Weekend Wanderings: Chelsea vs Liverpool, AC Milan vs Inter

After the Champions League came back with a bang, all eyes are back on the domestic game this weekend. 

With some massive rivalry games – and manager’s future hanging by a thread – Alasdair Hooper runs down the fixtures to look out for this weekend.

Chelsea v Liverpool (Sunday, 4.30pm)

It was hardly a successful first outing for both Chelsea and Liverpool back in the Champions League this week as both succumbed to defeat.

However, both sides will want to put those behind them with this massive game at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Liverpool, understandably, go into the game as favourites. They sit top of the league and, until Napoli beat them, looked superior in a number of ways.

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With Manchester City slipping up last week, the Reds currently have a five-point lead at the top but Chelsea’s young stars could yet have a say.

At the time of writing the severity of Mason Mount’s ankle injury is still unclear but with Tammy Abraham already bagging goals for fun in the league, it could be a real test for Liverpool’s back line.

Either way, with both sides attacking in the way they do this looks set to be a thriller of a game.

AC Milan v Inter Milan (Saturday, 7.45pm)

Over in Italy, we are treated to one of the all-time favourite rivalries in the form of the Milan derby.

In the league, Inter are in an impressive position, winning three out of three and conceding just the once.

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Antonio Conte’s side are tipped for a title challenge, while AC Milan are bidding primarily to get into a top-four spot, but as with any derby it is usually an incredibly even affair.

With Suso, Romelu Lukaku and Krzysztof Piatek on show it should make for some perfect Saturday night viewing.

Brentford v Stoke City (Saturday, 3pm)

If ever you needed a reminder of how brutal a business football management can be you only need to look at Stoke City boss Nathan Jones.

The former Luton Town boss’ reputation was sky high last January when he was brought in to replace Gary Rowett.

But since then it has been far from a success and now – despite the fact the club have the most expensively assembled squad in the Championship – they sit bottom with a solitary point.

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If things are to change for Jones they need to happen soon and this Saturday’s fixture at Brentford would be the perfect place to start.

The only problem is Brentford will have ambitions of their own after a relatively slow start to the season, which currently sees them in 18th place.

But make no mistake, another defeat and Jones will unfortunately be edging closer and closer to the exit door.

Sevilla v Real Madrid (Sunday, 8pm)

This Sunday night we get the chance to see just how good top-of-the-table Sevilla are.

Now managed by Julen Lopetegui (remember him?) they have won three and drawn one so far this term.

But in the form of third-placed Real Madrid – who Lopetegui was managing this time last year – they face their first real test in the league.

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A win here will see Zinedine Zidane’s Real overtake Sevilla but you still get the sense that Real are far from at their free-flowing best.

That said with the talent the side possess, and a certain Eden Hazard getting fitter, this might be a step to far for Sevilla.

Lyon v Paris Saint Germain (Sunday, 8pm)

Despite losing once already and having arguably the most combustible dressing room in Europe (think Neymar and Icardi) Paris Saint Germain are in the familiar position of sitting top of Ligue 1.

On Sunday night they face Lyon in a fixture that has plenty of history, despite the home side’s flaky start to the season.

Of course, this game also gives us a chance to see the next instalment of Neymar trying to work his way back in with the PSG fans after his failure to get a move away from the club.

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Despite being booed last weekend, a last-minute overhead kick suddenly had them cheering the Brazilian once more.

He will also benefit from sitting out of their Wednesday night Champions League game thanks to his ban for criticising a referee on Instagram.

But if Neymar proves to be the star of the show once again the PSG fans might just be willing to forgive and forget.

Follow Alasdair on Twitter @adjhooper1992

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