Chelsea v Man. City @Stamford Bridge @6:30pm on Dec.8
Maurizio Sarri was, until November 24, on a Chelsea honeymoon; but two defeats in their last two away matches have brought the 59-year-old Italian tactician back to earth.
One thing that is certain when he chooses his starting 11 against Pep Guardiola’s swashbuckling Citizens on Saturday is that it will be his best possible starting pack.
Sarri has shown his teams can play attractive football but against Guardiola’s unrelenting attacking machine, he must show how tactical he can be to cage the beast.
If he is as freewheeling as he has been in their last two defeats then it is almost a surety that a third league defeat is on the cards. City will be without Sergio Aguero, who has a habit of scoring at Stamford Bridge, as well as Benjamin Mendy, and Kevin De Bruyne.
Current Form: Chelsea [L-W-W-L-D]; Man. City [W-W-D-W-W]
Head to head
Sun 05/08/18 COS Chelsea 0 – 2 Man. City
Sun 04/03/18 PRL Man. City 1 – 0 Chelsea
Sat 30/09/17 PRL Chelsea 0 – 1 Man. City
Wed 05/04/17 PRL Chelsea 2 – 1 Man. City
Sat 03/12/16 PRL Man. City 1 – 3 Chelsea
Prediction: Chelsea 1-3 Man. City
Espanyol v Barcelona @RCDE Stadium @8:45pm on Dec.8
The Catalan derby cannot be juicier than what is expected on Saturday. The poorer Catalan, Espanyol, are having a good season by all standards – just seven points behind the leaders Barcelona – just the elixir to push for a home win and trim that difference to four. Ernesto Valverde has his preferred front three of Lionel Messi, Phillipe Coutinho, and Luis Suarez fit but Samuel Umtiti, Sergi Roberto, and Malcom will not be available. For Rubi, Borja Iglesias will be key having already scored eight league goals and his defence, which has conceded 16 goals in 17 league games must be tighter against the defending champions.
Current Form: Espanyol [W-L-L-L-W]; Barcelona [W-W-W-D-L]
Head to head
Wed 07/03/18 SDC Barcelona 0 – 0 Espanyol
Sun 04/02/18 LAL Espanyol 1 – 1 Barcelona
Thu 25/01/18 CDR Barcelona 2 – 0 Espanyol
Wed 17/01/18 CDR Espanyol 1 – 0 Barcelona
Sat 09/09/17 LAL Barcelona 5 – 0 Espanyol
Prediction: Espanyol 1-3 Barcelona
Juventus v Inter Milan @Juventus Stadium @8:30pm on Dec.7
The whole of Serie A is definitely praying for an Inter win because another Juve win could turn the league into a mere procession for the seven-time consecutive champions. Former AC Milan manager, Arrigo Sacchi, believes the Italian league is one that is not about tactics but about which team has the best set of players and currently that is Juventus by a mile.
Inter have had a patchy time in their last five games, picking up just one win while the defending champions are marching on relentlessly, having surrendered just two points all season in 14 matches. What can Inter do to stop the juggernaut? Play out of their skin which means Mauro Icardi must score every given scoring chance.
Current Form: Juventus [L-W-W-W-W]; Inter [D-L-W-L-D]
Head to head
Sat 28/04/18 SEA Inter Milan 2 – 3 Juventus
Sat 09/12/17 SEA Juventus 0 – 0 Inter Milan
Sun 05/02/17 SEA Juventus 1 – 0 Inter Milan
Sun 18/09/16 SEA Inter Milan 2 – 1 Juventus
Wed 02/03/16 COI Inter Milan 3 – 0 Juventus
Prediction: Juventus 2-1 Inter Milan
Schalke 04 v Dortmund @VELTINS-Arena @3:30pm on Dec.8
Borussia Dortmund are desperate for a win in the Revierderby as they boast no wins in seven against Schalke in the last seven confrontations. So despite an unbeaten start to the 2018/19 Bundesliga season, an away match against Schalke is one that brings goose pimples. Mario Götze told Bundesliga.com that they have a few things to put right on Saturday. “It is a very special game regardless of the current situation or the position in the table of either team. It’s a big game regardless of all outside influences. It is especially important away from home because we did not put on a good performance last time and so we have a few things to put right.” Dortmund will hope to extend their seven-point lead atop the table while Schalke need some confidence boost.
Current Form: Schalke [D-L-W-L-L]; Dortmund [W-D-W-W-W]
Head to head
Sun 15/04/18 BUN Schalke 04 2 – 0 Dortmund
Sat 25/11/17 BUN Dortmund 4 – 4 Schalke
Sat 01/04/17 BUN Schalke 1 – 1 Dortmund
Sat 29/10/16 BUN Dortmund 0 – 0 Schalke
Sun 10/04/16 BUN Schalke 2 – 2 Dortmund
Prediction: Schalke 1-3 Dortmund