The international break is finally over, and we can all return to the joy of ruined accumulators and terrible captain picks in fantasy football.
Club football returns with a bang this weekend, with several enticing fixtures from around the continent. Here are a few to look out for.
Monaco vs Paris Saint-Germain (Friday 20th Nov, 20:00)
Okay, technically not on the weekend, but still an enthralling prospect nonetheless.
Monaco welcome PSG to the Stade Louis II on Friday evening, hoping to close the gap on their opponents at the top of the table. They began the season in unconvincing fashion, but have somewhat redeemed themselves with two wins on the spin. The hosts could jump as high as second this weekend if results go their way.
After a shaky start, Les Parisiens have stormed to the summit, winning their last eight league games in a row while conceding just once. They currently sit five points clear of Lille in second, and seven ahead of their opponents.
Unfortunately, both sides are missing some superstars. Monaco talisman Wissam Ben Yedder is absent after being diagnosed with COVID-19, while Neymar is a doubt through injury.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City (Saturday 21st Nov, 17:30)
These two sides have had very opposite openings to the new campaign.
Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham have punched above their weight so far, currently sitting in second place. Many believe that they are now in with a chance of winning the title.
In contrast, Man City have been vastly underwhelming. They currently languish in tenth, although they have played one game fewer than most.
This fixture is an opportunity for both sides. Spurs could really lay down a marker with a victory on Saturday, while the Cityzens have the chance to gather some momentum and relaunch their title charge.
Also, Mourinho vs Guardiola – does it get any bigger than that?
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) November 19, 2020
Two of the world’s biggest sides go head-to-head at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday, as Atletico Madrid host Barcelona.
The home side have made a near-perfect start to the league season, winning five and drawing two from their opening seven. They are just three points off the first place having played two games fewer than table-toppers Real Sociedad.
On the other hand, Ronald Koeman’s return to the Camp Nou has not gone as planned. A run of four games without a win left La Blaugrana struggling after convincing victories in their opening two. A comfortable triumph against Real Betis last time out has helped them get back on track, but this is an entirely different prospect.
Lionel Messi will undoubtedly be the centre of media attention once again. The Argentine has not upheld his usual astronomical standards this season, netting just once from open play. A recent feud with Antoine Griezmann’s former agent has done little to put out the fire. Nonetheless, he faces one of his favourite opponents this weekend. Messi has scored 31 career goals against Los Rojiblancos – Sevilla are the only team he’s bagged more against.
Liverpool vs Leicester City (Sunday 22nd Nov, 19:15)
Brendan Rodgers returns to Anfield on Sunday, knowing that three points will keep his team in first for another week.
Very few teams come away from Anfield victorious. Liverpool haven’t lost at home in the league since April 2017, going 63 games undefeated since then.
However, if there’s ever a good time to play Jurgen Klopp’s side, it’s probably around now. Several key players are sidelined for the Reds, especially in defence. First choice centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are both out long term, while Trent Alexander-Arnold is also a doubt. Mohamed Salah will also miss the game after testing positive for COVID-19, while Thiago Alcantara is not expected to be fit in time for the game.
Nonetheless, if Liverpool get the three points, then they will overtake the Foxes, and possibly jump back on top depending on the Tottenham vs Man City result.
Napoli vs AC Milan (Sunday 22nd Nov, 19:45)
After several years of decline, AC Milan are back at the top of Serie A, having still not lost a league game this season.
Despite his age, Swedish legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic is proving that he still has plenty left to offer. The 39-year-old is in the lead in the Italian Golden Boot race, finding the net on eight occasions in five outings.
The Rossoneri face their toughest test of the campaign so far, travelling to third-placed Napoli.
Gennaro Gattuso’s men have bounced back from last year’s underwhelming term, collecting 14 points from their opening seven. A win for the home side could take them to the top of the league if results go their way.
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