Five Games to Watch

Five Games to Watch: Manchester Derby and a belter in Serie A

Plus the battle for second in Ligue 1 and another derby in Austria.

 
12:00pm on Friday 6th December 2019
By
Martin Macdonald

Inter v Roma" href="https://www.footballcritic.com/serie-a-fc-Internazionale-milano-as-Roma/preview/1744725">

Inter v Roma

With Juventus surprisingly dropping points at home to Sassuolo last week, it allowed Inter to top the table by two points ahead of the Bianconeri. They'll want to make that leading position their own with a statement victory against Roma, who are currently fifth after winning two games on the bounce. Although Inter are the most likely at the moment, these teams represent two of the pretenders for Juve's crown, so expect a hard-fought battle at San Siro as it has been notoriously tight between the two in recent games, which have ended 1-1 and 2-2 in 2018, and 1-1 again in 2019 at the end of last season. The game has, arguably, already been overshadowed by Corriere dello Sport's disgusting 'Black Friday' headline which featured pictures of Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku.

PLAYER TO WATCH

22 yrs - ST (C) - Inter
90
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
969
Played matches
14
8
1
Shots P90
5.48
Shots On target P90
1.95
Successful passing %
58%
Final third passes P90
10.31

Martinez is one of the most in-form strikers in Europe at the moment and certainly in Serie A, having scored five goals in his last three games in all competitions, including the two in the win over SPAL to see Inter top the league. His combination play with Lukaku could be the deciding factor of this game.

Bayern" href="https://www.footballcritic.com/bundesliga-borussia-monchengladbach-fc-Bayern-munchen/match-stats/1669605">

GLADBACH v Bayern

Gladbach bounced back for their surprising defeat to Union Berlin a couple of weeks ago by beating Freiburg 4-2, which kept their lead at the top of the Bundesliga to one point. This weekend, we have a mammoth clash as the current leaders face the reigning champions, Bayern, whose impressive run in the league came to an end last weekend at the hands of Leverkusen who won 2-1 at the Allianz Arena. Should the Bavarian side win this one, they will go just one point behind Gladbach in the table, while RB Leipzig could potentially seize top spot from second place.

PLAYER TO WATCH

31 yrs - S (C) - Bayern
99
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
1141
Played matches
13
16
1
Shots P90
4.89
Shots On target P90
2.29
Successful passing %
72%
Final third passes P90
14.75

When Lewandowski scores, Bayern tend to win in the Bundesliga. Last week, he didn't score, and they lost. Not a particularly complicated equation!

Marseille v Bordeaux

With PSG already running away with the Ligue 1 championship in relative comfort, the battle for second place is on as Marseille welcome Bordeaux to the Orange Velodrome. Since the loss against PSG, Marseille have gone on a superb run of five consecutive victories, while Bordeaux are unbeaten in five and demolished Nimes 6-0 last weekend. The games between these two are usually fairly even, as you would have to look back 10 league games to find the last time someone scored more than two goals.

PLAYER TO WATCH

25 yrs - DM, M (C) - Bordeaux
82
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
1260
Played matches
14
2
2
Shots P90
1.29
Shots On target P90
0.43
Successful passing %
90%
Final third passes P90
7.93

The Brazilian was in supreme form against Nimes, scoring two cracking goals and dominating the midfield. Bordeaux will need another performance like that from him if they are to halt the Marseille train.

RAPID VIENNA v AUSTRIA VIENNA

The Wiener Derby, or Vienna Derby, takes place this weekend at the Alianz Stadion. Unfortunately, the fixture doesn't hold the gravitas it once did thanks to the emergence of RB Salzburg as the dominating force in Austrian football, but the occasion still means a hell of a lot to the fans of each club and packs a punch. Rapid are doing the better out of the two sides at the moment and currently sit in fourth in the Bundesliga, whereas their rivals are languishing in seventh. Last season, Austria Wien won the derby 6-1 at home, but Rapid returned the favour with a 3-1 away victory in September of this campaign.

PLAYER TO WATCH

71
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
1399
Played matches
16
13
2
Shots P90
3.54
Shots On target P90
1.67
Successful passing %
59%
Final third passes P90
8.30

Monschein has scored 13 goals in 16 games so far this season, and bagged a hat-trick in Austria Wien's last game - a 5-0 win versus Hartberg.

MANCHESTER CITY v MANCHESTER UNITED

The Manchester Derby is still a big deal despite Man Utd's drop into the abyss of mediocrity, but they have a better chance than usual against City on this occasion with Pep Guardiola still being forced to field a makeshift back four in recent games, and with Sergio Aguero out injured. However, his replacement Gabriel Jesus scored two against Burnley so they'll need to keep an eye on the Brazilian. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men pulled off a surprising 2-1 victory against Spurs on Wednesday which will certainly put their tails up against a City side who need to reclaim second from Leicester first before they can even think about closing the gap to Liverpool.

PLAYER TO WATCH

22 yrs - S (C), AM (R) - Man City
86
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
637
Played matches
12
5
1
Shots P90
4.94
Shots On target P90
2.26
Successful passing %
87%
Final third passes P90
11.14

With Aguero out of the picture for a little while, the spotlight will be on Jesus to finish the chances that City will inevitably create against the United back four.

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