5 must-watch matches on TV this weekend

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Manchester City vs. Arsenal @Etihad Stadium @5pm on Dec.18


Can Pep Guardiola afford to lose? Can Arsene Wenger afford to lose? Two appropriate questions for two under-pressure managers in a match that is historically one that always promises goals.




Currently, the Gunners have a better defensive formation than the Citizens even though Arsenal have lost the three matches in which Shkodran Mustafi has not featured.




City kept a clean sheet against Watford and would hope to do the same though Guardiola would just be planning to score more against a team that likes to play the ball and not flight the ball. An interesting match is definitely in store.




Current Form: Man. City [W-L-D-L-W]; Arsenal [L-W-W-W-L]

Head to head

 

 

 

Real Madrid vs. Kashima Antlers @ International Stadium Yokohama @11:30 am on Dec. 18

Normally, Antlers should not stand a chance against the European champions but in football over the course of 90 minutes, the opponent always has a chance to overturn the applecart. Antlers have scored five goals and conceded none so they will be confident going into the final.




Add to that the fact that Antlers will be playing before their very vociferous fans and the probability of a shock is acute even though Cristiano Ronaldo would want to celebrate his fourth Ballon D’Or with the capture of the FIFA Club World Cup. The final will be played at the International Stadium in Yokohama with an electric atmosphere expected.





Current Form: Real Madrid [W-W-D-D-W]; Kashima Antlers [W-W-W-W-L]

Prediction: Real Madrid 3-0 Kashima Antlers

 

Juventus vs. Roma @Juventus Stadium @8:45pm on Dec.17

Can Roma become credible challengers for the Serie A title? That is the question to be answered by the Giallorossi when they file out against Juventus on Saturday evening at the Juventus Stadium.




And this Roma side have to buck the trend because their manager, Luciano Spalletti has only beaten Juventus once, drawing three and losing 17 while Roma have kept just one clean sheet against the ‘Old Lady’ in the last 22 matches. Masimilliano Allegri has Giorgio Chiellini in good nick while Paolo Dybala should start with Gonzalo Higuain in attack.




Roma have the best attacker in Edin Dzeko, who has scored 12 goals in 16 Serie A matches. A Roma victory will cut the gap to just one point and make the title race a bit more interesting but if Juventus win…




Current Form: Juventus [W-L-W-W-W]; Roma [W-D-W-W-W]

Head to head



 

Monaco vs. Lyon @ Stade Louis II @8:45pm on Dec. 18

Monaco are the highest scorers in Ligue 1 – averaging over three goals per match and they will be determined to beat Lyon with as many goals as possible to avenge May’s heavy 6-1 away to the visitors on Sunday.




The Islanders have scored 30 goals in an eight-match unbeaten run and would be eager to inflict damage on a side that should be chasing one of the three Champions League slots.




But Lyon will not be quaking in their boots, having lost just once in 90 minutes in their last 10 outings. Their only loss in that sequence has been a 2-1 loss at home to PSG. This should be a thrilling encounter.




Current Form: Monaco [W-W-L-W-D]; Lyon [L-W-D-W-L]

Head to head


 

Everton vs. Liverpool @Goodison Park @9pm on Dec.19

Dubbed Mersey Monday, it will be the first time that Ronald Koeman will be involved in a Merseyside derby.




Everton got a morale-boosting win over Arsenal while Liverpool got back to winning ways with a dominant 3-0 away victory over Middlesbrough so both teams have some momentum even though Everton will have to perform better to get a victory against Jurgen Klopp’s slick Reds. A derby that will be interesting with blood and thunder intertwined.




Current Form: Everton [W-L-D-L-D]; Liverpool [W-D-L-W-W]

Head to head

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