Club football is back with hundreds of interesting football matches in different leagues all over the world for football fans after an uncharacteristically interesting international break.
Here we will take a look at seven (7) random picks of the lot and preview with Key statistics, injury reports and possible results.
Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspurs
The 160th episode of the famous North London Derby kick-starts the return of the English premier league action this weekend and with the different stakes for either side going into the game, intrigues and excitement should not be in short supply.
Arsenal – Mustafi (Hamstring, hopeful), Welbeck (groin), Giroud (thigh), Cazorla (ankle).
Spurs – Kane (Knee, hopeful), Alli (hamstring, hopeful), Winks (Ankle, hopeful), Lloris (groin)
– Spurs are currently unbeaten in the last 6 league meetings against Arsenal. Their longest ever unbeaten run against Arsenal in the league.
– Mauricio Pochettino has yet to lose a Premier League north London derby (W2 D4 L0), though all three of his visits to the Emirates with Tottenham have ended level.
– The Gunners have won their last 10 Premier League games at the Emirates, their longest ever such winning run at the stadium
– Spurs have won only twice in their last 32 away trips to Arsenal
– No fixture has produced more draws in the league than the North London Derby.
Verdict: Spurs Win
Liverpool vs Southampton
Liverpool have had an indifferent start to the season but still find themselves high up the table. Saints manager Mauricio Pellegrino is coming under intense pressure as his side are not yet winning enough games.
Liverpool – Lallana, Mane and Danny Ings all declared fit
Southampton – Mario Lemina (ankle)
– These two sides met four times in all competitions last season with Liverpool failing to either win or score in all four contests (W0 D2 L2).
– Southampton are unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions against Liverpool; they have never gone six in a row without defeat (W3 D2 L0)
– Liverpool have conceded 30 goals via set-pieces in the Premier League since Jurgen Klopp took charge in October 2015 – only Watford (36), Stoke (32) and Crystal Palace (31) have conceded more
– Jurgen Klopp has yet to beat Southampton in the Premier League, drawing three of his four matches as Liverpool boss (W0 D3 L1) – no side has he faced more without winning (also four vs Man Utd)
Roma vs Lazio
Roma will host local rivals Lazio in the Derby della Capitale this weekend as one of Europe’s most fiercely-contested derby matches enters its latest chapter.
Just one point and one place separates the two sides in the Serie A table as things stand, with Lazio currently occupying the final Champions League spot and Roma hot on their heels.
– Roma have won their last five matches across all competitions and nine of their 11 outings in Serie A this season.
– Roma have the best defensive record in the division with seven clean sheets so far.
– Lazio are on a nine-match winning streak – their best run of form this century – and have dropped only five points all season.
– Roma have won four of the last five Serie A meetings and only lost one of the last nine, although that did come in the corresponding fixture last season when Lazio ran out 3-1 winners
Verdict: Both teams to score
Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid
There is nothing to separate Atletico and Real heading into Saturday’s Madrid derby, with the two sides sitting level on points in La Liga after 11 matches of the season.
Real Madrid are in the unfamiliar position of third place, though, and with eight points already separating them from arch-rivals Barcelona there is no margin for error on their first visit to the Wanda Metropolitano.
– Madrid have lost two of their last three matches in the League.
-Atletico are unbeaten in eight and have lost just once in their 16 outings across all competitions this season, although nine of those matches have ended in stablemates.
– Real won the corresponding fixture last season on their final league visit to the Vicente Calderon, but that is their only triumph in their last eight away games against Atletico
Verdict: Real Madrid win
Gremio vs Lanus
This match is not exactly a weekend game but considering how big a match it is, I could not leave it out of the list. Gremio host Atletico Lanus in the first leg of the Copa Libertadores final – the biggest match in South America.
Gremio currently sit second in the Brazilian Serie A table and have overcome opposition from Venezuela, Chile, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador already en route to the final, beating Barcelona 3-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals despite losing their home second leg 1-0.
Lanus, meanwhile, produced a memorable comeback against fellow Argentine side River Plate in their own semi-final – at one stage trailing 3-0 on aggregate before scoring four unanswered goals to win 4-3 over the two legs.
Lanus needed penalties to get past San Lorenzo in the quarter-finals and have already lost three times in this season’s competition, yet have still managed to make it to the final in their first Copa Libertadores campaign since 2014.
Victory for Lanus over the two legs would see them lift the biggest prize in South American club football for the very first time, whereas Gremio are two-time Copa Libertadores champions but have not won it since 1995.
Should the Brazilian outfit come out on top then they would join Sao Paulo and Santos as the most successful Brazilian teams in the competition’s history, 10 years on from losing in their last appearance in the final.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Panathinaikos vs AEK Athens
The hosts are under intense pressure and go into the Derby against fellow big side AEK needing to win more than their visitors do.
– Panathinaikos are 10 points adrift of the top after just 10 games (4W 3D 3L).
– AEK are joint top with surprise package Atromitos who are aiming to be the first club to win the Greek league apart from AEK Athens, Panathinaikos or Olimpiacos since 1988.
– AEK have kept four clean sheets in a row and have only lost two of their last 18 outings across all competitions
– There have been three wins apiece for both teams and two draws in their last 8 league meetings.
Verdict: AEK Athens win
Millonarios vs. Deportivo Cali
Heading back to South America, Colombia’s Clasico Anejo takes place this weekend as Millonarios host Deportivo Cali in the final game of the season on Saturday night.
The contest pits two of the most successful teams in Colombian football history against each other, although it is only Millonarios who have been competing for the title this season.
Santa Fe currently lead the way and enjoy a five-point gap over fourth-place Millonarios – who at best can now only finish as high as third – whereas Deportivo find themselves down in 14th place and 10 points adrift of Saturday’s hosts having lost eight of their 19 league outings in the second half of the season.
It represents a sharp decline for Deportivo, who were champions as recently as 2015, and they will be desperate to create something to cheer about with victory over the 14-time champions Millonarios in their own back yard.
The form book suggests that will not be the case, though, with Deportivo having won just one of their last eight outings across all competitions and Millonarios losing only one of their last nine.
Three of the last four meetings between these two sides have ended in 1-1 draws, but Deportivo are without a win at the home of their rivals since November 2013.
Verdict: Millonarios win
Other matches to keep an eye on are:-
Omonia Nicosia vs APOEL Nicosia (Cyprus);
Dinamo Zagreb vs Lokomotiva Zagreb (Croatia);
Yeovil Town vs Swindon Town (England);
Slavia Prague vs Dukla Prague (Czech Republic).