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SPORTS: Weekend European Previews

1. Real Madrid – Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid is safe on top of the standings in La Liga with 39 points, ten more than Atletico who is fourth but has played one game less than Real.

‘Los Blancos’ have won the last six games in the Spanish top division and haven’t lost in the last 12 games in all competitions. How good Carlo Ancelotti’s team plays lately is best shown by the fact that Real has conceded only one goal in the last five games.

Six of the last ten games between these two teams in all competitions have ended in a tie and seven of them have been under 2.5 goals. 

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2. Liverpool – Aston Villa

Steven Gerrard is returning to Anfield for the first time as Aston Villa’s manager after spending 17 seasons playing for the Reds.

Liverpool has lost only one game of the last 27 in all competitions but they still trail one point to the leading Manchester City. 

Aston Villa had shown major improvement winning three of four Premier League games after Gerrard took the charge and they are currently in 10th place in the standings.

None of the last ten games between these two has ended in a tie with Liverpool winning seven of those.

3. PSG – Monaco

PSG is comfortable on top of the standings in French Ligue 1 but they will have a tough task when Monaco visits on Sunday. Monaco is currently seventh on the table, 15 points less than PSG but only 5 shy of the second-placed Rennes.

PSG is coming off a 4-1 win over Club Brugge in the Champions League and has lost only once in the last ten games but have lost the last two against Monaco in the French top league. 

Neymar Jr., Sergio Ramos and Julian Draxler are not available which opens the door for Monaco for another upset.

4. Osasuna – Barcelona

Despite a coaching change, Barcelona has lost the last two games to Bayern Munich and Betis without scoring a goal which certainly worries the new coach Xavi. 

For the first time in 20 years, the Catalans have failed to advance in the second phase of the Champions League and will continue the season in Europa League. 

Barcelona is currently seventh in La Liga and they will have to win on Sunday against Osasuna to keep their chances to get back among the top four teams.

Barcelona has won seven of the last ten against Osasuna with two draws and one loss.

5. Norwich – Manchester United

Manchester United hasn’t lost in the last five games after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was fired which is a good sign that they can have a successful season. They won the last two in the Premier League at home against Crystal Palace and Arsenal, and a road win against the last-placed Norwich is a must in order to improve from seventh place in the standings where they currently sit.

Norwich also has picked up their form lately, losing only once in the last five games with two wins and two draws. United has won eight of the last ten against Norwich. 

WORDS: Marko Mitevski.

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