Five games to watch this weekend: Man Utd face rivals Man City and Real Madrid host Atletico
Latest odds and preview ahead of five unmissable games this weekend
Christmas season may be upon us but we’re expecting fireworks this weekend, with three feisty derbies to look forward to.
First up, Cardiff face Swansea before Manchester United welcome fierce rivals Manchester City to Old Trafford, with just a point separating the neighbours in the Premier League table.
And the Saturday evening fun continues as Real Madrid come up against old enemies Atletico Madrid.
There are plenty of other tasty fixtures to get stuck into and we’ve taken a closer look at some of them.
Cardiff v Swansea – Saturday (12:30)
We’re set for another feisty derby in the Championship as Welsh rivals Cardiff and Swansea lock horns in the early kick-off.
The visitors start the day in fourth, four points behind leaders Norwich, and they’ll be targeting promotion this year having spent the last two seasons out of the Premier League.
Cardiff are on a run of four consecutive wins, thanks in large part to the goals of summer signing Kieffer Moore. This fixture ended goalless back in January, while Swansea won the reverse game at the Liberty Stadium 1-0.
Cardiff can be backed at 6/4 to win while Swansea are priced at 21/10. The draw is also 21/10.
Manchester United v Manchester City – Saturday (17:30)
The visit of United’s rivals couldn’t have come at a much worse time for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who finds himself under pressure despite his side sitting just five points off the top of the Premier League.
A 3-2 defeat at RB Leipzig on Tuesday saw them crash out of the Champions League and the recent revelation that Paul Pogba is unhappy at the club has sparked suggestions of dressing room unrest.
City have endured a slow start to the campaign by their usual high standards but they’re beginning to find their feet. They bounced back from a disappointing defeat at Tottenham to put five past Burnley before beating Fulham last week.
United did the double over their rivals last season but they’ll be wary of City’s threat. Solskjaer’s side have kept one clean sheet in all competitions since October and Sergio Aguero could be in line to start having missed much of the campaign through injury.
Manchester United can be backed at 18/5, with Manchester City odds-on at 3/4. The draw is 29/10.
Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid – Saturday (20:00)
There’s always drama when these two meet and you can read our in-depth La Liga preview here. Real survived a midweek scare to scrap through to the Champions League knockout stages and they’ll be looking to build on that momentum here.
They come up against an Atletico side flying high at the top of La Liga, with seven consecutive domestic wins under their belt. The summer signing of Luis Suarez has proved invaluable and the Uruguayan is beginning to unlock the potential of strike partner Joao Felix, who has bagged eight goals this season.
But the formbook tends to be ignored on occasions like this and last season’s league champions Real, who are unbeaten in their last five clashes with their neighbours, are more than capable of knocking them off their perch.
Real Madrid are going at 7/5, with the draw priced at 11/5. We go 21/10 that Atletico Madrid come out on top.
Crystal Palace v Tottenham – Sunday (14:15)
Jose Mourinho’s working his magic once again with Tottenham and the North London side are getting dangerously close to being considered genuine title contenders. They sit top of the Premier League and their last three games have seen them take seven points from Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal.
But as good as they are breaking forward on the counter attack with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, how effective will that be against a Crystal Palace side who are quite comfortable letting the opposition dominate the ball?
If history is any indication, it should be an easy game to predict – five of the last eight meetings between the pair have finished 1-0 to Tottenham. But it depends on which Palace side turns up.
Roy Hodgson’s side sandwiched frustrating recent defeats to Burnley and Newcastle in between thrashings of Leeds and West Brom and with the likes of Eberechi Eze and Wilfried Zaha in the form of their lives, it won’t be an easy afternoon for Tottenham’s backline.
Crystal Palace are 19/5 to win with our traders. Tottenham are odds-on at 3/4 while the draw is 27/10.
Paris Saint-Germain v Lyon – Sunday (20:00)
As is tradition, PSG find themselves top of the Ligue 1 table, having finished as champions in seven of the last eight campaigns.
But they could be leapfrogged by Lyon should they lose their clash on Sunday. Rudi Garcia’s side are just two points behind the leaders in third and they seem to be thriving with no European football to distract them.
They’ve won six of their last seven games, although they’ve not won any of their last four meetings with PSG, who are purring of late. Neymar and co. have scored 13 goals in their last four games in all competitions and they’ll be keen to put some daylight between themselves and their potential title rivals.
PSG are odds-on to win at 8/13. We go 4/1 that Lyon grab all three points with the draw at 13/4.
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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication