Four matches to watch this weekend

Man. Utd v Man. City @Old Trafford @5:30pm on Dec 10

It is finally here – the first Manchester derby of the 2017/18 EPL season and it is so hard to call. Looking at the season so far, the outlook of Sunday’s encounter will be hinged on whether Jose Mourinho will be proactive or reactive. A reactive United will pack the midfield and hope to hurt City on the counter and on set pieces but a proactive United will throw on Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford to push back the attacks of City. We all know how Pep Guardiola is going to set up – have more possession and look to open up United with the pace down the flanks of Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane courtesy of the probing from Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva.

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

Head to head

Fri     21/07/17      ICC    Man. Utd      2 – 0  Man. City

Thu    27/04/17     PRL    Man. City     0 – 0  Man. Utd

Wed   26/10/16      LEC    Man. Utd      1 – 0   Man. City

Sat    10/09/16      PRL    Man. Utd      1 – 2   Man. City

Sun    20/03/16     PRL    Man. City     0 – 1   Man. Utd

Prediction: Man. Utd 1-2 Man. City

Liverpool v Everton @Anfield @3:15pm on Dec 10

Liverpool are flying but Everton have Sam Allardyce and Wayne Rooney as the longest running derby in England’s top flight resumes on Sunday. Since the announcement of Allardyce as manager, the Toffees have gone three matches without conceding, scoring nine goals in that run. Will Everton then be confident coming to Anfield to face Liverpool’s fab four? Looking at the central defensive partnership of Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams, who lack pace, one would be tempted to say they will be overrun but Liverpool have their own Achilles heel in the centre of their defence and in the goalkeeping department, which means Everton will fancy their chances and it is a derby where form sometimes counts less than passion and aggression.

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

Head to head

Sat    01/04/17      PRL    Liverpool     3 – 1   Everton

Mon    19/12/16      PRL    Everton       0 – 1   Liverpool

Wed   20/04/16     PRL    Liverpool     4 – 0  Everton

Sun    04/10/15      PRL    Everton       1 – 1   Liverpool

Sat    07/02/15     PRL    Everton       0 – 0  Liverpool

Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Everton

Juventus v Inter Milan @Juventus Stadium @8:45pm on Dec 9

Juventus face Serie A table leaders for the second time in seven days. After passing the Napoli test last Friday, they host Inter on Saturday and can go top for the first time this season. For Inter, they will be looking to emulate the 2012 side that beat Juve 3-1 in Turin to end the Old Lady’s 49-games unbeaten run. Luciano Spaletti’s side is not in Europe and has had seven days to prepare for this match whereas Max Allegri had to take his side to Greece in the Champions League. For the first time in a long while, Inter have a squad that can challenge for the title and will be looking to make a statement on Saturday. Gigi Buffon should return in goal to face Mauro Icardi, who has already scored 16 league goals this season.

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

Head to head

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

Sun    28/02/16     SEA   Juventus      2 – 0  Inter Milan

Wed   27/01/16      COI   Juventus      3 – 0  Inter Milan

Prediction: Juventus 1-2 Inter Milan

Real Madrid v Sevilla @Santiago Bernabeu @4:15pm on Dec 9

Their midweek 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund showed that Los Blancos are not in their best form. And they will be without their preferred centre-back pairing of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane with Zinedine Zidane hoping Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema will start scoring in the league once again. Sevilla can leapfrog the defending champions with a win even though they are not scoring as many of the chances created. It is expected that Ronaldo’s fifth Ballon d’Or win should spur the whole Los Blancos to a much-needed victory as they can’t keep dropping points in their chase of Barcelona.

Current Form: Real Madrid [D-D-W-W-D]; Sevilla [W-W-W-D-W]

Head to head

Sun    14/05/17      LAL    Real Madrid  4 – 1   Sevilla

Sun    15/01/17      LAL    Sevilla         2 – 1   Real Madrid

Thu    12/01/17      CDR   Sevilla         3 – 3  Real Madrid

Wed   04/01/17      CDR   Real Madrid  3 – 0  Sevilla

Tue    09/08/16     USC   Real Madrid  3 – 2 Sevilla

Prediction: Real Madrid 2-1 Sevilla


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