Previewing this weekend's big clashes (9-10th November 2019)
With all the top European top leagues past 10 matchdays, the league tables are starting to take shape. While some teams such as Borussia Mönchengladbach and Leicester City have taken their leagues by storm, a few have struggled, most notably Manchester United and Tottenham.
In the midst of all this, the upcoming matchday brings along two of the most anticipated league fixtures in recent times which are supposed to have a huge impact on deciding the title winners.
Liverpool (H) vs Manchester City
This mouthwatering clash between two of the best teams in Europe with their charismatic managers at the magnificent Anfield is surely going to have a say on who's going away with the Premier League at the end of the season. Manchester City edged past Liverpool by just one point last year.
If Liverpool win, they would be nine points clear of the second-placed City, and considering the form they are in, it would be nearly impossible for any team in the league to overtake them. City, on the other hand, would have the chance to cut their newfound arch-rivals' lead to 3 points.
In terms of form, City have won 22 of their last 25 games in the Premier League, but the three occasions where they have dropped points have come this season.
Also, they had an unconvincing draw against Atlanta in the mid-week. Liverpool, on the other hand, are undefeated in their last 43 home games in the league and have only dropped points once this season, a 1-1 draw against Manchester United.
Liverpool have some players on the injury list, but it is City who have been seriously plagued by injuries to key players since the start of the season, and it has only worsened with Ederson joining Sane, Laporte, Rodrigo, David Silva and Zinchenko on the sidelines.
The defence would certainly be a headache for Guardiola with his most trusted soldiers out of the clash. For Liverpool, it is Henderson who is a doubt due to illness and might join Clyne, Shaqiri and Matip on the sidelines. He would most probably be replaced by Oxlade-Chamberlain who has impressed with his performances of late.
Both teams are expected to field their favoured 4-3-3 line ups for the clash. For Guardiola, it would be a decision between Mahrez and Bernardo Silva on the right-wing, with Fernandinho slotting in the midfield if City go for the latter. Claudio Bravo would be replacing Ederson, with Pep expecting some magic from de Bruyne and Sterling. Fabinho and Lovern are expected to make it to the starting lineup for the Reds.
Come what may, this encounter would prove a feast for all the football lovers around the world, with two of the best proponents of beautiful football on full display.
Bayern Munich (H) vs Borussia Dortmund
It’s that time of the year again. The Der Klassiker is upon us. The German powerhouses, who have spent heavily in the transfer window, haven't had the outcome they had hoped for. Nevertheless they are in a stable position in the league and this clash would go a long way in deciding the winners of the Bundesliga, with RB Leipzig and Borussia Mönchengladbach both giving tough competition and nine teams separated by just five points.
Bayern Munich have lost two and drawn one of their past seven fixtures in all competitions, with the 5-1 drubbing by Eintracht Frankfurt in the past week leading to sacking of manager Niko Kovac.
Borussia Dortmund have a similar form, with two draws and one loss in past seven matches, but they have won their past three fixtures, including a remarkable 3-2 comeback win over high flying Inter Milan in the midweek. But their defensive frailties were on full display as they shipped in two goals in the first half.
For the BVB, star performers Reus and Sancho are both doubtful with ankle and thigh problems respectively. Roman Burki and Paco Alcacer will most likely return to the starting lineups after time on the sidelines. Bayern would be missing the services of suspended Boateng, and Lucas Hernandez and Niklas Sule, both of whom miss out through injury.
Both teams are expected to field a 4-2-3-1 formation. David Alaba is expected to partner Javi Martinez in the central defence in the absence of Boateng. Coutinho is expected to come into the team after missing the mid-week game.
Caretaker manager Hansi Flick would be expecting Lewandowski to add to his already brilliant tally of 21 goals in 17 games this season. For Dortmund, Achraf Hakimi could be slotted in a more advanced position for the clash, after his brilliant performances over the past few fixtures. Thorgan Hazard would also be hoping for another glorious outing, with Julian Brandt expected to operate behind Alcacer, should their top scorer last season get the nod ahead of Gotze.
All the other title contenders would also be watching this clash keenly, as would be all the football fans around the world. Certainly these two clashes would leave the spectators wanting for more with the International break coming up.