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Four matches to watch this weekend

Four matches to watch this weekend

Manchester City v Liverpool @Etihad Stadium @5:30pm on Nov.8

This is big, but the greater emphasis is whether the result will affect the overall outcome of the 2020/21 English Premier League season? In the last three seasons, we have witnessed tight matches and routs. Perhaps, it could be argued that Liverpool were already league winners when they travelled to the Etihad last July but in the 2018/19 and 2017/18 seasons. The aggregate winners over the two league matches have won the league, so too much emphasis cannot be placed on their first meeting on Sunday, though it will emphasise the level and the differences between the two teams.

Season 1st League Match 2nd League Match League Winners
2019/20 Liverpool 3-1 Man. City Man. City 4-0 Liverpool Liverpool
2018/19 Liverpool 0-0 Man. City Man. City 2-1 Liverpool Man. City
2017/18 Man. City 5-0 Liverpool Liverpool 4-3 Man. City Man. City

Both have some injury challenges, but there are also upticks. Jurgen Klopp must start Jota over Roberto Firmino while Pep Guardiola can call on Gabriel Jesus, who returned in the midweek Champions League win over Olympiacos. It is in defence that Liverpool may be exposed with Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho out injured.

Current Form: Man. City [W-W-W-D-W]; Liverpool [W-W-W-W-W]

Head to head

02/07/20 PRL Man. City 4 – 0 Liverpool

10/11/19 PRL Liverpool 3 – 1 Man. City

04/08/19 COS Liverpool 1 – 1 P Man. City

03/01/19 PRL Man. City 2 – 1 Liverpool

07/10/18 PRL Liverpool 0 – 0 Man. City

Prediction: Man. City 2-1 Liverpool

Lazio v Juventus @Stadio Olimpico @12:30pm on Nov.8

Lazio v Juventus [Photo Credit: Eurotips.co.uk]

The real determinant of Sunday’s encounter will be COVID-19-enforced absences, especially from the Lazio team, who ran Juventus close before the pandemic halted their charge. Simone Inzaghi will not have the last season’s highest goal scorer, Ciro Immobile, in his team, and he is joined by midfield enforcer, Lucas Leiva and Thomas Strakosha, who have all tested positive. For Andrea Pirlo, there are Covid absences, but he cannot call on Aaron Ramsey, Alex Sandro, and Matthijs de Ligt. While Juventus have not hit their usual high notes, Cristiano Ronaldo is back to help Alvaro Morata plunder goals that will see the defending champions rise up the Serie A table where they are currently third, four points behind early leaders, AC Milan. Lazio are just two points behind, but are placed 10th on the table.

Current Form: Lazio [D-W-D-W-W]; Juventus [W-W-L-D-W]

Head to head

20/07/20 SEA Juventus 2 – 1 Lazio

22/12/19 SUC Juventus 1 – 3 Lazio

07/12/19 SEA Lazio 3 – 1 Juventus

27/01/19 SEA Lazio 1 – 2 Juventus

25/08/18 SEA Juventus 2 – 0 Lazio

Prediction: Lazio 2-3 Juventus

Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich @Signal-Iduna-Park @6:30pm on Nov.7

In the last 10 confrontations, Bayern have won eight times, and scored 28 goals against their fiercest rivals. Saturday’s encounter comes with Dortmund’s mean defence hoping to keep out Bayern’s free scoring offense. Bayern coach, Hansi Flick will be happy that his team is not totally reliant on Robert Lewandowski for all the goals even though he has already taken his tally to 10 league goals in five matches while Lucien Favre must believe his team’s defensive frailties have been successfully solved while Erling Braut Haaland has scored five goals in his first five league matches.

Current Form: Dortmund [W-W-W-W-L]; Bayern [W-W-W-W-W]

Head to head

30/09/20 SUC Bayern Munich 3 – 2 Borussia Dortmund

26/05/20 BUN Borussia Dortmund 0 – 1 Bayern Munich

09/11/19 BUN Bayern Munich 4 – 0 Borussia Dortmund

03/08/19 SUC Borussia Dortmund 2 – 0 Bayern Munich

06/04/19 BUN Bayern Munich 5 – 0 Borussia Dortmund

Prediction: Dortmund 1-3 Bayern

PSG v Rennes @Parc des Princes @9pm on Nov.7

These two teams met only once in the league last season and Rennes on 2-1. They also beat the Paris giants on penalties in last season’s Coupe de France. Though PSG have snuck back on top of the Ligue 1 table, Rennes are just three points away and Thomas Tuchel will be without a raft of quality forwards like Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Mauro Icardi while stellar performers like Julian Draxler and Marco Verratti, will also be missing. With pressure growing on Tuchel, he needs his players to deliver a good result. Despite the 3-0 loss to Chelsea in midweek, Julie Stepan’s team were good value apart from some marginal decisions that went against his team, and he will call on speedy Jeremy Doku and Romain Del Castillo to start at the Parc des Princes on Saturday.

Current Form: PSG [L-W-W-W-L]; Rennes [L-W-L-L-D]

Head to head

18/08/19 LI1 Rennes 2 – 1 PSG

03/08/19 TDC PSG 2 – 1 Rennes

27/04/19 CDF Rennes P 2 – 2 PSG

27/01/19 LI1 PSG 4 – 1 Rennes

23/09/18 LI1 Rennes 1 – 3 PSG

Prediction: PSG 3-0 Rennes

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