Weekend Wanderings: Manchester City and Brighton battle it out in the FA Cup semi-finals, Bayern Munich face Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga title race and Juventus and AC Milan face off in Turin

After another midweek of football action you get the feeling that we are entering the crunch point of the season.

Teams have been relegated but title races, cup bids and battles to beat the drop are all still up for grabs across Europe.

Alasdair Hooper is back with all the games you should be keeping an eye on this weekend.

1) Can Manchester City advance to their second major final of the season?

This weekend is all about the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley.

The first one, on Saturday, sees Manchester City take on Brighton with the quadruple still a real possibility for Pep Guardiola’s side.

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While the players all try and distance themselves from that potential milestone, excitement must surely be building as they prepare to take on the Seagulls in London.

On paper this looks a mismatch and with City coming off the back of a midweek victory over Cardiff to keep them top of the table the momentum seems to be with them.

Brighton, alternatively, lost 3-0 to Chelsea on Wednesday and are still teetering a bit too close to the relegation spots for their liking – five points above Cardiff.

The FA Cup has been a welcome distraction for Chris Hughton’s side, however, and as Wigan proved last year anything is possible in this competition.

2) Can Wolves or Watford seal their fine season’s with a cup final appearance?

Aside from the top six you will be hard-pushed to find any teams that have performed better than Wolves and Watford this year.

Wolves continue to impress against the big boys and sit in their lofty position of seventh – otherwise known as best of the rest.

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But ahead of Sunday’s semi-final it shouldn’t be forgotten just how impressive Watford have been under Javi Gracia, who has arguably taken everyone by surprise with his tactical nous and assured demeanour.

They sit eighth in the league – a point behind Wolves – and are just as capable of turning on the style.

In terms of match-ups this semi-final looks to be a really close call and could well be a fantastic watch for neutrals.

3) Will it be advantage Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga title race?

In Germany we have been treated to another exciting two-horse title race, much like what we have here in the Premier League.

Borussia Dortmund’s exciting young team shone for most of the year but their patchy run of form following the turn of the year saw Bayern close the points gap so it was virtually neck and neck.

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However, last week’s league results saw Dortmund go two points clear after beating Wolfsburg, while Bayern could only draw with Freiburg.

And this Saturday we are in for an absolute belter of a match as the two title rivals go head to head in Der Klassiker.

A win for Bayern will see them go top at Dortmund’s expense, whereas a Dortmund victory opens up the gap to five points.

This could be a pivotal game in deciding who will be this year’s league champions.

4) Can Atletico reign in top-of-the-table Barcelona?

As the top two go head-to-head in Germany it is the same story in Spain – although there is a slightly larger points difference this time around.

Barcelona host Atletico Madrid with eight points currently separating the two teams.

While that is probably too big a differential to make up this stage of the season, stranger things have happened in football.

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But with Real Madrid faltering in their last game Diego Simeone’s men will want to take full advantage of their slip up and keep on challenging, or at least cementing second place.

However, a win here for Barcelona should surely make it just a matter of time before they are crowned league champions.

5) Can AC Milan get a tighter grip on a top four spot against the league leaders?

In Serie A a tie between two of the giants is always an exciting affair, with Juventus and AC Milan facing off in Turin.

While Juventus are currently embroiled in a racism furore their domestic record is quite something, after losing just one of their league games this season.

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AC Milan, meanwhile, have lost two and drawn one of their last three and with Atlanta, Lazio, Roma and Torino all lurking four points behind the race is well and truly on for that final Champions League spot.

If AC Milan are to make their return to Europe’s elite competition they need to start picking up wins sooner rather than later.

A win over the reigning champions would be one fantastic confidence boost if they can pull it off.

You can follow Alasdair on Twitter @adjhooper1992


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