Four matches to watch this weekend

Liverpool celebrates after scoring
Liverpool celebrates after scoring

Wolves v Liverpool @Molineux Stadium @8:45pm on Jan.7

There is no crisis at Liverpool because of their first league defeat of the season but away at Wolves in the FA Cup, they have to be doubly wary of a team that likes beating the big boys.

Wolves already boast of victories over Spurs and Chelsea in the league; adding Liverpool’s scalp in the Cup is an added incentive.

Jurgen Klopp is expected to rest some of his main players while Nuno Espirito Santos has promised to treat Cup matches like finals. The Portuguese manager was coy about resting players in the pre-game press conference and there is every indication, he will field his best team.

This one could be settled by penalties.

Current Form: Wolves [L-W-D-L-W]; Liverpool [L-W-W-W-W]

Head to head

Fri 21/12/18 PRL Wolves 0 – 2 Liverpool

Sat 28/01/17 FAC Liverpool 1 – 2 Wolves

Tue 31/01/12 PRL Wolves 0 – 3 Liverpool

Sat 24/09/11 PRL Liverpool 2 – 1 Wolves

Sat 22/01/11 PRL Wolves 0 – 3 Liverpool

Prediction: Wolves 2-2 Liverpool

Sevilla v Atletico @Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan @4:15pm on Jan.6

This is a meeting between two teams who have realistic ambitions of dethroning Barcelona and they start the year with a knockout encounter.

With two points separating them at the moment with Sevilla coming into Saturday’s encounter boasting an eight-match unbeaten run.

After his summer move from Girona, Pablo Machin has created a defensive base from which the whole team has thrived. Andre Silva has settled well after his AC Milan misadventure and scores more of his goal attempts.

Atletico are on an unbeaten streak of their own – 14 consecutive league matches without defeat and they have only conceded 12 goals in 17 league games.

This should be a tight and cagey affair, with the best counter-attacking side the likely winner.

Current Form: Sevilla [D-W-W-D-W]; Atletico [W-W-D-W-W]

Head to head

Sun 25/02/18 LAL Sevilla 2 – 5 Atletico

Tue 23/01/18 CDR Sevilla 3 – 1 Atletico

Wed 17/01/18 CDR Atletico 1 – 2 Sevilla

Sat 23/09/17 LAL Atletico 2 – 0 Sevilla

Sun 19/03/17 LAL Atletico 3 – 1 Sevilla

Prediction: Sevilla 1-1 Atletico

Real Madrid v Real Sociedad @Santiago Bernabeu @6:30pm on Jan.6

Another draw and another Gareth Bale injury made for another Real Madrid stumble away to Villarreal last Thursday and the gap between them and Barcelona is now seven points.

Their visitors on Sunday, Sociedad, are on a wretched run but just as many predicted an easy victory last Thursday that almost turned into a defeat, reigning World Club champions must do the needful on the pitch.

There are already grumblings around the methods of the new manager, Santiago Solari, who has lost some influential players in the dressing room like Isco. No matter the disagreements, Solari desperately needs all three points on Sunday or…

Current Form: Real Madrid [D-W-W-W-L]; Sociedad [L-L-L-W-L]

Head to head

10/02/18 LAL Real Madrid 5 – 2 Real Sociedad

17/09/17 LAL Real Sociedad 1 – 3 Real Madrid

29/01/17 LAL Real Madrid 3 – 0 Real Sociedad

21/08/16 LAL Real Sociedad 0 – 3 Real Madrid

30/04/16 LAL Real Sociedad 0 – 1 Real Madrid

Prediction: Real Madrid 4-2 Real Sociedad

Man. United v Reading @Old Trafford @1:30pm on Jan.5

Can Ole Gunnar Solksjaer make it five consecutive victories in his first five matches as Manchester United manager? The answer must be an emphatic yes considering recent forms of both United and Reading.

The Championship side has no wins in their last eight matches – five losses and three draws while United are on a high after scoring 14 goals in their last four matches.

Current Form: Man. Utd [W-W-W-W-L]; Reading [L-D-L-L-D]

Head to head

Sat 07/01/17 FAC Man. Utd 4 – 0 Reading

Sat 16/03/13 PRL Man. Utd 1 – 0 Reading

Mon 18/02/13 FAC Man. Utd 2 – 1 Reading

Sat 01/12/12 PRL Reading 3 – 4 Man. Utd

Sat 19/01/08 PRL Reading 0 – 2 Man. Utd

Prediction: Man. Utd 4-0 Reading

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