Five Must-See Matches 6/10 - 7/10
It’s a massive weekend of rivalry clashes in Spain, Italy and Portugal with El Clasico and Derby della Madonnina being played in two of the highlights of the next few days.
It’s hard to go past the opening El Clasico of the season, with Barca and Real experiencing vastly different starts to the 2012-13 season. Barca have a perfect record from six matches, with Lionel Messi picking up where he left off last term. Real, on the other hand, have stuttered with talk of Cristiano Ronaldo being unhappy. Jose Mourinho’s side are recovering, up to sixth on 10 points now, while they easily won 4-1 at Ajax in the Champions League in midweek in a sign they’re close to their best again.
Last season it was the Magpies who thrashed the Red Devils 3-0 in this fixture and United won’t have forgotten that. Newcastle remain a very strong side at home, having recorded a victory over Tottenham at St James’ Park already this term, while it was Spurs who won at Old Trafford last weekend. Newcastle, who finished fifth last term, will be plucky against a United side sitting third with 12 points from six games.
On a action-packed Sunday, there’s also the Derby della Madonnina with plenty at stake after both clubs’ stop-start beginnings to the campaign. AC Milan, in particular, have failed to impress following Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s exit, with just seven points from six games so far. Inter started slowly but have climbed up to third now, however there’s still some talk of a half-full San Siro for this clash given the two clubs recent struggles. Nonetheless, the result will mean plenty.
While El Clasico will grab everyone’s focus, this clash represents an encounter between the best of the rest. Traditionally in the past few years it has been Valencia’s domain, but Europa League winners Atletico Madrid and big-spenders Malaga have begun this campaign brilliantly. Atletico, with Radomel Falcao firing, sit second on 16 points from six games, while Malaga are only two points behind in third.
FC Porto v Sporting Lisbon Portuguese Liga Sagres, Sunday 9.45pm (CET)
It’s time for the traditional big Portuguese clash between two of the nation’s most powerful clubs. However, it has been far from a perfect early season for both of these clubs, with Porto sitting second on 11 points from five games, while Sporting are way down in eighth with six games so far. Porto are still getting over Hulk’s departure, while Sporting have had some lean years but could get one up here.
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