With the European football season coming thick and fast, here are five matches to look forward to in the next fortnight:
1. Manchester City Vs Leicester City: Saturday, February 6, 6:15 PM
A game between the top two in the division is always a headline act but no one would have predicted Leicester to be topping the league after 24 games. It has been such a fairy-tale for the Foxes that a movie on their striker Jamie Vardy is already in the pipe line. Adrian Butchart, the man behind the Goal! movie series was in the stands to watch Leicester make light work of Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool side with his man Vardy scoring a 25-yard peach. This is a different prospect however, and Man City will be waiting to lay out the fireworks in welcome.
2. Athletico Madrid Vs Eibar: Saturday, February 6, 8:30 PM
It is almost now or never for Diego Simeone's side in terms of staying in the race for the La liga crown. Always the lesser fancied side in the capital, Athletico risk losing second place to Real and will lose quite a bit of ground to the Barcelona juggernaut this weekend. While Real and Barca gear up to face two sides fighting relegation, Simeone and Co. will be warming up to the prospect of hosting plucky Eibar, who are punching way above their weight. Set to be demoted last season, the men from a 27,000-strong-town with a 6000 seater stadium are in eighth place and seventh heaven. After raising 1.7 million euros at the beginning of last season to even compete, Eibar will be chasing every ball at the Vicente Calderon with the gumption that has kept them in the top half of the table.
3. Chelsea Vs Manchester United : Sunday, February 7, 9:30 PM
If the sides in the above fixture are fighting it out at the 'right' end of the table, the reigning champions have been in crisis since the beginning of the campaign. It is also interesting that Chelsea's dear and departed manager, the inimitable Jose or that ****** Mourinho, depending on who you speak to, has been batting his eyelids at their opponents this weekend. He is eyeing Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal's job and although King Louis is just managing to hold on to his office at United with his captain Wayne Rooney finally coming good towards the end of the campaign, this one has hovering drama written all over it.
4. Arsenal Vs Barcelona: Wednesday, February 24, 1:15 AM
When the Champions league round of 16 fixtures was being drawn, Arsene Wenger drew the shortest straw: they got Barcelona. The problem though is that the side from North London has been drawing the magical pygmy constellation that is Barcelona far too often for their liking. Not to their liking will also be the fact that Barca have Neymar and Suarez(whom Arsenal tried to buy with a cheeky 40,000,001 bid some summers ago) who have stepped up in the bit of the season where magical Messi was nursing ailments. With the Gunners playing catch up in the English title race too and with Wenger being prodded with the same 'Where is your backup striker' question, its make or break time for Arsenal.
5. Juventus Vs Bayern Munich: Wednesday, February 24, 1:15 AM
If Arsenal vs Barcelona is the mouth-watering prospect of the Champions League draw, the battle between the Bianconeri and FC Hollywood as they are known is probably the glamour tie. While Juventus have replaced Carlos Tevez quite suitably with a coming-of-age Paulo Dybala and with Paul Pogba starting to shine at his brightest again, the side will need to be in prime condition for probably their biggest test yet. Pep Guardiola may be departing to Mancheter this upcoming summer but the array of stars that is Bayern Munich with Ribery, Muller, Lewandowski and Robben may be too much to stomach for the Old Lady of Italian football.