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Watchability rankings: What is this weekend's must-see derby?

This weekend’s congested slate of fixtures is littered with marquee matchups across Europe’s top tiers, so it can be a challenge to prioritize what to watch. Let theScore help you determine which of this weekend’s big six derbies are worth your attention. All our rankings are out of five.

6. Steel City derby

Mark Cosgrove / Action Plus / Getty

Contested on 130 occasions in all competitions, top-tier hopefuls Sheffield United hold a slight advantage in this derby with 46 wins to Sheffield Wednesday’s 42.

  • First meeting: 1890
  • Date and time: Monday, Mar. 4 (2:45 p.m. ET)
Ramifications Hatred Talent Level
๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ ย ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜  ย ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Ramifications: While Steve Bruce’s Wednesday flop between mid-table mediocrity and narrow playoff promotion hopes, Chris Wilder’s Blades are eyeing a Premier League return for the first time since the 2006-07 campaign. United have strung together four wins and two draws in their last six to vault Leeds United for second spot in the Championship.

Hatred: Comprised of two of association football’s oldest clubs in a city largely credited with the foundation of the sport, the Steel City derby is a frenzied clash despite the two sides sharing the same league only six times between 1970-17 and 1999-00. Even with more than a century of history, the two Sheffield sides share a mutual admiration – to a point.

Talent Level: All eyes will be on Blades forward Billy Sharp. The 33-year-old skipper enters Monday’s match on 22 goals, one adrift of Canaries striker Teemu Pukki for Golden Boot honors. There are plenty of familiar faces, especially on Bruce’s experienced squad, with Scots Barry Bannan and Steven Fletcher among the many Owls with Premier League experience.

Watchability ranking: ๐Ÿ“บ ๐Ÿ“บ

5. El Clasico

OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP / Getty
  • First meeting: 1902
  • Date and time: Saturday, Mar. 2 (2:45 p.m. ET)

Spain’s most acclaimed tilt has been played 240 times. Real Madrid marginally leads the way with 95 wins to Barcelona’s 94.

Ramifications Hatred Talent Level
๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ ย ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜  ย ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Ramifications: The Catalans just bounced Real from the Copa del Rey semis with a straightforward 3-0 victory Wednesday. Santiago Solari’s charges entering Saturday’s clash nine points back of Barca in La Liga, so it’s a must-win match for the Santiago Bernabeu hosts. Meanwhile, the table leaders can level the all-time derby record with a victory.

Hatred: Rich with political undertones rooted in Francoism and cries for regional sovereignty, El Clasico has long been rife with storylines. Years removed from a pig’s head tossed at Luis Figo, this derby has lost a bit of its luster since Barcelona nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Juventus. Los Blancos fans hate Luis Suarez. Hard to argue with that.

Talent Level: This one is pretty unambiguous. Even with Ronaldo’s departure, there are match-winners all over the field for both sides, but Barcelona’s win in October displayed the gap between the two squads. Despite the inclusion of Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric in Real’s starting XI, Barca will have the advantage. Lionel Messi looks decent. Perhaps you’ve heard of him.

Watchability ranking: ๐Ÿ“บ ๐Ÿ“บ ๐Ÿ“บ

4. Derby della Capitale

NurPhoto / NurPhoto / Getty
  • First meeting: 1929
  • Date and time: Saturday, Mar. 2 (2:30 p.m. ET)

The battle for Eternal City bragging rights sees Roma boast 65 wins to Lazio’s 45 across 171 meetings.

Ramifications Hatred Talent Level
๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ ย ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜  ย ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Ramifications: A coveted spot in the Champions League is at stake; a Lazio victory will draw them within three points of fifth-placed Roma and four points back of AC Milan and a potential berth in Europe’s top tourney. There’s also the sense Simone Inzaghi’s appointment at Lazio is at risk thanks to a trio of defeats in their last five Serie A matches.

Hatred: The King of Roman football, Francesco Totti, may be retired, but there’s still no love lost between these two sides. Perhaps groundshare hosts Lazio can wheel out Paolo Di Canio and a hologram of Giorgio Chinaglia at the interval to engage the Giallorossi faithful in gladiatorial battles like those once hosted at Rome’s other famous venue.

Talent Level: Roma have a slight advantage in terms of talent, but with Eusebio Di Francesco’s troops eyeing a midweek continental clash with Porto, the three-time league winners could make some concessions within the starting XI. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic bolsters Lazio’s midfield while Edin Dzeko and teen talent Nicolo Zaniolo highlight Roma’s efficient attack.

