Liverpool vs Chelsea and four other matches to watch this weekend

Chelsea coach Antonio Conte (C) gestures during their International Champions Cup (ICC) game against Liverpool at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California on July 27, 2016. Chelsea won 1-0. Mark Ralston / AFP

Two top of the table clashes, a derby and a returning Egyptian really does set this weekend up for premium entertainment. Here are five games you must see this weekend.

Valencia vs Barcelona 8:45pm, Sunday, 26th November
Valencia are the hipster’s dream and the most in-form team in the La Liga having won their last eight matches with Marcelino Garcia Toral in charge. Los Che are a truly exciting side and have ridden the crest of the wave to the second spot in the La Liga, six points ahead of Real Madrid and four points behind their opponents this weekend, Barcelona. Lionel Messi was involved for only 34 minutes in Barcelona’s mid-week game against Juventus obviously with Ernesto Valverde keen on having him fresher for the weekend clash.

Unfortunately for Valencia, Coach Marcelino will not be in the dugout urging his team on and offering sage advice when he pulls one of his players aside during the game. The manager will serve the first of his two-game ban against Barcelona after he was sent off in Valencia’s game last week but he’d hope the team will be to at least keep their unbeaten run intact. Messi will hope to add to his 12 league goals this season after he was awarded his fourth Golden shoe award on Friday.

Liverpool vs Chelsea 6:30 pm, Saturday, 25th November
The Premier League’s star fixture which premieres Mohamed Salah facing his former side Chelsea. Salah departed Chelsea first on loan before he departed permanently in 2016. The Egyptian has progressed since showing his quality in the Serie A with Fiorentina and AS Roma before he joined Liverpool this summer. Salah has been sensational for the Reds this season and his impressive and record-breaking tally of nine goals in 12 games has marked him out as Liverpool’s dangerman for the late kickoff on Saturday.

For Chelsea, Eden Hazard stands out and his mercurial brilliance is certain to be on show as he dovetails with eight-goal striker Alvaro Morata in the attack. Liverpool’s disappointing second half capitulation during their midweek tie against Sevilla highlights the Achilles heel of the side. The team plays with blinding pace, creativity and a scalpel-sharp cutting edge in attack but the defensive phase of their play remains a huge worry for Jurgen Klopp and the Merseysiders. Klopp has not lost to Antonio Conte’s side and he will hope the defence can stay compact and focused to stop Chelsea’s attack. After all, the defence has conceded just one Premier League goal at the Anfield all season.

Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke 04 3:30 pm, Saturday, 25th November
Dortmund really do need a win, one that has eluded them since late September. Dortmund have won just one of their last nine matches in all competition and Peter Bosz will hope his first Revierderby breathes life into his team’s ailing season. Domenico Tedesco has got Schalke 04 flying in second place and without a loss in their last six Bundesliga matches. Schalke are not as exciting as their arch-rivals but they are the more organised side, effective in possession and nicking the needed goal or two that gets them the victory.

Though Pierre Aubameyang continually produces a goal threat for BVB with his ten goals this season, Bosz needs to shore up the team’s defending and make them more compact. Dortmund have been on a slip in that has seen them drop to fifth in the Bundesliga and drop out of the Champions League. Will Tedesco deliver Schalke’s first derby win over Dortmund since 2012?

AS Monaco vs PSG 9:00 pm, Sunday, 26th November
Monaco are really no in that great place right now and the loss of players including Kylian Mbappe who joined PSG on loan looks to have begun to bite. The disappointing loss in the 4-1 Champions League home loss to RB Leipzig, the draw against Amiens last weekend has taken some shine off this fixture. Monaco are in second place but six points behind high-flying PSG.

PSG played a near-perfect game in their midweek 7-1 shellacking of Celtic and that seems like the perfect springboard for the weekend’s game. The troika of Mbappe, Edison Cavani and Neymar might prove too difficult to handle for the off-colour Jemerson and Kamil Glik. Still the threat Monaco offers in attack isn’t to be scoffed at especially with Radamel Falcao leading the line. The Colombian is with 13 goals in the Ligue 1 this season second to Cavani’s 15 goals. This top of the table clash could evince just how far ahead PSG lead the rest of the French League in terms of quality after Neymar’s world record move and Mbappe’s addition. Mbappe’s first return to the Stade Louis II doesn’t look as anticipated as it’d have been a few weeks back.

Bayern Munich vs Borussia Monchengladbach 06:30 pm, Saturday, 25th November
Bayern Munich have a number of their important players injured for this tie, Arjen Robben and Thiago Alcantara are on the mend alongside Manuel Neuer and Frank Ribery but it is a testament to Bayern’s squad depth that they still have a very formidable squad to pick. Juup Heynckes who replaced Carlo Ancelotti has whipped the team to shape propelling the Munich side to the top of the table with five consecutive victories. Gladbach look in the hunt to halt Heynckes run with their form, the side are fourth on the log with four wins from their last six matches in the League.



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