Weekend preview: Manchester United-Liverpool blockbuster, City look to build on strong start, Atletico and Villareal’s top-of-the-table clash


The 2022-23 football season has not even stepped out of infancy and we are already neck deep in memorable moments. The English Premier League continues to entertain, the Spanish La Liga has had its fair share of narratives and the usual suspects in the Italian Serie A have started life on a tried and tested path.

In the EPL, Manchester City and Arsenal have started their season on a winning note, with 2 victories in 2 matches. Chelsea and Tottenham played out an entertaining draw last week and are in the fourth and seventh spot respectively. The major surprises, however, have been sprung by traditional rivals Liverpool and Manchester United with a horrific start. Both teams haven’t registered a single victory in 2 games, with Liverpool drawing both their games and United losing both theirs in emphatic fashion, leaving the Red Devils rock-bottom of the table.

In La Liga, the only surprises were a new-look Barcelona dropping points to Rayo Vallecano and Sevilla losing to Osasuna. On the other hand, Real and Atletico both registered victories while Villareal top the table with a thumping 3-0 victory against Real Valladolid.

The Serie A matches all had the desired results for the top teams with both Milan clubs, Juventus, Napoli, and Roma starting with wins. With their 5-2 win against Verona, Napoli sit pretty on top of the table owing to their superior goal difference.

Here are the matches that you can keep an eye out for this week

Manchester United vs Liverpool (Tuesday, 12.30 AM)

Manchester United vs Liverpool is always considered the biggest match of the season, let alone the week, but this time around, both teams have had a less than ideal start to their campaign.

Liverpool have managed meek draws with Fulham and Crystal Palace in back-to-back matches while United are languishing at the bottom of the table, losing comprehensively to Brighton and Brentford. However, there’s a twist in the tale as a United victory on Monday night will catapult them over their arch rivals in the points table.

There’s everything to play for in this match that could further shape these two clubs’ season.

Leeds United vs Chelsea (Sunday, 6.30PM)

After dropping points in the derby against Tottenham last week, a disgruntled Chelsea unit travel to Elland Road to take on the unpredictable Leeds United. The Lilywhites, who barely escaped relegation last season, have started this one with a win over Wolves and a draw with Southampton. Chelsea, meanwhile, have been blowing hot and cold with a narrow win against Everton and an unlucky draw with Tottenham.

Chelsea were the far better team and looked set to cruise to victory before some controversial decisions led to the match finishing even. The London club will look for a far more comprehensive win against a Leeds side who leave a lot to be desired in their defensive displays.

Manchester City vs Newcastle United (Sunday, 9 PM)

Manchester City’s Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland celebrate after a goal against Bayern Munich during the first half of a friendly soccer match. (AP)

Manchester City will look to continue their dominant display against a buoyant Newcastle on Sunday when they host the Magpies on their home turf. City have blown away Bournemouth and West Ham while Newcastle have drawn with Brighton and defeated Nottingham Forest.

Something will have to give when these two Middle east-owned clubs meet as the 5th placed Newcastle will hope to add a blemish to City’s perfect start at the Etihad.

Atletico Madrid vs Villareal (Sun, 11 PM)

After a 3-0 win against Getafe, second-placed Atletico Madrid will hope to continue that domination when they face table topper Villareal who trounced Real Valladolid with the same margin. The Diego Simeone-managed outfit will be confident of victory after their Portuguese forward Joao Felix scored 2 and assisted one in the last match.

Honourable mentions

AC Milan vs Atalanta (Mon 12.15 AM)

Celta Vigo vs Real Madrid (Sun 1.30 AM)

Barcelona vs Real Sociedad (Mon 1.30 AM)

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