Watchability ranking: ๐Ÿ“บ ๐Ÿ“บ ๐Ÿ“บ

3. O Classico

NurPhoto / NurPhoto / Getty
  • First meeting: 1912
  • Date and time: Saturday, Mar. 2 (2:30 p.m. ET)

North versus south as FC Porto voyage down the A1 for the all-important 235th installment of this derby. They hold a 91-85 edge over Benfica.

Ramifications Hatred Talent Level
๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ ย ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜  ย ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Ramifications: Separated by just a point atop the Primeira Liga standings, visiting Porto know a draw will see them relinquish table-topping honors on goal differential. Record 36-time Portuguese champs Benfica are looking to regain league honors after the Dragoes snatched their 28th title last season. With eight league wins on the spin, Bruno Lage’s side look the part.

Hatred: Recent judicial proceedings involving both clubs will add to the hostilities in Saturday’s showdown at the Estadio do Dragao. Forming Portugal’s big three alongside Sporting CP, the animosity between the two clubs from the nation’s two biggest cities is rooted not just in sport, but also culture and politics.

Talent Level: While Porto keep an eye on a pivotal last-16 second-leg tie with Roma four days later, touchline tactician Sergio Conceicao may fancy rotating a talented squad featuring the likes of star-to-be Eder Militao and tricky Yacine Brahimi. Benfica’s top performers include midfielder Pizzi, slick-passing full-back Alejandro Grimaldo, and the Portuguese league’s top scorer in Haris Seferovic.

Watchability ranking: ๐Ÿ“บ ๐Ÿ“บ ๐Ÿ“บ ๐Ÿ“บ

2. Merseyside derby

Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC / Liverpool FC / Getty
  • First meeting: 1894
  • Date and time: Sunday, Mar. 3 (11:15 a.m. ET)

Liverpool head to Goodison Park for the 233rd Merseyside derby boasting 93 victories to Everton’s 66.

Ramifications Hatred Talent Level
๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ ย ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜  ย ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Ramifications: This Merseyside derby is rife with implications. Holding a scant one-point lead atop the table on Manchester City, it’s all on the line for a Liverpool side targeting its first league title since 1989-90. Everton haven’t beaten the Reds since 2010, giving Sunday’s fixture even more value. Marco Silva could use a victory to keep his job, as well.

Hatred: Liverpool consider Manchester United their biggest rivals so there are more heated derbies than this one; families are often split in their loyalties and segregated seating is not traditionally enforced. That said, the rivalry on the pitch has been acrimonious, with more red cards than any other fixture in Premier League history.

Talent Level: Alisson, Virgil van Dijk, and Mohamed Salah highlight a star-studded squad of world-beaters. With budding full-backs Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold delivering pinpoint crosses, Liverpool have a clear advantage in talent. Toffees dead-ball specialist Gylfi Sigurdsson is in fine form following a brace and Man of the Match showing versus Cardiff City.

Watchability ranking: ๐Ÿ“บ ๐Ÿ“บ ๐Ÿ“บ ๐Ÿ“บ ๐Ÿ“บ

1. North London derby

James Williamson – AMA / Getty Images Sport / Getty
  • First meeting: 1896
  • Date and time: Saturday, Mar. 2 (7:30 a.m. ET)

Arsenal enter Saturday’s storied clash holding a 92-64 advantage through 197 meetings with Tottenham.

Ramifications Hatred Talent Level
๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ ย ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜  ย ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Ramifications: From a tenuous grip on the title race to swiftly increasing fears of dropping out of the top four, Tottenham’s patented “Spursing” routine is in full swing following successive league defeats to Burnley and Chelsea. A victory for Arsenal would see the Gunners draw within a point of third-place Spurs, with both Manchester United and Chelsea close behind.

Hatred: Since Arsenal ditched their Woolwich digs south of the Thames to encroach on Tottenham’s north London locale in 1913, these two have formed bitter foes. The Gunners’ 20-plus years of dominance over their hated rivals spawned the St. Totteringham’s Day jubilee, a fete Spurs have avoided the last two seasons.

Talent Level: Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are world-class finishers. Mesut Ozil and Christian Eriksen are two world-class central creative fulcrums at opposite ends of the form chart. Both sides also feature error-prone backlines and concerns at full-back, with snafu savants Hugo Lloris and Bernd Leno between the sticks.

Watchability ranking: ๐Ÿ“บ ๐Ÿ“บ ๐Ÿ“บ ๐Ÿ“บ ๐Ÿ“บ

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