Five Games to Watch

Five Games to Watch: Two crackers from the Premier League

Manchester City face Leicester, while Tottenham host Jose Mourinho's former club Chelsea.

 
2:36pm on Friday 20th December 2019
By
Martin Macdonald

Leicester City" href="https://www.footballcritic.com/premier-league-manchester-city-fc-leicester-city-fc/preview/1643776">

MANCHESTER CITY v Leicester City

Man City's hopes of retaining their Premier League title are already extremely slim, but lose this one to Leicester and it could be curtains for Pep Guardiola's men in the championship race. They are currently 14 points behind Liverpool and four points behind Leicester, meaning that if they were to overcome to the Foxes they would still remain in third, even if the gap was to shorten to one point to Brendan Rodgers' impressive outfit. City were impressive in their last match against a fairly embarrassing Arsenal side, winning 3-0 at the Emirates, while Leicester saw their impressive eight-match winning run in the league come to an end after a 1-1 draw at home to Norwich. The home side won both fixtures last season, with Leicester winning 2-1 in December and City winning 1-0 in May.

PLAYER TO WATCH

28 yrs - M (C) - Man City
94
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
1317
Played matches
16
7
9
Shots P90
3.28
Shots On target P90
0.96
Successful passing %
82%
Final third passes P90
30.55

Kevin De Bruyne was in magnificent form in City's last league game against Arsenal, scoring two goals with superb finishes as well as assisting another for Raheem Sterling. Leicester will need to keep him quiet if they have any hope of claiming a positive result.

Fiorentina v Roma" href="https://www.footballcritic.com/serie-a-acf-Fiorentina-as-Roma/preview/1744744">

Fiorentina v Roma

Friday night's Serie A game sees last week's scourge of Inter, Fiorentina, take on Roma. Even though Dusan Vlahovic's last-minute belter against the Nerazzurri was one of the moments of the Serie A season, it still doesn't deflect from the fact that Fiorentina are on a horrific run of six games without a win, with four of those being defeats. Roma have won three out of the last four, meanwhile, and are plodding along nicely in the race for the top four, three points clear of Cagliari. Last season in the Coppa Italia, Fiorentina stunned Italian football by eliminating Roma with a huge 7-1 win, while the last league match between the pair ended 2-2.

PLAYER TO WATCH

20 yrs - AM (RC) - Roma
84
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
1082
Played matches
15
3
0
Shots P90
2.50
Shots On target P90
1.16
Successful passing %
83%
Final third passes P90
10.15

Roma's decent recent form doesn't necessarily coincide with the form of Nicolo Zaniolo, who has been fairly quiet over the past month. Let's see if he can reclaim some of the early-season magic.

FENERBAHCE v BESIKTAS

Two of Turkey's biggest clubs face-off this weekend in the Istanbul derby, with European qualification ramifications from the game as Fenerbahce sit in fifth and Besiktas in third. Should the hosts emerge victorious at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, they'll leapfrog Besiktas in the table. Both sides are looking to recover from losses against Sivasspor and Yeni Malatyaspor respectively. The matches last season between the pair were close, and ended 1-1 in September and 3-3 in February.

PLAYER TO WATCH

34 yrs - S (C) - Beşiktaş
75
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
819
Played matches
10
5
2
Shots P90
3.19
Shots On target P90
2.09
Successful passing %
75%
Final third passes P90
10.44

Besiktas aren't a particularly free-scoring team, but Burak Yilmaz probably still represents their best chance to find the back of the net in the derby.

Juventus v Lazio" href="https://www.footballcritic.com/supercoppa-Juventus-fc-ss-Lazio/preview/1791208">

Juventus v Lazio

Even before a ball is kicked there is an element of infamy surrounding the Italian Super Cup final. What was once the curtain-raiser for the Serie A has now become a showpiece shoehorned into an already busy Christmas schedule. This is due to the fixture controversially taking place in Saudi Arabia after a lucrative deal was struck to hold the match in the country on three occasions. Not only that, but the game has now been renamed the Coca-Cola Supercup due to sponsorship reasons. So, anyway, it sees last season's Serie A champions Juventus face last season's Coppa Italia winners, Lazio.

PLAYER TO WATCH

34 yrs - F (CL) - Juventus
95
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
1225
Played matches
14
10
1
Shots P90
5.80
Shots On target P90
2.42
Successful passing %
82%
Final third passes P90
19.69

Ronaldo has really started to hit form over the past few games, and scored that outrageous header against Sampdoria midweek. He would love to add another piece of silverware to his collection.

Tottenham v Chelsea" href="https://www.footballcritic.com/premier-league-Tottenham-hotspur-fc-Chelsea-fc/preview/1643779">

Tottenham v Chelsea

It looks like Liverpool, Leicester, and Man City have made the top three their own, so with that in mind the battle for fourth place will increase in intensity this weekend as Tottenham host Chelsea on Sunday afternoon, with three points separating them in the table. One undeniable subplot to this is Jose Mourinho once again going up against his former club in Chelsea, and indeed his former player Frank Lampard. It is always an occasion when the apprentice attempts to tactically outdo the master, so this should be an interesting one. Chelsea won the last clash 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in February.

PLAYER TO WATCH

23 yrs - AM, M (C) - Tottenham
87
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
806
Played matches
10
5
3
Shots P90
1.79
Shots On target P90
1.12
Successful passing %
78%
Final third passes P90
16.64

Dele Alli has found a rich vein of form since the appointment of Mourinho, and will be looking to continue it as Spurs attempt to go level with Chelsea in the table,

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