Five Spicy Fixtures You Must Watch This Weekend


What a weekend of football we have in store, reports.

Derbies around every corner and big games at every turn – here are five games we think you absolutely have to watch.

Southampton v Birmingham

The boos have started to ring out already at St Andrew’s.

Wayne Rooney was controversially hired to replace John Eustace at Birmingham City just 10 days ago.

But already the Blues faithful have started to turn on the England and Manchester United great.

The Midlands side had been on a fine run of form this season, sitting sixth and just two points of Preston in third when Eustace was sacked.

But since Rooney’s arrival they have lost two games on the bounce including his home debut against Hull in midweek.

Birmingham are now down to 12th and this weekend travel to face a rejuvenated Southampton, who would love nothing more than to inflict a hat-trick of defeats on Rooney.

Inter v Roma

After a fairly uninspiring start to the season, Roma seem to have finally woken up and are winning the sort of games they would have lost just a month ago.

This weekend however, the Giallorossi face their biggest test of the campaign so far.

Jose Mourinho’s men travel to Inter on Sunday and will face a Nerazzurri outfit who are riding the crest of a wave.

Inter have lost just one game this season and are far and away the top scorers in Serie A with 24 goals in just nine games.

No wonder Mourinho has already said his side are going to be up against “the strongest team in Italy”.

It’s going to be an absolutely fascinating encounter.


Manchester United v Manchester City

It’s the biggest game in the Premier League this weekend and arguably its biggest of any weekend.

The Manchester derby is always a game to savour but this weekend the match could take on some serious implications for the season to come.

With Tottenham playing Crystal Palace on Friday night, and Arsenal taking on Sheffield United a day later, we could very easily be living in a world where City are third going into Sunday’s clash and five points behind Spurs.

Of course, Pep Guardiola’s side have overcome bigger hurdles in their time but with almost a third of the season gone, that’s still a sizeable gap.

The Catalan coach has already admitted this week that his side are struggling to reach last season’s levels and now travel to their most bitter rivals who are fresh off the back of two wins in a row.

United’s Champions League win over Copenhagen was a cathartic release of emotion after the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton and there would be no greater way to mark his death than a win over their noisy neighbours.

PSV v Ajax

Things go from worse to cataclysmic for Ajax.

The Dutch giants are currently enduring their worst ever start to a season and dropped into the relegation places last weekend after a dramatic 4-3 defeat to Utrecht.

This week, coach Maurice Steijn was sacked following a disastrous 11 games in charge but despite his departure Ajax couldn’t respond with a win in their Europa League clash with Brighton.

And things could get even more desperate this weekend when they take on PSV in what’s colloquially known as De Topper.

The two most trophy-laden sides in Dutch football history will go toe-to-toe this Sunday but things really could not be more different between the Eindhoven side and their capital rivals.

PSV are currently nine from nine in their opening games of the season, having scored 30 and conceded a paltry three goals.

This could be a hammering on a scale we’ve never seen.


Barcelona v Real Madrid

Some games are simply bigger than the sport and this is one of them.

El Clásico is easily the biggest club game in the world and this season’s opening league fixture is intriguing for a myriad of reasons.

After a relatively slow start, Barcelona are on the charge and have unearthed a number of brilliant new youngsters that have revitalised Xavi’s side.

Fermin Lopez and Marc Guiu are the latest off the Masia production line and both could well feature on Saturday against the old rivals.

Some more good news for the Blaugrana comes in the form of Robert Lewandowski and Frenkie De Jong – the pair were seen on Friday training with the rest of the squad and could be in line to make an earlier than expected return.

Los Blancos meanwhile may be top of the table but they come into this clash with doubts hanging over their recent performances.

Last weekend’s draw with Sevilla saw their lead at the summit of LaLiga cut to only goal difference with Carlo Ancelotti unsure of his best midfield.

What is sure though, is that Jude Bellingham will be starting his first ever Clásico and will undoubtedly have a role to play.


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