Derbies of the Week: Wear-Tyne Derby, 'Le Classique' & 'Der Klassiker'
We're back with another instalment of our 'Derbies of the Week' and boy are we in for a treat this weekend. As if the bank holiday weekend wasn't good enough by itself, the return of the European domestic leagues gifts us football fans with 4 spectacular derbies spread over 3 days, which will undoubtedly amount to tonnes of drama, tension and emotion. We start our weekend with the first of two 'Classics', as Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich travel to Dortmund. On Sunday afternoon, the Mackems take on the Magpies in the North East of England, and later that evening we pop over the Channel for 'Le Classique' between France's two most successful clubs in PSG and Marseille. To finish it all off, on Monday we get to revisit the Copenhagen derby when Brøndby IF host FC Copenhagen. Saturday 4th April
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich, 17:30 GMT+1, Signal Iduna Park, Bundesliga
Known as 'Der Klassiker', the German Clasico between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich is always a great spectacle for the neutral, with both sides usually battling it out for the title at this point in the season. This time around, the hosts Dortmund find themselves over 30 points behind their rivals and well out of the title race. Despite this, Dortmund will head into this matchup in good form and good spirits, having recovered from last in the Bundesliga in early February to 10th in the space of 2 months. With Bayern sitting comfortably at the top of the table, Dortmund will fancy their chances of nabbing a win over their rivals, and their fans will relish the chance to show the club's former stars Mario Götze and Robert Lewandowski how influential the home crowd can be. Sunday 5th April
Sunderland v Newcastle, 16:00 GMT+1, Stadium of Light, Barclays Premier League
The Wear-Tyne derby is one of the oldest and most well known derbies in English football. Dating back to the English Civil War and their differences in trading, the Tyne and Wear derby has developed on the pitch into a drama-filled 90 minutes. Take the last match between the two sides last November for example, when an Adam Johnson scored in the last minute to give Sunderland their fourth successive win over Newcastle. Due to the lively and loud fan rivalry (with a history of hooliganism and violence at times0, the Wear-Tyne derby is just as hotly contested on the pitch as it is in the stands.
Marseille v Paris Saint-Germain, 20:00 GMT+1, Ligue 1
Our Sunday France's very own 'Clásico' is played between the two most popular clubs in France. The rivalry stems not from geographical proximity but rather from historical social and political differences. The social and political hub developed in the French capital is markedly different from the working class attitude of Marseille, the king of the southern provinces. These areas of discord between the two clubs and respective cities have resulted in many violent exchanges between the two sets of fans, as the many reports of injured and arrested fans from past matches will attest. On the pitch, the two sides are just as fierce rivals, and the two-point gap that separates leaders PSG and challengers Marseille will add fuel to a eternally latent flame. Monday 6th April
Brøndby IF v FC Copenhagen, 15:00 GMT+1, Denmark Superliga
Just in case you haven't had enough football during the weekend, we're treated to the biggest derby in Danish football on Monday night, between the two biggest Danish teams FC Copenhagen and Brøndby IF. Known as the ‘New Firm’ derby (a play on the Old Firm rivalry between Celtic and Rangers), this is a fierce fixture that consistently draws the largest crowds in Denmark. With ten First Division titles each, historically speaking there is little to separate the two sides going in to the derby. As FC Copenhagen are currently eight points ahead of Brøndby IF in the league though, the hosts will be looking to close the points gap and avenge their 3-1 loss to FC Copenhagen earlier last month. Check out what this match means to the fans in our Derby Days video.