Unbeaten Liverpool host city rivals Everton in this season’s first Merseyside derby at Anfield as Jurgen Klopp aims to beat Marco Silva for the first time in three attempts. There is the North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium with pride and three points at stake. Real Madrid fans will expect a better performance from their stars when Valencia visit the Santiago Bernabeu as Solari’s team aim to move closer to the top of the table. In the Serie A, Cristiano Ronaldo will get his first experience of intense rivalry between Juventus and Fiorentina fans when the Bianconeri play at Stadio Artemio Franchi.
Here is our preview of matches across top five European Leagues.
We begin in England;
ARSENAL v TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR – SUN. 02 DEC 2018, 15.05HRS
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Sunday’s North London derby is a test for two great managers in the Premier League. Arsenal are aiming to extend an 11-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, while Tottenham Hotspur are looking for an eighth victory from nine league matches. The Gunners are 5th in the table, they have eight wins, three draws and two defeats, scoring 28 goals and conceding 16. Spurs are coming into this fresh from a massive 3-1 victory over Chelsea. They are 3rd in the league, with 10 wins and three defeats, scoring 23 goals in the process and conceding 11. Both teams won their European games midweek and are in fine form going into the derby.
VERDICT – Spurs have won their last seven Premier League London derbies and can equal their longest derby winning run in the top division, eight victories between October 1950 and August 1951. Unai Emery will join Don Howe and Arsene Wenger – the only two managers to win their first North London derby if he manages a victory over Tottenham on Sunday. Both teams have great attackers so we are expecting goals at the Emirates. Spurs have recovered most of their injured players. The attacking quartet of Kane, Alli, Son and Eriksen are playing well and would be a handful for the Gunners defense. Arsenal won this fixture last season and would aim for a repeat considering Pochettino has managed five away league matches against Arsenal without winning.
LIVERPOOL v EVERTON – SUN. 02 DEC 2018, 17.15HRS
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Everton travel to Anfield for the first Merseyside derby of the season. The Reds are right up there, two points behind league leaders Manchester City while the Toffees are 6th on the table going into the derby. Liverpool are undefeated in the Premier League this season, they have won four of their last six league games while Everton have four victories and lost once in the last six. Jurgen Klopp’s team need to turn their attention to the Premier League after the midweek disappointment in Paris as they target a third successive victory. Marco Silva can become the first Everton manager to win his first league match at Anfield, a record stretching back to the clubs’ first meeting in November 1894. He can also be the first to win his first Premier League Merseyside derby since Joe Royle in November 1994. This match is important for the hosts who need to they keep close tabs with the leaders and to preserve thier unbeaten run as well.
VERDICT – Liverpool are unbeaten in the last 17 matches against Everton. They are also on a three match win streak at home. So we can hope Klopp’s team will want to dominate this match at home. His side has a better defense and attack than their opponents for Sunday. Everton’s last derby victory was in October 2010 but Jurgen Klopp has been unable to beat Marco Silva in their two previous Premier League meetings. Silva is the only manager the German has faced more than once in the competition without winning. Will Klopp finally get one over the Portuguese or will Everton end their Anfield Merseyside poor run on Sunday?
LILLE OSC v OLYMPIQUE LYON – SAT. 01 DEC 2018, 17.00HRS
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Lille will seek to return to winning way when Olympique Lyon visit Stade Pierre-Mauroy this weekend. Christophe Galtier troops lost at Nice and surrendered second spot to this weekend’s visitors who took full advantage of Les Dogues slip up at Nice. Lyon have enjoyed the last few days starting with the derby victory over Saint Etienne and followed it up with a solid performance against Manchester City in the Champions League though they failed to take all three points and are yet to secure qualification to the knockout phase. Maxwell Cornet was the star at the Groupama on Tuesday and Bruno Genesio will hope his team can carry such momentum with them to Lille.
VERDICT – Lille have an almost perfect league record winning six and a draw in seven Ligue 1 matches at home. Les Dogues are undefeated in 10 of 11 home matches against Les Gones in all competitions. Lyon produced an excellent performance midweek but consistency has been Lyon’s Achilles. Lille are winless in their last three matches and will hope to end this poor run against Lyon. Can the immovable object in front of their home fans stop the irresistible force of the visitors? An explosive game is expected in Lille.
