Five Games to Watch

Five Games to Watch: Barcelona take on Atletico Madrid

With mammoth clashes also coming from Argentina, Germany, France, and Denmark.

 
9:00am on Friday 29th November 2019
By
Martin Macdonald

Atletico Madrid v Barcelona" href="https://www.footballcritic.com/primera-division-club-atletico-de-madrid-fc-Barcelona/preview/1696514">

Atletico Madrid v Barcelona

Atletico may not be the team they once were under Diego Simeone, but despite their troubles they remain just three points behind leaders Barcelona in La Liga, albeit with the Blaugrana having played a game less. Should they win on Sunday at the Wanda Metropolitano, they'll go level on 28 points with the champions. One significant subplot to this game is the return of Antoine Griezmann to face Atletico at their home for the first time since the move to Barca, so it'll be interesting to see what kind of reception he receives from the Colchoneros faithful. Barcelona won the last fixture between the pair 2-0 last season thanks to late goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, but in recent years encounters have been tight, as you would have to go back to 2015 to find the last game which features more than three goals.

PLAYER TO WATCH

28 yrs - F (CL) - Barcelona
83
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
952
Played matches
12
4
3
Shots P90
2.17
Shots On target P90
1.04
Successful passing %
81%
Final third passes P90
20.14

Before the Champions League match against Dortmund midweek in which Ousmane Dembele got injured and Griezmann came on to score, it was a doubt whether the Frenchman would even start this game. With a place in the starting XI now likely, though, he'll be eager to impress against the fans who adored him for so long.

Bayern v Leverkusen" href="https://www.footballcritic.com/uefa-champions-league-fk-lokomotiv-moskva-bayer-04-Leverkusen/match-stats/1767988">

Bayern v Leverkusen

The Bundesliga flexed its muscles in the Champions League midweek as Bayern destroyed Red Star and Leverkusen earned an impressive away win in Russia versus Lokomotiv Moscow. With both teams buoyed, it could prove to be an entertaining clash at the Allianz Arena, even if Bayern are looking something like their best under interim coach Hans-Dieter Flick, and Leverkusen's recent form has been sketchy at best. Indeed, in the last game between the two, Leverkusen emerged victorious with a 3-1 win at the BayArena.

PLAYER TO WATCH

31 yrs - S (C) - Bayern
99
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
1051
Played matches
12
16
1
Shots P90
4.97
Shots On target P90
2.14
Successful passing %
71%
Final third passes P90
14.04

There might not be a more in-form player in Europe at the moment than Lewandowski, who has already scored 16 goals in the Bundesliga. He also bagged the fastest four-goal haul in the history of the Champions League against Red Star on Tuesday. So, beware, Leverkusen.

Monaco v PSG" href="https://www.footballcritic.com/ligue-1-as-Monaco-fc-paris-saint-germain-fc/preview/1646281">

Monaco v PSG

This fixture may not have the gravitas of even just two years ago, but it is still an occasion when PSG travel to the Stade Louis II to face the last team to break their dominance over the Ligue 1 championship. It is one step forward and two steps back for Monaco at the moment as they followed up an impressive win over Marseille with a loss against Saint-Etienne, and a win over Dijon with a defeat against Bordeaux. PSG have won the last two games after a loss versus Dijon, and showed good team spirit to come back from two goals down against Real Madrid to draw 2-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu midweek.

PLAYER TO WATCH

20 yrs - F (CL) - PSG
97
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
469
Played matches
8
5
3
Shots P90
6.14
Shots On target P90
3.26
Successful passing %
82%
Final third passes P90
22.64

Mbappe will likely still have a soft spot for the team in which he made his name, but that won't hamper his desire to score as many as possible and be all-round devastating.

Boca Juniors v ARGENTINOS JUNIORS" href="https://www.footballcritic.com/Superliga-argentina-ca-boca-juniors-aa-argentinos-juniors/preview/1726585">

Boca Juniors v ARGENTINOS JUNIORS

This is the most important game in the Superliga Argentina season so far, as Boca host Argentinos in a top-of-the-table clash, with both sides currently sitting first and second in the standings on 28 points. They are both coming off disappointing results, with Boca drawing 0-0 away at Velez and Argentinos losing 3-0 away versus San Lorenzo, which sums up the topsy-turvy nature of the current title race, in which nobody is able to take advantage to generate a commanding lead. The last league fixture between the pair ended 1-0 to Boca after a solitary goal from Carlos Izquierdoz.

PLAYER TO WATCH

87
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
1260
Played matches
14
Saves P90
3.14
Error lead to goal
0.00
Passes P90
29.29
Goals Conceded P90
0.36
Successful passing %
64%
Man of the match
2

With Boca not having a free-scoring striker this campaign, they have relied on their outstanding defence to ascend to the top of the league. They have conceded just five goals in 14 games, with goalkeeper Esteban Andrada securing 10 clean sheets.

Superliga-fc-kobenhavn-brondby-if/match-stats/1639903">

COPENHAGEN v BRONDBY

While Midtjylland have emerged as one of the main contenders for the title each season, with them winning in 2018 and currently leading the table by seven points this season, the Copenhagen derby between Copenhagen and Brondby remains the biggest fixture in Denmark. With the former leading the latter by six points in the table, a win for Copenhagen would effectively eliminate Brondby from the title race, even if they have a minute chance of catching Midtjylland anyway. The last game between the city rivals saw Brondby run out 3-1 winners in October.

PLAYER TO WATCH

31 yrs - ST (C) - Brøndby
69
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
1350
Played matches
15
15
2
Shots P90
2.74
Shots On target P90
1.47
Successful passing %
75%
Final third passes P90
6.81

Kamil Wilczek has scored 15 goals in 15 appearances in the league this campaign, and with his recent goal against Aarhus, became Brondby's leading goalscorer in the history of the Danish Superliga.

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