After shifting the focus to some sides outside of the standard spotlight last weekend, the heavyweights return to the feature this week. Plenty of them are in need of some points.
There are two clashes from the Premier League—including a showdown between the top two—as well as a meeting between the two most likely challengers for the Bundesliga crown.
Elsewhere, on Sunday the two biggest names in Italian football will go head-to-head, while arguably the most intense derby match in Spanish football caps off the weekend.
All kick offs are in Eastern time. Enjoy your weekend and enjoy the games!
Leicester City vs. Arsenal
Arsenal have endured a torrid few weeks and a trip to high-flying Leicester City is not a test under-pressure boss Unai Emery will be relishing at this stage.
There’s every chance the Foxes will turn in a performances bristling with the traits Arsenal fans would like to see from their own side. Under Brendan Rodgers, they appear to be genuine challengers for a top-four spot this season, as they’re playing with intensity and attacking verve.
A week ago, they also showed they’re capable of digging out results on the road. Leicester were ultra-professional in the win over Crystal Palace, as they gradually ground down their opponent and showed their class to take the game away from the Eagles late on. At the King Power, you sense they will fly out of the traps.
Whether Arsenal can withstand an attacking barrage from Leicester is doubtful, as they’ve been flimsy in defence lately, not to mention unbalanced in attack. Factor in the issues off the field—Granit Xhaka has been stripped of the captaincy—and the scrutiny on Emery, this has the potential to be a long evening for the Gunners.
Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund
For Bayern, much of the week has been dominated by talk regarding over their next potential manager, with Niko Kovac axed after last weekend’s 5-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt. Borussia Dortmund will be out to capitalise on the instability.
While Kovac had never entirely convinced as Bayern boss, there wasn’t any sense of him being on the brink as he prepared for the match with Frankfurt. However, the manner in which the Munich club collapsed clearly represented the final straw and they remain on the hunt for a successor.
It’ll be Hans-Dieter Flick taking charge of Bayern this weekend, as they will be out to earn a Klassiker win over Dortmund. Lucien Favre’s side are three points back on leaders Borussia Monchengladbach and will take huge confidence if they were able to beat their rivals in their own back yard.
Dortmund will be in high spirits for the game too, as they recovered from a two-goal deficit to beat Inter Milan in midweek. While the Munich outfit may be in disarray at the moment, in Robert Lewandowski they boast arguably the best forward in the game and remain a dangerous prospect as such.
Liverpool vs. Manchester City
A huge fixture is in store at Anfield on Sunday, as the two standout teams in the Premier League face off in a contest that’ll have huge title connotations.
Liverpool have a six-point lead over City going into the game, as they were able to produce late heroics in their 2-1 win over Aston Villa last weekend. It means they have the chance to take a huge step towards a possible title success on Sunday, as a win would give City massive ground to make up.
While the Premier League champions clearly have a lot of quality, the omens aren’t good for them. Not only is their record at Anfield awful—they’ve won once in 28 years at the Merseyside venue—they have a number of injuries to contend with to key players. Ederson is a big doubt for the game, while David Silva, Rodri, Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte are all out.
Liverpool will sense blood as a result and Anfield is set to be a cauldron of noise on Sunday afternoon. If City can emerge without losing the game, then you sense Guardiola will be delighted going into the international break.
Juventus vs. AC Milan
Sunday, November 10, 2:45 p.m. ET, ESPN+
With Inter Milan hosting Verona on Saturday, there’s a chance Juventus will be down in second in the Serie A standings come kick off on Sunday. That may apply some pressure to them ahead of the meeting with Milan.
It’s been rare for Juve to be challenged in the Italian top flight in recent years. Following Napoli’s effort in 2017-18, Inter appear to be the side best equipped to test them and it’ll be intriguing to see how this revamped Bianconeri outfit cope in a genuine race for the Scudetto, should one emerge.
Given the quality available to Maurizio Sarri, you’d expect them to stand up to the challenge well. In midweek in the Champions League they were able to show their mettle, as Douglas Costa grabbed a last-minute winner at Lokomotiv Moscow following a poor performance. As dramatic as that triumph was, Sarri will hope for a much more straightforward success on Sunday.
After all, Milan are having a torrid season and go into this round of fixtures down in 12th position in the table. It means that Stefano Pioli is already under pressure despite only being appointed in October and things are unlikely to get better for him here.
Real Betis vs. Sevilla
It may not boast the same prestige as the Clasico, but derbies between Real Betis and Sevilla are arguably more intense than games between Real Madrid and Barcelona. In recent years, they’ve provided some of the best entertainment in European football.
Betis will host the first Andalusian derby of the campaign and will be looking to use the visit of their rivals as a chance to ignite their season. They are languishing in 15th before La Liga’s Week 13 gets underway, although they did show some signs of improvement in the 0-0 with Real Madrid on Sunday.
Sevilla have blown hot and cold under Julen Lopetegui, as they meshed mixed thrilling attacking football with spells of stagnant possession. As of yet, they’ve been unable to get over the line against the big sides, suffering losses to Real Madrid and Barcelona earlier in the term; in their last two matches they’ve drawn against Valencia and Atletico Madrid.
Aside from their resolute display at the Santiago Bernabeu last weekend, Betis have been ropey in their defensive play for the majority of 2019-20. It means that if both teams opt to have a go at one another, this contest could be another Andalusian classic.
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