BORDEAUX v PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN – SUN. 02 DEC 2018, 21.00HRS
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Paris Saint-Germain produced a superb first half performance midweek as they secured an important victory against Liverpool in a tricky group in the Champions League. Thomas Tuchel’s front three were excellent with Brazilian maestro Neymar producing a majestic display on the night at Parc des Princes. Ligue 1 leaders PSG managed a secure a victory over Toulouse last weekend to keep their perfect start to Ligue 1 season intact with Edinson Cavani’s lone strike against Toulouse. Bordeaux have managed draws in their last three Ligue 1 matches including two scoreless outcome against Caen and Dijon. Ricardo Gomes has the enviable task of preparing his team to face PSG attacking trio.
VERDICT – PSG have won on their last three visits to Matmut Atlantique scoring eight goals and conceding one. Les Parisiens should be in high spirit following a midweek victory and the return of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in the starting XI should give Thomas Tuchel team more ammunition to shoot down a Bordeaux side who have failed to score in their last two league matches. Can Bordeaux end the league leaders winning start in Ligue 1 this season?
BORUSSIA DORTMUND v SC FREIBURG – SAT. 01 DEC 2018, 15.30HRS
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Freiburg travel to Dortmund with the aim of putting spanner in the works for Lucien Favre’s team who have not hit the lofty heights they set for themselves this season. The league leaders beat Mainz last weekend but it wasn’t a walk in the park for Die Borussen. Christian Streich’s men have just one Bundesliga victory in their last seven against Borussia Moenchengladbach but they have equally forced Hetha Berlin, Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich to draws this season. Dortmund are the only unbeaten team in Germany top division and they are the highest scoring side knocking 35 goals in 12 league matches. The home team will be eyeing a fourth successive home victory in the league but Freiburg forward Lucas Waldschmidt believes they can earn a draw in Dortmund having done so in Munich.
VERDICT – Christian Streich has lost nine of his 11 meetings with Dortmund as Freiburg coach, drawing the other two. The away team have five draws in 12 matches in the league already this season and have failed to win in 14 of their last 15 Bundesliga away matches. Dortmund would love to maintain their nine points advantage over Bayern Munich having won seven of their last eight Bundesliga matches. Lucien Favre’s team are favorites, they want to avoid the disappointment of midweek by going all out at the Signal Iduna Park.
RB LEIPZIG v BORUSSIA MOENCHENGLADBACH – SUN. 02 DEC 2018, 15.30HRS
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Borussia Moenchengladbach are Dortmund’s main challenger right now having secured their third successive league win over Hannover last weekend. Star player Thorgan Hazard found the net again and is just two shy of his overall return for last season at the start of December. RB Leipzig are four points behind their visitor, they lost to Wolfsburg last weekend but were on a 10 game unbeaten run before then. Both teams have injuries to contend with; Emil Forsberg and Marcel Sabitzer are still struggling and are unlikely to feature for Leipzig while Matthias Ginter, Jonas Hoffman and Christoph Kramer might miss out for the Dieter Hecking’s team.
VERDICT – RB Leipzig are unbeaten at home in the Bundesliga this season (4W, 2D) with only their visitor – Borussia Moenchengladbach (6W) and Borussia Dortmund (5W, 1D) faring better in front of their own fans. Gladbach have won their last three; the Foals have never enjoyed a longer winning run under Hecking. 26 points after 12 games is the best return for Gladbach in 42 years. Leipzig will aim to return to winning ways after two consecutive defeats in the Bundesliga and Europa League. Can they stop this current slide against an in-form Gladbach?
FIORENTINA v JUVENTUS – SAT. 01 DEC 2018, 18.00HRS
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A full house is expected at Stadio Artemio Franchi when two rivals clash in an intense and charged atmosphere on Saturday evening. Fiorentina are on a five game winless run but they are undefeated as well. La Viola have the second best defensive record in the league and are undefeated at home in the league this season. After a bright start, Stefano Pioli’s team have managed only two victories in the last 10 league games. Juventus arrive in Tuscany on a solid run, the Old Lady is marching on. Max Allegri’s team have 12 wins and a draw in 13 Serie A matches, they have opened an eight point gap ahead of the chasing pack and Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t just scoring, he is creating goals too.
