Derbies of the Week: El Clásico & the 'Holy War'
We continue our ‘Derbies of the Week’ this weekend with a couple of tasty derbies. On Saturday it’s ‘Holy War’ between the two oldest clubs in Poland, Wisła Kraków and KS Cracovia. Then on Sunday, we have arguably the biggest game in England and we finish the night with one of the greatest match-ups in the world - ‘El Clásico’.
Saturday 21st March
Wisła Kraków v KS Cracovia 17:00 GMT, Stadion Miejski, Ekstraklasa
The only derby on Saturday will be played in Kraków in Poland, and the rivalry between the two sides is labelled as the ‘Holy War’. Wisła Kraków and KS Cracovia are the two biggest clubs in Kraków, and have contested this derby since 1908. With the two stadiums less than two kilometers away from each other, it is unsurprising that the ‘Holy War’ is one of the most intense derbies in Europe. Wisła Kraków are only 6 points ahead of their rivals, so the visitors will be looking to close the gap in the league. There’s often plenty of police activity and fan fights, so expect fireworks!
Sunday 22nd March
Liverpool v Manchester United 13:30 GMT, Anfield, Barclays Premier League
Considered by many to be the biggest game in British football, the rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United extends well beyond sport, deep into the history of the two cities themselves. Both prosperous trading centres at the turn of the 19th century, Liverpool's success came from it's importance as a Northern port: this dominance was disrupted in 1894, however, by the completion of the Manchester Ship Canal, which allowed ships to bypass Liverpool entirely; an unpopular development amongst the Merseyside shipping stakeholders. Bragging rights are currently with United, boasting 2 more league titles than Liverpool. Both sides are currently battling to finish in the top four, and United have 2 more points than their mighty rivals. When this derby comes around, all form goes out the window, as both sides do everything possible to come out as victors in this entertaining clash. Unlike other more violent derbies, this rivalry is most intense on the pitch. Always important, often controversial, never dull - it’s British football at its historic finest.
Barcelona v Real Madrid 20:00 GMT, Camp Nou, La Liga
The last derby of the weekend is a football purist’s dream. It’s ‘El Clásico’. The rivalry that Barcelona and Real Madrid share is probably the most well known in the world, not just for its quality on the pitch but its emotional significance for the players and fans. The match never fails to provide a moment of controversy or footballing brilliance, and as the two biggest cities in Spain, this match is hugely important for so many people across Spain. With hundreds of millions of spectators around the globe, El Clásico rarely disappoints as a sporting spectacle. On this particular occasion, there is quite a lot more at stake than usual for both sides. Only one point separates Barcelona at the top of the table from Madrid. Earlier in the season, Madrid beat Barca 3-1 at home, and so the Catalan side will be looking to exact revenge this time around. And, as always, everyone will be looking to see which one out of Ronaldo and Messi will come out on top. It’s set to be a cracker!