A weekend of Cup Finals this weekend across Europe as the season approaches it’s near end with only the Champions League to follow thereafter, there will be competing for silverware in England, Spain and Germany this weekend. Who will be on the open top bus come Sunday?, let’s have a look at the runners and riders.
1. Wembley calls for Arsenal and Aston Villa tomorrow as The Gunners look to win the F.A. Cup for the second year in a row and also secure a record 12th victory in the competition. For Arsenal if they can win tomorrow their season will be deemed a success as it will be another season of silverware coupled with a 3rd place finish in the Premier League whereas Aston Villa will go into the game as underdogs but with also nothing to lose. The big prize for Aston Villa and Tim Sherwood must have been just surviving the drop this season, a win here would be the ultimate cherry on the cake. Southampton fans will no doubt be supporting Arsenal as that would then secure their involvement in the Europa League next season whereas Aston Villa fans might be wondering if this is Christian Benteke’s last game in a Villa shirt.
2. Barcelona face Athletic Bilbao in the Copa Del Ray Final on Saturday Night – the stadium was already decided before the finalists, the main reason it’s here is because Florentino Perez didn’t want to see Barcelona win a trophy on the Bernabeu turf. Barcelona will look to secure the 2nd leg of a treble with their only slight injury concern being Luis Suarez who trained in the week and should be fit to feature against the Basque side. Ernesto Valverde’s men have already qualified for the Europa League but they would love to finish the season on a high and dampen the Barcelona party
3. It’s Jurgen Klopp’s last ever game for Borussia Dortmund as they take on Wolfsburg in the German Cup Final. I think the neutrals of the Football world will be backing Dortmund for this one and if there was going to be a romantic end to this fairytale then it would be with Jurgen Klopp ending his reign with a trophy but as we know Football and romance don’t really go hand and hand so don’t be surprised if Wolfsburg turned the romance into a tragedy. As soon as the final whistle blows regardless of the result the “Where will Klopp be going?” question will be asked, the bigger question will be does he bide his time with a sabbatical or does he get straight into another managerial hot seat?
4. Not quite a cup final but it will have the feeling of one as Motherwell and Rangers go head to head in the SPFL Premiership Play-Off. Motherwell take a somewhat surprising 3-1 lead into the 2nd leg at Fir Park after an outstanding performance at Ibrox last night, Rangers did finish the game strong and that late goal gives them a glimmer of hope but the first goal in this tir will be absolutely huge. If Rangers score then can Motherwell hold out and sustain the pressure that will no doubt come or will Motherwell be able to put the tie to bed early on and consign Rangers to another season in the Scottish Championship.