania 0
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 2:45 p.m. ET
As remarkable as it might seem, the seventh-placed Roma and the ninth-placed Udinese still have a real chance of challenging for a European berth next season given how close Serie A is at the moment.
However, both will know that they need a win here to stay in the hunt, and given their recent form of late, it's seemingly a tough ask for both sides this weekend. Neither have been consistent or dominant, and neither stand out as real, sure-thing predictions this weekend.
Roma might have won their last three, but had only won one of their past eight heading into that one, and have lost exactly their total of away games this season. Udinese, on the other hand, have only won three of their last eight also—but their home form could well be the difference in this one.
Udinese have only lost once at home all year, and that was in the second week against league leaders Juventus. Expect that home form to carry them through again here and keep them in the hunt, somehow, for a European berth in some competition next season.
Prediction: Udinese 2, Roma 1
Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 2:45 p.m. ET
As mentioned before, the close proximity of Serie A means that several teams are still in the hunt for European berths, and both Lazio and Fiorentina will know that those chances are on the line in this one.
Both have suffered poor defeats of late, and will be looking to turn it around in this one and regain some defensively solidity in the process.
Lazio have won just one of their past seven matches this season—dropping points to some low teams that they really should have beaten—whilst Fiorentina have only won three of their past eight also. However, the visitors have been stronger in those defeats and have showed more attacking promise all year, which, against a struggling defense in Lazio, could well prove the different here.
Expect the visitors to record a stunning upset and extend Lazio's poor form.
Prediction: Fiorentina 2, Lazio 0
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. ET
A true relegation six-pointer will take place in the English Premier League this weekend when 18th-placed Aston Villa take on 19th-placed Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
Both come into this one off consecutive defeats, though the home side have showed more attacking promise in those defeats, and have also won more games recently. However, given the inconsistencies shown from both teams all season, it's hard to assess their form all that well heading into this one.
The key will simply be the attack of both teams, for both have shown that their defense certainly isn't capable of winning any games. And with Christian Benteke firing for the visitors, the Royals will certainly have a great challenge on their hands, though they too possess some strong attacking options.
In the end, it's hard to see too much separating these two sides. They've been just as frustrating but sometimes brilliant as each other this year, and the final score should reflect that.
Prediction: Reading 1, Aston Villa 1
Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. ET
We finish with easily the biggest match in England this weekend as Merseyside welcomes Tottenham Hotspur into town—desperate to end the London club's recent dominance.
Tottenham have won four in a row domestically, and haven't lost at all in 2013. Their recent performances against the likes of Manchester United, West Brom, Arsenal and Inter Milan in the Europa League show that they are a very disciplined and organized team with the ability to break open their opponents with effective counterattacking football.
Moreover, they're playing with a great deal of confidence currently, and it will seemingly be tough for Brendan Rodgers' side to stop that here. After all, only one team really has a top-four spot in the line here, and it doesn't look like it will be the men from Merseyside in 2013.
Having said that, Liverpool are a very proud club, and would love to use a strong showing here to measure themselves against the best in the league. The Reds have only lost one of their last six and are making slight headway domestically, having no European action to focus on anymore.
I like the Reds to challenge here, but I can't see Tottenham going down. I'd say shared points on the night, with both teams left feeling that they should have done more.
Prediction: Liverpool 2, Tottenham Hotspur 2
Any European predictions that you agree or disagree with?
Comment below or hit me up on Twitter: Follow @dantalintyre