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What to watch this week: Real Madrid v Barcelona, Manchester City v Liverpool


It’s a Super Sunday this weekend as heavyweights across prominent leagues lock horns; Real Madrid take on Barcelona in the first El Clasico of the season while Liverpool look to turn their fortunes around against a marauding Manchester City. Here are the picks of the upcoming week which you don’t want to miss.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona (Sunday, 7.45 PM)

The first El Clasico of the season will take place at the Bernabeu on Sunday with Barcelona looking to put the disappointing UEFA Champions League result against Inter Milan behind them by repeating last season’s performance against Real on their home turf. Six months ago, Barcelona had run rampant against the eventual La Liga winners when they demolished the Los Blancos 4-0 in their own backyard.

This time, however, the Blaugrana will be travelling to Madrid without Ronaldo Araujo, Hector Bellerin and Andreas Christensen, although Jules Kounde will probably be fit on time. Their attacking lineup, meanwhile, remains undented, with only Memphis Depay among the absentees. Real will have to contend with the mercurial Robert Lewandowski and the sprightly Raphinha, both of whom will look to prove a point in the first Clasico of the season.

Real Madrid will have injury woes of their own with Belgian shot stopper Thibaut Courtois likely to sit this one out due to injury. All the usual suspects in attack are likely to start this one with Karim Benzema spearheading the attack along with Vinicius Junior. The Brazilian has been in red hot form this season, having already scored 5 in the league. The Frenchman will hope to rediscover his shooting boots after drawing blanks in his last 3 outings.

Barcelona will be desperate for a win on Sunday in order to give their fans something to cheer about after the dire 3-3 draw with Inter in midweek, which has put them on the brink of Champions League elimination. Real, meanwhile, will love to rub more salt in the Catalans’ gaping wounds.

Manchester City vs Liverpool (Sunday, 9 PM)

The big one from the Premier League this week is the clash between champions Manchester City and last season’s runners up Liverpool on Sunday. For the past couple of seasons, this clash has decided the fate of the Premier League but this campaign paints a very different story with a 13-point gap between the two teams. Manchester City have started their campaign like a house on fire with Liverpool stuttering along with just 2 wins from 8 games.

But the match is in Anfield, a place where Jurgen Klopp’s side are nearly invincible and on a 27-game unbeaten run. That run might be under threat as City come to visit with a certain Erling Haaland in their ranks. The Norwegian giant has already scored 20 goals in all competitions and was rested in the midweek Champions League clash against FC Copenhagen. To underline how important Haaland has been this season for the champions, we just need to look at this match where the Manchester outfit drew a blank against a much weaker opposition.

Liverpool, meanwhile, finished their midweek formalities in the UCL with a 1-7 demolition of Scottish giants Rangers. Mohammed Salah came off the bench to score a hattrick and the Kop would hope that this form translates to Sunday’s match. Klopp will, however, have to contend with the absences of Arthur Melo, Luis Diaz, Joel Matip, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as Liverpool’s injury list just keeps on growing.

City have their fair share of injury concerns too with John Stones, Kyle Walker and Kalvin Philips all unavailable. On the other hand, Pep Guardiola will preferably reinstate Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva in the starting lineup, with Ikay Gundogan most probably starting from the bench.

Klopp’s attack, if they play 4-3-3, will probably see Roberto Firmino drop out of the starting XI, with Darwin Nunez, Diogo Jota and Salah all expected to start.

Honourable mentions

Leeds United vs Arsenal (Sunday, 6.30 PM)

Manchester United vs Tottenham (Thursday, 12.45 AM)





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