Football Across Europe: November 4-5 | United Storm Stamford Bridge

Premier League (England)

Match Week 11 promises one of the most sizable shake-ups to the top of the table, with everything centering on Sunday’s key fixtures. Super Sunday guarantees to shed some light on the title chase, with sizable favorites Manchester City facing an improving Arsenal side and second-placed Manchester United visiting west London giants Chelsea. While there are plenty of matches to catch the eye in England over the weekend, the masses will be focused on the Etihad Stadium, where most of the league will be hoping Arsenal can steal some points from City and keep the league leaders within reach as we reach mid-season.

Manchester City vs. Arsenal: Title favorites Manchester City face a tough task in a fixture against resurgent Arsenal FC at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday that could go a long way toward defining each team’s season. City have the look of a machine that cannot be stopped, riding an unbeaten season in all competitions and a five-point lead in the league table. A 1-1 draw to Everton on Aug. 21 marks the only time Pep Guardiola’s men have failed to win in 90 minutes this season, with Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne on fire of late. As for the Gunners, they fell on hard times early in the campaign before turning things around over the last several weeks. Whether or not Alexis Sánchez, who’s been linked to City, and Mesut Özil can drown out speculation over their futures and focus on the task at hand will decide whether or not Arsenal can hang against the goliaths of City and stunt their momentum.

Chelsea vs. Manchester United: It’s been two straight league wins for reigning champions Chelsea since their dreadful loss to last-place Crystal Palace. They are, however, coming off a 0-3 loss midweek to Roma in the Champions League, and will need focus hosting Manchester United on Sunday. Chelsea are hoping to welcome midfielder N’Golo Kanté back into the starting XI behind key man Eden Hazard. Second-place United responded to their first league loss of the season with a big 1-0 win over Tottenham last week. Paul Pogba seems set to miss another match, so United will look for Romelu Lukaku and the likes of Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford to find goals without the help of the star midfielder. United have made that look easy of late, winning their last three matches in all competitions without conceding. Chelsea, though, have only lost once in their last 14 home matches against United.

 

La Liga (Spain)

Now is typically the time in Spain when the two goliaths separate themselves in the table, but you couldn’t tell it by looking at the table entering Match Week 11. Barcelona does sit atop the table with 28 points in just 10 games, but Real Madrid are a whopping eight points back from their rivals with Valencia sitting in a surprise second-placed position with 24 points. Considering the run Barca is on to start the season, it could require a near-perfect next six months from Madrid if they hope to make La Liga interesting this season.

Barcelona vs. Sevilla: Despite being only ten matches into the season, Barcelona FC looks like they might not be stopped in La Liga with a sizable eight-point lead over rivals Real Madrid. Their title quest continues with one of their marquee affairs of the season at home to Sevilla. Barca have entered the month of November still unbeaten on the season with just one draw in the league to show. Lionel Messi has been his usual magnificent best, shining even more with Neymar gone and Ousmane Dembele sidelined. However, the draw to Atletico Madrid last month showed that the right defensive commitment can stifle Barcelona and take them out of their comfort zone. Sevilla enter Saturday’s prime-time fixture with the unenviable task of doing just that for 90 minutes.

Real Madrid vs. Las Palmas: It’s been two straight losses for the Spanish giants Real Madrid, including midweek to Tottenham in Champions League and last week to Girona in La Liga. Gareth Bale should return to join Ronaldo in the starting XI for Real, though Dani Carvajal remains injured. Las Palmas sit in 18th place, but all the pressure is on Los Blancos to take all three points and look to regain their immaculate form from last season.

 

Bundesliga (Germany)

Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich: It is another edition of Der Klassiker in the Bundesliga with Saturday’s final kickoff in Germany when Bayern Munich travel to the Westfalenstadion to play Borussia Dortmund. The two clubs, who have combined to win 20 of the last 23 league titles in Germany, find themselves in a familiar spot at first and second in the table. Borussia Dortmund have only one win in their last five matches in all competitions. Bayern, on the other hand, have won five straight. Bayern will be without the attacking threat of Franck Ribéry, though Robert Lewandowski should be joined by Thomas Müller in the starting XI after some injury time off. With three points separating the two giants, it promises to be a lively match.