Champions League final rematch between Liverpool and Spurs pick of action this weekend

Matt Jones - Editor 21:11 23/10/2019
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European football fans have been robbed of their first taste of El Clasico this season with the fixture pushed back to December because of political clashes in Catalonia, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to get passionate about.

There’s derby action in Germany, while teams in red and white stripes to battle in Spain and last season’s Champions League opponents meeting in England.

Here are the standout fixtures in each of the top five European leagues this weekend:

BUNDESLIGA

Jadon Sancho

Fixture: Schalke v Borussia Dortmund

Venue: Veltins-Arena

Date: Saturday, October 26

Time: 5.30pm, GST

The fierce, if undervalued outside of Germany, Ruhr derby (or Revierderby) pits Schalke against Dortmund, with this weekend’s hosts needing a win to not only leapfrog their bitter rivals in the Bundesliga, but also to draw level with BVB on total league wins.

Dortmund have won 33 Bundesliga clashes to Schalke’s 32, with Lucien Favre’s side holding a slender overall lead of 51 victories to 46 since the derby was born in 1925.

It’s extremely tight at the top in Germany in the embryonic weeks of the new season, with just five points separating the top 11 teams after eight games. Both Schalke, in seventh, and Dortmund, in fourth, could go top depending on other results.

Key-players: Amine Harit (Schalke), Marco Reus (Dortmund)

PREMIER LEAGUE

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final

Fixture: Liverpool v Tottenham

Venue: Anfield

Date: Sunday, October 27

Time: 8.30pm, GST

The biggest game of the week in England comes on Merseyside with an intriguing fixture between the two sides who contested last season’s Champions League final.

Liverpool won their sixth European crown in Madrid and are still riding the wave of success with a stunning start to the domestic season. Meanwhile, it’s been pretty much nothing but misery for Mauricio Pochettino and Co since, who are battling to diffuse internal bombs as well as a woeful start.

The hosts will be heavy favourites but there was encouragement in midweek with a morale-boosting 5-0 thrashing of Red Star in the Champions League, not to mention Liverpool looking off their game as they rescued a late 1-1 draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United on Sunday.

Key-players: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Harry Kane (Tottenham)

LA LIGA

Atletico

Fixture: Atletico Madrid v Athletic Bilbao

Venue: Wanda Metropolitano

Date: Saturday, October 26

Time: 11pm, GST

With Real Madrid and Barcelona not in action this weekend due to El Clasico being moved to December 18, it allows Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao to steal the La Liga limelight.

Diego Simeone’s men have a chance to potentially take top spot in Spain with victory. Bilbao come to town looking to rid themselves of some wretched recent form which has seen them fail to win in four games.

And yet, Gaizka Garitano’s men are still well poised thanks to a fine start to the campaign. They could launch themselves into the Champions League places with a win at the Wanda.

For Los Rojiblancos, meanwhile, they will be looking to build on their eight-game unbeaten run in all competitions, having lost just once in nine league games so far.

Key-players: Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid), Raul Garcia (Athletic Bilbao)

SERIE A

0316 Milan Derby

Fixture: Roma v AC Milan

Venue: Stadio Olimpico

Date: Sunday, October 27

Time: 9pm, GST

It’s such a shame this fixture is not being contested amidst the intense heat of a Scudetto scuffle, but that is an indication of just how far these two giants have fallen in Italy, with both trying to patch up crumbling dynasties.

Roma are at least poised nicely in the Serie A table in sixth, although the Giallorossi will cast an envious glance above them to minnows Atalanta and Cagliari in third and fifth, respectively.

Stefano Pioli was denied a debut win in the Milan dugout last week when Marco Calderoni’s 92nd-minute equaliser earned little old Lecce a 2-2 draw at the San Siro.

A win for Roma, unbeaten in their last four, would catapult them into the Champions League reckoning. The 12th-placed Rossoneri could leap six places and go level with the hosts with a win.

Key-players: Edin Dzeko (Roma), Krzysztof Piatek (Milan)

LIGUE 1

VerrattiMbappeNimes (1)

Fixture: PSG v Marseille

Venue: Parc des Princes

Date: Monday, October 28

Time: 12am, GST

As excited as you can get about the title race in France, this is a glamour fixture that should be packed with flair for French football fans.

PSG are predictably leading the way in Ligue 1 and, fresh from his Champions League hat-trick in midweek, a fit-again Kylian Mbappe will look to cause mayhem in the Marseille defence on Sunday night.

Still, the visitors will look to act as the fly in the ointment as they chase a return to the Champions League for the first time in six seasons. While the destination of the championship might well already be a moot point, at least the battle for European places is dotted with interest as Nantes, Reims, Angers and Bordeaux are all battling with Marseille inside the top six.

Key-players: Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Dario Benedetto (Marseille)

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