VERDICT – Fiorentina have a 22% win record against Juventus in 158 games. The away team have won 13 of their last 14 Serie A matches while Fiorentina have drawn their last five league matches. Mario Mandzukic and Cristiano Ronaldo are combining well together in attack, Fiorentina is Mandzukic’s favorite Serie A opponent – he has scored thrice in six games against them and he is on a good run at the moment scoring in his last three games. Fiorentina have proven to be a hard knock to crack at home even if Juventus are favorites. We expect a close game with both teams getting on the scoresheet.
AS ROMA v INTER MILAN – SUN. 02 DEC 2018, 20.30HRS
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Luciano Spalletti returns to his old stomping ground and will aim to compound the Giallorossi’s woe on Sunday evening when the Nerazzurris visit Rome to face AS Roma. The injury list is growing at Trigoria and the pressure is mounting on Eusebio Di Francesco whose team lost to struggling Udinese last weekend and succumb to defeat during the week to Real Madrid. Inter returned to winning ways last weekend dispatching Frosinone but lost to Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League. The capital club sit seventh on the table, four points behind city rivals Lazio who occupy the final Champions League spot and are nine points behind their opponent for the weekend. Inter are struggling on the road, losing their last two against Atalanta and Spurs as they aim to improve against an inconsistent Roma
VERDICT – Roma are without their leading striker Edin Dzeko, skipper Daniele De Rossi while Diego Perotti and Javier Pastore are doubts for Inter’s visit. Radja Naingollan is a doubt for the trip against his former employer while Marcelo Brozovic is expected to return after suspension. Inter have kept five clean sheets in their last six Serie A matches while Roma have scored at least twice in five of their last six league matches. Inter won this fixture last season, their first in their last four trips to Roma and will hope to heap more pressure on Di Francesco team on Sunday evening.
REAL MADRID v VALENCIA – SAT. 01 DEC 2018, 20.45HRS
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Real Madrid’s disappointing loss at Eibar last weekend exposed weakness in Santiago Solari team whose recent appointment initially changed the morale at the club as well as results. Real Madrid were poor defensively and lacked any real cohesion offensively in Ipurua. However, they managed to secure a midweek win in the Champions League over Roma but the problem still lies in there. On the other hand, Valencia are beginning to pick up after a slow and indifferent start to the season. Los Che have won their last two league games and are slowly moving up the table as they look to replicate last season’s form. It is Solari’s first home game since his permanent appointment as manager so he would love his team produce a performance worthy in front of the ever demanding fans at the Santiago Bernabeu.
VERDICT – Real Madrid are undefeated in their last 12 home matches against Valencia in all competitions. Valencia have kept a clean sheet in their last four LaLiga away matches. Both teams are not at their best but goals have always been a part of this fixture. Both teams played an entertaining 2-2 draw last season, are we likely to have a repeat?
BARCELONA v VILLARREAL – SUN. 02 DEC 2018, 18.30HRS
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A late Ousmane Dembele’s goal secured Barcelona a point in a hard fought draw against Atletico Madrid at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano last weekend. The draw saw Los Cules drop to second on the table, one point behind new leaders Sevilla going into this home game against the Yellow Submarines. Javier Calleja’s team recorded their first league win in six matches against Real Betis at home and are currently on a six game unbeaten run as they travel to the Catalan capital to face Barcelona. Ernesto Valverde’s men have not been at their imperial best in the league, they suffered a surprise home defeat last time out in front of their fans and will look to avoid a similar performance against an erratic visitor.
VERDICT – Barcelona have the superior head-to-head edge, the Catalans have won 22 of the last 38 meetings. The home team has won their last four meetings at home, scoring 15 goals and conceded three. Villarreal’s last away victory in the league was in September in a three nil victory over Athletic Bilbao. Barcelona will be keen to return to winning ways in LaLiga having dropped five points in their last two league outings. Can Villarreal stop their losing run at the Camp Nou this weekend? It is very unlikely
This wraps us our weekend preview. Predict and win big by visiting our Sports shop Babaijebu.ng for mouthwatering offers.