Weekend Wanderings: Liverpool face Everton, the north London derby heats up between Tottenham and Arsenal and England ladies take on the USA

 It’s set to be another weekend of exciting football and, to be honest, this time around everyone is spoilt for choice.

With a host of rivalries, derbies and a returning manager to look forward to, Alasdair Hooper has the top games you should be keeping your eye on this weekend.

1. Can Liverpool stay top of the table with a derby win?

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With questions starting to arise regarding Liverpool’s form and their title credentials, the demolition of Watford in midweek went some way to silencing the critics.

However, with Manchester City still in hot pursuit all attention now focuses to this Sunday as the Reds travel to near neighbours Everton in the Merseyside derby.

The reverse of this fixture was dramatic enough, with Divock Origi bundling in a bizarre last gasp winner, but the pressure is arguably as great – if not greater – this time around.

But if they slip up then they might just be overtaken by Manchester City, who face Bournemouth the day before.

2. Will Tottenham get back to winning ways in the north London derby?

The weekend’s Premier League action gets underway on Saturday with one of the more dramatic derbies around – the North London derby.

Tottenham go into the fixture at Wembley having lost back-to-back games, against Burnley and Chelsea which have all but killed off their faint title hopes.

Mauricio Pochettino could do with a boost but won’t be expecting any favours from rivals Arsenal, who will be desperate to dish out another hammer blow to Spurs.

Arsenal’s away form remains sketchy but with three league wins on the bounce another victory would see them a point away from Tottenham.

That would be welcomed news with fifth-placed Manchester United chasing from behind.

3. Can Neil Lennon get off to a flyer on his Celtic return?

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How quickly things change.

Brendan Rodgers’ surprising decision to ditch Celtic now to join Leicester, rather than write his name into the history books by winning a ‘treble treble’ north of the border, has caused plenty of debate.

However, Celtic wasted no time in getting a replacement in with former boss Neil Lennon returning as interim manager.

The 47-year-old won three league titles during his first stint as boss and he arrives following a slightly acrimonious departure from fellow Scottish Premiership side Hibernian.

So what is the Northern Irishman’s first assignment? An away Scottish Cup quarter final tie against Hibernian on Saturday.


4. Can England maintain the feel-good factor ahead of the World Cup?

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With the SheBelieves Cup currently ongoing in the United States, all eyes on these shores are focused on how England handle themselves less than 100 days away from the start of the Women’s World Cup.

They kicked things off in fine style during the first game with a 2-1 win over Brazil but their second match of the tournament sees them come up against another powerhouse.

This Saturday England take on the USA, a team who are always considered challengers for the World Cup title with some of the game’s most recognisable stars.

There are few better tests for Phil Neville’s team but should they achieve a positive result here then expect the confidence to grow and grow in this vitally important year.

5. A European derby bonanza

Since I am only allowed to make five pointers in this weekly piece, and I’m spoilt for choice this time, I’m combining two games into one.

Following on from the derby-focused weekend in the Premier League, Europe’s major leagues followed suit with two huge rivalry games taking place.

The first is El Clasico, one of the biggest games in the world despite the nine-point gap currently separating Barcelona (in first) and Real Madrid (in third).

But there’s also the Rome derby to look forward to as Lazio and Roma go head to head with both teams fighting for a top four spot.

You can follow Alasdair on Twitter @adjhooper1992


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