Put simply, you’re going to have to make some difficult choices this weekend.

After the international break, Saturday is stacked with a plethora of brilliant fixtures, meaning our top-five selections this week are crammed into a shorter period than usual.

So you can take your pick between two city derbies earlier in the day; another local clash will compete with a high-profile Premier League encounter at lunch time. In the late afternoon, there’s a more straightforward decision, with a standout La Liga fixture.

All kick offs are Eastern time. Enjoy your weekend and enjoy the games.


Everton vs. Liverpool

Saturday, October 17, 7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN, Universo, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV and Sling Blue (free trial)

In recent years, it’s typically been Liverpool supporters who have anticipated the Merseyside derby. But this time around, those associated with Everton are feeling uncharacteristically bullish about their chances.

The Toffees go into this match having won all seven of their matches in the 2020-21 season and sit top of the Premier League at the start of the weekend. Carlo Ancelotti has injected fresh impetus into this Everton side, as have the goals of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and and the midfield mastery of James Rodriguez.

Liverpool feel a little more vulnerable than in recent derby matches too. The last time they took to the field was a chastening experience, as Aston Villa ran riot in a stunning 7-2 victory. Should Jurgen Klopp’s side defend like that again, Everton’s attacking firepower will surely punish them too.

Still, the Reds have won a litany of honors in recent years and in Klopp they have a coach who will have them motivated and focused for this encounter. The return of Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara to full fitness will also be a major boost for Liverpool.


Celtic vs. Rangers

Saturday, October 17, 7:30 a.m. ET, ESPN+

In the Scottish Premier League in recent years, the first Old Firm fixture of the season has often felt like the most important one.

For Rangers, it’s arguably more significant. This season they will be out to close the gap further to their Glasgow rivals and ultimately prevent them from winning their 10th SPL title in a row. After a strong start to the campaign, manager Steven Gerrard will be hopeful of his players emerging from Parkhead with a positive result.

Even so, Celtic remain the alpha side in the division and have shown as much with eight wins and a draw from their opening nine matches. While it’s early in the campaign, if they were able to win here and move ahead of Rangers in the table—despite playing a game less—then it would be a big blow for Gerrard’s team to recover from.

The vociferous support provided by both sets of fans has long been a hallmark of this fixture and it’ll be peculiar to see it played in front of empty stands. Still, with Rangers improving, there should be a competitive match to savour.


Inter Milan vs. AC Milan

Saturday, October 17. 12 p.m. ET, ESPN+

The iconic derbies keep on coming on Saturday, with Inter Milan and AC Milan going head-to-head later in the day in the Derby della Madonnina.

AC Milan have fallen short of their city rivals in recent years, although the signs have been more positive for them at the start of this season. Stefano Pioli has steered his team to three wins from their first three Serie A matches of the campaign, albeit nine points would have been expected against Bologna, Crotone and Spezia.

Still, Milan supporters will be encouraged by what they’ve seen. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Rafael Leao offer potency up top, while in midfield Sandro Tonali has shown signs he can be the controlling influence that this team has long lacked.

Needless to say, Inter will pose a much more difficult challenge. Antonio Conte’s side would have been disappointed not to take all three points against Lazio before the break, but the early signs indicate they will be the closest challengers to Juventus again.


Manchester City vs. Arsenal

Saturday, October 17, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC, Universo, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV and Sling Blue (free trial)

After an indifferent start to the season, Manchester City will hoping to embark on a more consistent run of results on Saturday, albeit that won’t be straightforward against one of the strongest sides in the Premier League in Arsenal.

City were held to a 1-1 draw against Leeds United in their previous Premier League outing and while both teams earned plaudits for the pulsating spectacle they produced, Pep Guardiola’s side were not at their best again. Defensively, it still looks like he has a lot of problems to solve.

It’ll also be intriguing to see how City set up from an attacking perspective. Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero have both missed the start of the season with injuries, while Raheem Sterling sat out international duty with England because of a niggle; it means the wealth of firepower Guardiola has at his disposal suddenly looks a little more depleted.

Arsenal have reason to be positive too. Although their last fixture was a completely forgettable 2-0 win over Sheffield United, overall it’s been an encouraging start to the season for the Gunners. Manager Mikel Arteta has also shown himself to be capable of setting his side up to get good results against the division’s elite teams too and they beat City in the recent FA Cup semi-final.


Getafe vs. Barcelona

Saturday, October 17, 3 p.m. ET, beIN SPORTS, beIN SPORTS en Español, Fanatiz, fuboTV, Sling World Sports, Sling Latino and Vidgo (free trial)

The final match of a jam-packed day will be a classic clash of style, when a robust Getafe welcome Barcelona in La Liga.

Getafe have been able to establish themselves as regular contenders for European football in Spain’s top flight and they play a brand of football that a lot of Barcelona’s more technical operators may find tough to combat.

As for Barcelona, it’s been an adequate start to the campaign. New manager Ronald Koeman would’ve been disappointed with the 1-1 draw with Sevilla a fortnight ago, but in the main his side have played some slick football and players like Philippe Coutinho and Ansu Fati have stepped up a level.

Even so, Barcelona feel like they’re in a precarious position at the moment and if they were to lose on Saturday then the pressure would quickly bite on the new boss. Getafe are renowned for being spoilers on this type of stage too.