Weekend Wanderings: A Yorkshire Derby between Sheffield United and Leeds United, Scottish League Cup final clash and Arsenal face Tottenham in the North London Derby

For this upcoming weekend it’s very much about derbies, rivalries and crunch games where the points are ever so valuable.

Not only are we talking about points but we’ve also come to the point where silverware is on offer – even though it will be the start of December.

So as we roll ever closer towards Christmas here are the games this weekend that you should be keeping tabs on.

1) Do we have a relegation six-pointer on our hands?

The proverbial term relegation ‘six-pointer’ usually gets banded about when the clubs involved are having a torrid time.

This Saturday – even though there’s still a long way to go until we reach the season’s end – we might just have one of these crunch ties on our hands.

Crystal Palace and Burnley enjoyed successful seasons last year in very different ways – Sean Dyche’s side qualified for Europe while the Eagles escaped the drop against the odds.

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But here we are at the start of December and both teams are teetering having both picked up nine points.

The only thing stopping them from dropping into the relegation zone right now is the fact that there are three teams worse than them – all on eight points.

You don’t exactly have to be a maths genius to work out that the gap between Palace and Burnley to the drop zone is marginal and Dyche’s team travel to face Roy Hodgson’s Eagles this Saturday.

A win for either side will be a massive boost, a draw would leave both frustrated.

2) Who can edge ahead in the promotion race in Saturday’s Yorkshire Derby?

To say it is tight at the top of the Championship is something of an understatement.

This weekend we see two teams battling it out at the top but there is also the small fact of local bragging rights to consider as well.

Sheffield United, currently in fifth place on 34 points, host Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United with the Elland Road side sitting second on 36 points.

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Bielsa – the hipster’s choice of football manager – has certainly made things different since he arrived at Leeds in the summer and they go into this Saturday’s game off the back of two straight wins in the league.

Sheffield United’s victory over Brentford in midweek kept things very interesting at the top of the Championship.

If both teams can replicate the passion of their managers – Chris Wilder and Bielsa – on the pitch then this could be a fire cracker of a game.

3) Can Aberdeen break their Hampden hoodoo against the Hoops?

It’s time for the first crack at silverware north of the border as Celtic and Aberdeen meet in the Scottish League Cup final.

Derek McInnes’ Aberdeen side won this trophy in 2014 but since then their performances in finals have all ended in defeat – primarily to Celtic.

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Brendan Rodgers’ team have made Hampden Park a fortress and each time they have come up against Aberdeen at the national stadium in Glasgow it has usually ended up in misery for fans from the Granite City.

But the last two league meetings between the two teams have been very close – a 1-0 victory to Aberdeen at the end of last season followed by a 1-0 win for Celtic in September this season.

If Aberdeen perform at their absolute maximum then they may just pull off a surprise.

4) What can Unai Emery deliver in his first taste of the North London Derby?

Ever since Unai Emery replaced long-serving Arsene Wenger as Gunners boss plenty of Arsenal fans probably had this fixture ringed in their calendars.

On the face of it we seem to be in for a treat.

Tottenham are now flying high after a terrific performance against Chelsea last weekend and a last-gasp win in the Champions League.

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Arsenal, however, are perfectly adept at brushing aside inferior opposition but they are having a tough time getting victories against their big-six rivals.

Despite the fact Arsenal are fifth the fans seem to have come around to Unai Emery and the style Arsenal are playing.

Plus, in big derbies like this where the passion can be so big, sometimes form goes out of the window.

5) Fans are treated to a Merseyside derby double bill

To complete the host of derby fixtures this weekend Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool host neighbours Everton at Anfield.

The Reds can’t afford any slip-ups if they are to keep pace with nigh on perfect Manchester City at the top but Marco Silva’s Everton will be a tough nut to crack.

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But before the Premier League clubs do battle there is also another Merseyside derby to enjoy as Everton Ladies host Liverpool Women at noon on Sunday.

This time around it is very much a battle at the opposite end of the table as Everton sit rooted to the bottom of the table on two points.

Liverpool – who are still looking to come together following a turbulent start with players and managers coming in and out – are in eighth on nine points but have lost their last four league games.

A win for Everton would see them out of the relegation spot, unless both Yeovil and Brighton win, but some momentum is needed very quickly for the WSL’s basement club.

You can follow Alasdair on Twitter @adjhooper1992

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