Editors' Picks: Club football returns in style, huge days for tennis and cycling

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Editors' Picks: Club football returns in style, huge days for tennis and cycling
Guardiola and Arteta will contest their biggest battle yet
Guardiola and Arteta will contest their biggest battle yet
AFP, Flashscore
Club football returns this weekend and it returns with a bang, with Germany's most high-profile derby taking place before Manchester City and Arsenal contest what could be a title decider. Along with those clashes, there are also the final rounds of one of tennis' biggest tournaments on the agenda along with one of the biggest races on the cycling calendar.

Here's what we'll be watching over the next few days. 

Friday, March 29th

Miami Open final rounds - from 20:00 CET

There are four men and two women remaining in the Miami Open heading into the weekend, and while neither field consists of a world number one or even a world number two for that matter, none of the final four matches will be lacking in storylines or quality. 

The fun will begin with the men's semis on Friday night, and first up is a repeat of last year's final with reigning champion Daniil Medvedev (28) facing the player of the year thus far, Jannik Sinner (22). After losing numerous finals to Sinner, Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz, the Russian will be keen to prove he's part of a Big Four at the top of men's tennis rather than just the next best after the Big Three, and whether he can do so will tell us a lot about just how much Sinner has improved over the past 12 months. 

After that, two players enjoying excellent seasons will battle it out with Grigor Dimitrov (32) taking on Alexander Zverev (26). Dimitrov produced some of the best tennis seen on the tour this year to knock out Carlos Alcaraz, but he'll have to do it again if he wants to end a six-match losing streak against Zverev. With both being two of the best players around for the past half a year or so, this should be a high-level affair.

The following afternoon, Danielle Collins (30) will look to complete a fairytale run by claiming the biggest title of her career. Born and bred in Florida, the American has dazzled on her way to the final, dropping just one set, and knowing this will be her last chance to win her home state's biggest tournament before she retires at the end of the year, she'll be giving her all to get over the line. Doing so won't be easy though, with world number three Elena Rybakina (24) standing in her way.

With all of that to be followed by a men's final on Sunday, it's fair to say that this is a weekend of tennis that you don't want to miss.

Saturday, March 30th

Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund - 18:30 CET

Der Klassiker has become one of the most fiercely competitive fixtures in Europe over the past couple of decades, with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund consistently battling it out at the top of the Bundesliga. 

The rivalry between the two sides might not have the same long-running history as other prominent derbies in German football, but it remains just as important to each set of supporters. 

Top of the Bundesliga
Flashscore

Saturday’s 135th edition of Der Klassiker has a different feel to it. Bayern look set to miss out on a 12th straight title as they sit 10 points adrift of Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen, while Dortmund remain embroiled in a battle for the top four with RB Leipzig

Despite neither side finding their best form this season, both Thomas Tuchel and Edin Terzic will be desperate to win such a high-stakes game and build momentum ahead of next week's Champions League quarter-finals. 

Der Klassikers rarely fail to deliver, with goals and drama never in short supply. Make sure you don't miss it!

Sunday, March 31st

Tour of Flanders - 10:00 CET

The second monument of the road cycling season is almost upon us, but the mood before the race will be subdued after a major crash on Wednesday at Dwars Door Vlaanderen.

One of the major favourites for ‘De Ronde’ was Wout van Aert (29). The Belgian hero was set to be the main attraction of the race alongside lifelong rival Mathieu van der Poel (29) of the Netherlands, but the Visma-Lease a Bike rider went down hard midweek suffering a broken collarbone, three broken ribs and a broken sternum, seeing him sidelined for the foreseeable future.

His team did win the race on Wednesday through American Matteo Jorgensen (24), who takes over leadership from his fallen comrade, but they will be hamstrung in their fight against Van Der Poel and his Alpecin-Deceuninck team without their main man.

The Dutchman will be the undoubted favourite for the men’s race. Last year’s winner Tadej Pogacar (25) is not taking part, having opted for Giro D’Italia preparation as well as the later Ardennes Classics, meaning there is no one left to rival the power of Van Der Poel in the field.

But, road cycling is a team sport and the might of Lidl-Trek could be a decisive factor on Sunday. They have a strong Mads Pedersen (30) set to start and the Dane bested Van Der Poel last week at Gent-Wevelgem, giving fans some hope of a competitive race. 

Other outsiders include Stefan Kung (30), Julian Alaphilippe (31) and 2019 winner Alberto Bettiol (30), but on the holiest of weekends in cycling, where nearly half of the Flanders region are reported to be on the roadside, it will take a miracle or disaster to stop Van Der Poel.

Manchester City vs Arsenal - 17:30 CET

In England, the Premier League has produced one of its greatest title fights ever, and what happens on Sunday evening will play a huge part in determining who wins it.

Arsenal travel to the Etihad as the league leaders but only by the narrowest of margins, with Liverpool level on points with them and Manchester City just one behind, so the stakes really couldn't be higher.

When Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta's teams met in a similarly important match at the same ground last season, the home side stormed to a 4-1 victory to all but secure another title, but Arsenal are a stronger side than they were then and their opponents are arguably weaker, so expect this to be a much tighter affair.

The Premier League standings
Flashscore

Remarkably, each of the three possible results would most likely put a different team in pole position for the final nine matches. A win for Arsenal would put them clear of Man City and put their destiny firmly in their own hands, a win for the hosts would make them favourites given they have easier final fixtures than Liverpool, and a draw would put Liverpool two points clear in first if they beat Brighton earlier in the day. 

With all three sides performing at such a high level that it's easy to see them not dropping many if any points again after this weekend, this clash could ultimately prove to be a title decider. 

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