Man. United v Man. City @Old Trafford @5:30pm on December 11
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under immense pressure but he has to prepare and raise the morale of his team after the 3-2 loss to RB Leipzig in the Champions League. On Saturday, United welcome neighbours, City to the Theatre of Dreams with Solskjaer hoping his dream job does not become a nightmare.
There is the Paul Pogba conundrum to solve while City have started motoring – winning four of their last five matches and scoring 10 goals and conceding no goal. Sergio Aguero is back but will start from the bench as Pep Guardiola seeks to leap over United with a win. Will Solskjaer pull another rabbit from his hat or will Guardiola compound the gloom that has descended over United?
Current Form: Man. United [L-W-L-W-W]; Man. City [W-W-D-W-W]
08/03/20 PRL Man. United 2 – 0 Man. City
29/01/20 LEC Man. City 0 – 1 Man. United
07/01/20 LEC Man. United 1 – 3 Man. City
07/12/19 PRL Man. City 1 – 2 Man. United
24/04/19 PRL Man. United 0 – 2 Man. City
Prediction: Man. Utd 1-3 Man. City
Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid @ Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano @9pm on December 12
It was deemed a make or mar seven days for Zinedine Zidane’s managerial reign at Real Madrid but his team have shown the stuff of champions by beating Sevilla and Borussia Monchengladbach without conceding. But on Saturday, Atletico arrive at Estadio Alfredo di Stefano, leading La Liga and boasting a 26-match unbeaten run in the league.
Simeone recalled Luis Suarez in midweek and should form a formidable partnershihp with Joao Felix, who has been in terrific form this season. For Zidane, the choices for starting berths has been made easier with some injuries and returns. Sergio Ramos returned in the midweek win over Monchengladbach and Raphael Varane always looks and plays with more composure when the legendary defender is available. Eden Hazard is still out injured but Dani Carvajal could return and replace Lucas Vazquez at right back. Whoever scores first in this one will likely take the day.
Current Form: Real Madrid [W-W-L-L-W]; Atletico Madrid [W-W-D-W-D]
01/02/20 LAL Real Madrid 1 – 0 Atletico Madrid
12/01/20 SUC Real Madrid P 0 – 0 Atletico Madrid
28/09/19 LAL Atletico Madrid 0 – 0 Real Madrid
27/07/19 ICC Real Madrid 3 – 7 Atletico Madrid
09/02/19 LAL Atletico Madrid 1 – 3 Real Madrid
Prediction: Real Madrid 2-2 Atletico Madrid
Marseille v Monaco @Orange Velodrome @5pm on Dec.12
The season’s assignment is clear for Andre Villas-Boas and his Marseille after coming last in their Champions League group – losing five of the six matches. But in Ligue 1, they are flying – having won their last five matches and unbeaten in nine.
They host Monaco at the Velodrome on Saturday, just one point and one place ahead of the Islanders. Niko Kovac’s side have suffered from COVID-19 positive tests, especially to Wissam Ben Yedder, who could return to the starting 11 versus Marseille. With 13 games gone, PSG’s lead over the chasing pack – to the eighth-placed team is still in single digit, which means the more consistent any team can be, the better placed they will be challenging PSG who will be distracted by the Champions League. But who will be the more consistent team?
Current Form: Marseille [L-W-W-W-L]; Monaco [L-W-W-W-W]
Prediction: Marseille 3-2 Monaco
PSG v Lyon @Parc des Princes @9pm on Dec.13
Going into matchday 14, PSG and Lyon are separated by two points with both teams in good form. PSG picked up the gauntlet as they faced Champions League elimination with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Angel di Maria, all rising to the fore. Thomas Tuchel looks to have found the right midfield combination with Marco Veratti back to full fitness but he will have to choose between Rafinha and Paredes.
Tuchel will also make a decision on whether to restore Moise Kean to give his attack a focal point. For Rudi Garcia, the main decision is finding a suitable replacement for the energy and guile of the suspended Rayan Cherki and how to continue to motivate Memphis Depay, who could be distracted by rumours of an impending move to Barcelona. Who will blink first?
Current Form: PSG [W-W-W-D-W]; Lyon [W-W-W-W-D]
04/03/20 CDF Lyon 1 – 5 PSG
09/02/20 LI1 PSG 4 – 2 Lyon
22/09/19 LI1 Lyon 0 – 1 PSG
03/02/19 LI1 Lyon 2 – 1 PSG
07/10/18 LI1 PSG 5 – 0 Lyon
Prediction: PSG 4-1 Lyon
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