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Four football matches to watch this weekend

It’s El Clasico weekend, and some levers will be pulled or uprooted at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday when Barcelona visit Real Madrid. Plateau United will look for a win in Rades to advance to the CAF Champions League group stage, while PSG must overcome internal divisions in order to beat a resurgent Marseille, not to mention Man City’s visit to a frail Anfield.

Esperance v Plateau United @Stade Olympique de Rades @5pm on Oct.15Plateau United staged a comeback in Abuja last weekend and take a slim win to Rades where they will ‘attack’ the home side as promised by Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu. The two goals the Nigerian side scored came because of long throw-ins that caused havoc in the Esperance defence, and through that, they got their goals. That will be a tactic to be refined for the Rades battle.

The league in Tunisia just kicked off and Esperance are yet to kick a ball which means match fitness is almost the same as the visitors but they will rely on their pedigree and a raucous sold-out Stade Olympique to generate the atmosphere needed to get the needed goals. Will Plateau stand firm or will it be business as usual?

Current Form: Esperance [L-W-D-W-L]; Plateau United [W-W-D-W-L]

Head-to-head09/10/22 CCL Plateau United 2 – 1 Esperance Tunis

Prediction: Esperance 3-2 Plateau United

Liverpool v Man City @Anfield @4:30pm on Oct.16Is it the last chance saloon for Jurgen Klopp and the Reds? Liverpool are struggling. But at Anfield, they are still formidable opponents, having not lost in the Premier League in the last 589 days. That was a 1-0 loss to Fulham on 7 March 2021. Klopp’s men have conceded 17 goals in 12 matches in all competitions while City have scored 43 goals in 18 matches-an average of over two goals per match. City are led by the irrepressible Erling Harland, who already boasts 15 league goals.

Will Virgil van Dijk get up to speed and will the space between the midfield and the defence get longer? Trent Alexander-Arnold, Luis Díaz, and Joel Matip are all out and Liverpool look light, but Klopp and his team must respond now or the title chase could as well be over in October.

Current Form: Liverpool [W-L-W-D-W]; Man City [D-W-W-W-W]

Head-to-head30/07/22 COS Liverpool 3 – 1 Man City

16/04/22 FAC Man City 2 – 3 Liverpool

10/04/22 PRL Man City 2 – 2 Liverpool

03/10/21 PRL Liverpool 2 – 2 Man City

07/02/21 PRL Liverpool 1 – 4 Man City

Prediction: Liverpool 2-4 Man City

Real Madrid v Barcelona @Estadio Santiago Bernabéu @3:15pm on Oct.16Normal service has resumed in La Liga with Barcelona and Real Madrid locked at the top of the table. On the continent, Los Blancos are through to the round of 16 with two games to spare while Barcelona are sweating after pulling life-saving levers at the start of the season.

Both teams are missing big names none more than Thibaut Courtois for Madrid while Barcelona are shorn of their better defenders – Jules Kounde, Héctor Bellerín, Ronald Araujo, and Andreas Christensen – though Xavi’s Barcelona have conceded just eight goals all season.

The last encounter against Inter Milan in the Champions League showed a scattergun approach when under pressure. Will the first El Clasico of the season tell us more about Barcelona’s new level?

READ ALSO: Real Madrid 0-4 Barcelona: Aubameyang double typifies Barcelona’s brillianceCurrent Form: Real Madrid [D-W-W-D-W]; Barcelona [D-W-L-W-W]

Head-to-head24/07/22 CLF Real Madrid 0 – 1 Barcelona

20/03/22 LAL Real Madrid 0 – 4 Barcelona

12/01/22 SUC Barcelona 2 – 3 Real Madrid

24/10/21 LAL Barcelona 1 – 2 Real Madrid

10/04/21 LAL Real Madrid 2 – 1 Barcelona

Prediction: Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona

PSG v Marseille Parc des Princes @7:45pm on Oct.16There is a storm in Paris and it has nothing to do with Marseille’s visit, though it will add to the tension that is brewing between Kylian Mbappe, his manager Christophe Galtier, and his teammates. Three successive draws in all competitions and a three-point gap to the visitors means there is a lot to play for.

But PSG must achieve this without Nuno Mendes, Presnel Kimpembe, Sergio Ramos, and possibly Lionel Messi and Renato Sanches. Marseille are without a win over their more-monied opponents since September 2020. They are the fourth-highest scorers going into Sunday’s match and they have the second-best defence, but can they hold PSG and signpost their renaissance?

Current Form: PSG [D-D-D-W-W]; Marseille [W-L-W-W-D]

Head-to-head17/04/22 LI1 PSG 2 – 1 Marseille

24/10/21 LI1 Marseille 0 – 0 PSG

07/02/21 LI1 Marseille 0 – 2 PSG

13/01/21 TDC PSG 2 – 1 Marseille

13/09/20 LI1 PSG 0 – 1 Marseille

Prediction: PSG 2-1 Marseille

Source: www.premiumtimesng.com

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