The Premier League scheduling on a Sunday can often make or break a weekend of football watching. This Sunday, there’s nothing else to do other than settle down and enjoy what promises to be a brilliant double header.
The top two in English football’s top flight will take on the teams currently occupying fifth and fourth, respectively. And while this will only be the 11th week of the Premier League season, already there’s a sense this day of football will be vital in the title chase.
Elsewhere, the top two go head-to-head in the Bundesliga in German football’s biggest fixture, as do the two biggest clubs in Argentina in one of the sport’s most anticipated derbies. An eyecatching fixture from La Liga completes the quintet.
Kick-offs are in Eastern time. Enjoy your weekend and enjoy the games!
After an absorbing start to the Bundesliga season full of big surprises, ahead of the meeting between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich on Saturday the table has a very familiar feeling to it again.
Bayern lead the way once again by three points. Unsurprisingly, Jupp Heynckes has come in at the Allianz Arena and steadied the ship again after the tumultuous beginning to 2017-18 under Carlo Ancelotti. Bayern are operating with more authority, more confidence and quickly look like the standout team in Germany again.
Dortmund were the standout side to begin with, but a loss to RB Leipzig has knocked their confidence. A 4-2 defeat to newly-promoted Hannover 96 last weekend exposed a number of massive flaws in the setup, with their opponents counter-attacking against Peter Bosz’s high line with ease.
They are in desperate need of a confidence boost and three points over Bayern in front of their home supporters would really shake up the title race again. But under the astute guidance of Heynckes, the Bavarians appear to be a different beast altogether.
Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona side will be expected to continue their positive beginning to the La Liga season against Sevilla on Saturday.
It’s been a strange beginning to the campaign for the Blaugrana, who continue to underwhelm in general play while still picking up results. The 2-0 win over Athletic Club was indicative of that last weekend, as they rode their luck for long spells in the second half; Paulinho’s late goal eventually made the game safe.
As things stand, some stellar performances from individuals are getting Barca by. Lionel Messi continues to mesmerise in the final third, whereas in defence Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique are both performing brilliantly; Marc-Andre ter Stegen is currently in the form of his life too.
Sevilla have the attacking quality to cause any defence headaches, though they’ve been inconsistent under Eduardo Berizzo as of late. Their own issues at the back—having conceded five to Spartak Moscow and four against Valencia—will surely be ruthlessly exploited by Barcelona too.
The first of Sunday’s brilliant Premier League double-header will see Manchester City looking to continue their relentless beginning to the season at the expense of an improving Arsenal.
Although it’s too early to say City are the champions in waiting, the Premier League hasn’t seen many teams play a style of football that’s as fluid, incisive and fun to watch as Pep Guardiola’s current masterpiece. At the moment it’s tough to see any side in English football living with what they have to offer.
With City’s swagger considered, it’ll be intriguing to see how Arsenal operate at the Etihad Stadium. To take their opponents on blow for blow would be suicidal from the Gunners, meaning they will have to adopt a more cohesive setup for this one. Needless to say, this has never been a strength of Arsene Wenger’s sides.
Arsenal have enjoyed an upturn in form as of late, winning nine of their last 10 games prior to their meeting with Red Star Belgrade in the UEFA Europa League. But this match against this City team represents the most rigorous examination of any team’s credentials at the moment.
Jose Mourinho has cut something of a frustrated figure as of late and it’ll be intriguing to see what type of mood he’s in when he takes his Manchester United side back to former club Chelsea.
The Red Devils grabbed a huge win on Saturday against Spurs, with Anthony Martial striking a late winner. Despite this, Mourinho was disgruntled when he made a “shush” gesture to the camera and has repeatedly criticised the club’s supporters in the aftermath of the game. There’s a curious mood around United at the moment as a result.
Chelsea, who feel in need of a trigger this season, will be hoping to capitalise on such issues. The Blues have been hit and miss at home this term and were lucky to escape with a 4-2 win against Watford in their last Premier League match at Stamford Bridge; they lost 3-0 in Rome in the week too. This one feels like a must win if they’re to stay in the title race.
City are setting such a blistering pace at the top of the table and there’s every chance they would have extended their lead by the time this one kicks off. It’ll be intriguing to see how Antonio Conte and Mourinho send out their teams in response.
RIVER PLATE VS. BOCA JUNIORS
Sunday, November 5, 4:05 p.m. ET, Fanatiz (free trial)
If you want passion, drama and colour from your football, then there’s no better fixture in the world to tune in for than the Superclasico between River Plate and Boca Juniors.
Sunday’s meeting will take place at El Monumental, the home of River, who will be seeking to thrust themselves back into contention for a title tilt with a big performance. Los Millonarios haven’t been at their best so far this season, with Marcelo Gallardo unable to strike the right balance in his team selection.
The same cannot be said for their great rivals, who have taken the top flight by storm in Argentina so far this season. Guillermo Barros Schelotto takes his side across the capital with the team in exceptional form, as they’ve won all seven of their games so far in league matches. A victory here to make it eight from eight would be sweet.
So often emotion takes over in these fixtures, with both sets of players caught up in the fervency of the respective fanbases. Given their recent form, if Boca can keep their heads here then they are playing with the confidence required to pick up what’d be a memorable victory.
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