Things to look out for in the European leagues this weekend: December 21-23

Football will be in full flow across the various leagues this weekend. Here are five things to look out for. Click here to bet on the matches.

Roma to keep drifting

AS Roma face the daunting task of stopping Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus at the Juventus Stadium on Saturday evening. Unfortunately for the Giallorossi, the 22-point gap between them and the league leaders is as far behind the Old Lady as they have ever been going into a head-to-head. History is also not on their side, as they are yet to win at Juve’s new stadium.

Messi to continue red-hot form

Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick against Levante last weekend. This followed up the double he had scored against Espanyol a fortnight earlier. This purple patch has taken his season tally to 20 in 19 matches in all competitions so far this season. Suffice to say, he is back to his absolute best. This is precisely why Celta Vigo – against whom he has three goals and four assists in his last two full appearances – will dread facing him on Saturday.

Test of Dortmund’s mettle

A week ago, all was perfect in the world of Borussia Dortmund. They were unbeaten in the league and nine points clear at the top of the table. A shock defeat at Fortuna Dusseldorf in midweek significantly changed the outlook. Lucien Favre’s men host second-placed Borussia Monchengladbach this weekend. The visitors level with champions Bayern Munich on 33 points. A win for them will trim the gap to only three points.

Battle for the best among the rest in Ligue 1

Paris Saint-Germain have unsurprisingly pulled away from the chasing pack in Ligue 1. They are ten points clear at the top of the table, with two games in hand. The challenge for the rest of the teams is to finish second. Lille lead the way in that regard. Olympique Lyon are third and they will host Montpellier, who are two points behind them in fourth.

Disadvantage for Real Madrid

Real Madrid are currently occupied by the challenge of winning their third consecutive Club World Cup trophy. Whilst they are away, their rivals in La Liga have a unique opportunity to gain some ground. Of course Real will still have the chance to recover any gap accumulated now, but they have already been chasing the leading pack all season. It cannot be in any way ideal to fall further behind, games-in-hand or not.