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

This weekend is a Super Sunday where the heavyweights of the prominent leagues go head-to-head; Real Madrid meet Barcelona in the first El Clasico of the season as Liverpool look to turn their fortunes against a marauding Manchester City. Here are next week’s tips not to be missed.

Real Madrid – Barcelona (Sunday, 19:45)

The first El Clasico of the season takes place at the Bernabeu on Sunday. Barcelona are looking to put the disappointing UEFA Champions League result against Inter Milan behind them by repeating last season’s performance against Real on home soil. Six months ago, Barcelona faced off against the eventual LaLiga winners as they demolished Los Blancos 4-0 in their own backyard.

This time, however, the Blaugrana travel to Madrid without Ronaldo Araujo, Hector Bellerin and Andreas Christensen, although Jules Kounde is expected to be fit in time. Their offensive lineup, meanwhile, remains unchanged, with only Memphis Depay among those absent. Real will have to contend with the vivacious Robert Lewandowski and sprightly Raphinha, both of whom will be looking to prove a point in the first Clasico of the season.

Real Madrid will have their own injury woes as Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is likely to sit out through injury. All the usual suspects in attack will likely start with Karim Benzema leading the attack alongside Vinicius Junior. The Brazilian has been in red-hot form this season, having already scored 5 goals in La Liga. The Frenchman will be hoping to rediscover his shooting shoes after drawing gaps in his last 3 appearances.

Barcelona will be desperate for a win on Sunday to give their fans something to cheer about after a terrible 3-3 draw with Inter midweek that put them on the brink of Champions League elimination. Real, meanwhile, will love rubbing more salt into the Catalans’ gashes.

Manchester City-Liverpool (Sunday, 9pm)

The Premier League’s big game this week is Sunday’s clash between champions Manchester City and last season’s runners-up Liverpool. For the last 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 on just 2 wins from 8 games.

But the game will take place at Anfield, a place where Jurgen Klopp’s side are nearly invincible and unbeaten in 27 games. That run could be threatened if City visit with a certain Erling Haaland in their ranks. The Norwegian giants have already scored 20 goals in all competitions and were rested in the midweek Champions League clash against FC Copenhagen. To underline how important Haaland has been for the champions this season, we only have to look at this game in which the Manchester team drew a gap against a much weaker opponent.

Liverpool, on the other hand, ended their midweek formalities in UCL with a 7-1 demolition of Scottish giants Rangers. Mohammed Salah came off the bench to score a hat-trick and the Kop would be hoping that form carries over into Sunday’s game. However, Klopp has to deal with the absences of Arthur Melo, Luis Diaz, Joel Matip, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as Liverpool’s injury list grows.

City also have their fair share of injury concerns with John Stones, Kyle Walker and Kalvin Philips all unavailable. On the other hand, Pep Guardiola will preferably return Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva to the starting XI, with Ikay Gundogan most likely starting from the bench.

Klopp’s attack if they play 4-3-3 is likely to see Roberto Firmino eliminated from the starting XI, while Darwin Nunez, Diogo Jota and Salah are all expected to start.

Honorable Mentions

Leeds United v Arsenal (Sunday, 18:30)

Manchester United v Tottenham (Thursday, 00:45)



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