A big weekend for football fans as the 2020-21 La Liga and Premier League season continue this weekend with two of the most intense matches in world football as Barcelona and Real Madrid dubbed the ‘El Clasico’ meets each other at the Camp Nou and Manchester United host Chelsea at the Old Trafford in a high-octane fixture on Saturday.
BARCELONA VS REAL MADRID PREVIEW
Both Spanish giants have endured their fair share of troubles in La Liga this season and need a victory on Saturday at 14:00GMT.
Barcelona lost 1-0 against Getafe last week but staged a recovery in the UEFA Champions League with an excellent 5-1 victory against Hungarian side, Ferencvaros.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, have suffered two consecutive defeats over the past week and are in desperate need of a boost of morale.
They shockingly lost 1-0 against newly promoted side, FC Cadiz and also slumped to a 3-2 defeat against Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League both at the Santiago Bernabeu. Zinedane Zidane will now have to ensure that his stars are at their best against Barcelona on Saturday.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid Head-to-Head
Barcelona and Real Madrid have recorded 96 victories apiece from a total of 244 games in all competitions (180 matches in La Liga; 72 wins for Barcelona, 73 wins for Real Madrid with 35 draws) and both sides will be looking for a very good result this weekend. Real Madrid were the better side last season when they gained 4 out of 6 points in this fixture; 0-0 in Camp Nou and won 2-0 at Santiago Bernabeu (Mariano Diaz and Vinicius Junior).
Neto is set for an extended stay in Barcelona’s goal with Marc-Andre ter Stegen unavailable for the Catalans. Samuel Umtiti is also injured and will not feature in the squad this week.
Injured: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba, Matheus Fernandes
Real Madrid also have injury issues of their own with both Dani Carvajal and Alvaro Odriozola sidelined for this game. Ferland Mendy and Marcelo started in the full-back positions against Shakhtar Donetsk and are likely to keep their places in the starting eleven. Sergio Ramos started personal training on Thursday and it is likely he will return to the fold for this crunchy game.
Injured: Eden Hazard, Martin Odegaard, Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Odriozola
Doubtful: Mariano Diaz
Barcelona form guide in La Liga: L-D-W-W
Real Madrid form guide in La Liga: L-W-W-W-D
Juan Martínez Munuera is the center referee for the game. The referee, who will take charge of his first ‘Clásico’, will be assisted by José María Sánchez Martínez on VAR.
MANCHESTER UNITED VS CHELSEA PREVIEW
The Red Devils registered a sensational win against Paris Saint-Germain in their UEFA Champions League campaign opener on the back of a 4-1 win against Newcastle United last weekend and look to have finally woken up from an early-season slump.
Chelsea, on the other hand, come to Old Trafford on the back of successive draws – a 3-3 chaotic affair with Southampton followed up with a goalless draw against Sevilla in midweek. Frank Lampard’s side has played a game more than Manchester United and cannot afford to lose momentum here.
Manchester United vs Chelsea Head-to-Head
Manchester United and Chelsea have met 56 times in the Premier League up until now. Chelsea have a narrow advantage with 18 wins (71 goals scored). Manchester United currently have 17 (72 goals scored). A total of 21 games have ended in draws.
Manchester United won both their Premier League fixtures against Chelsea last season; 4-0 at Old Trafford and 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Frank Lampard and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer met 4 times last season with Ole winning 3 and Lampard winning 1.
Anthony Martial will miss this game after picking up a straight-red against Tottenham Hotspur right before the international break. Eric Bailly is sidelined for four weeks after suffering an injury while on international duty.
Edinson Cavani likely to start this weekend.
Injuries: Eric Bailly
Doubtful: Harry Maguire
Suspensions: Anthony Martial
Chelsea have no injury concerns and Frank Lampard is confident that Thiago Silva will be fit for the game after being sidelined with a knock he suffered against Sevilla.
Manchester United Premier League form guide: W-L-W-L
Chelsea Premier League guide: D-W-D-L-W
Referee – Martin Atkinson
Assistants – Lee Betts, Constantine Hatzidakis
Fourth official – Jonathan Moss
VAR – Stuart Attwell
Assistant VAR – Simon Long
Wondering where to watch these crunchy games this weekend? Worry no more, the second edition of the Kobby Kyei Sports with fans come your way this Saturday at Sweet Aroma Restaurant, East Legon. Come as we watch and have some football discussions before and after the games together and have a lot of fun.
Kwabena Asante Marfo, KobbyKyeiSports.