Ahead of a big weekend of football, Alasdair Hooper picks out the key games to watch out for.
It’s a massive weekend if you’re a football fan. Put simply – if you are watching from home – it is one of those weekends where you should probably set up as many screens as possible.
With records to be broken, and title-challenging clashes ahead of us, this is sure to be quite a line-up in this edition of Weekend Wanderings.
England vs Germany (Saturday, 5.30pm)
The headline act of this weekend takes place at Wembley Stadium, as Phil Neville’s Lionesses host Germany.
While the friendly itself sees two of the best international teams in the world go head to head, the focus is on what the day represents.Embed from Getty Images
Wembley Stadium is a sell-out. The attendance record for a women’s game in England will be broken – previously that was 70,584 at Wembley when Great Britain beat Brazil at the London 2012 Olympics.
While we all wait and see just how much the record has been broken by, there is also the small matter of what happens on the pitch too.
The Lionesses in particular have seen their form dip since the end of the World Cup. If any side is going to show up deficiencies in this side, it will be Germany.
Here’s to a memorable, record-breaking day at the country’s national stadium.
Liverpool vs Manchester City (Sunday, 4.30pm)
Any other day this would be the standout fixture, but Premier League fans will already know what they’ll be doing this Sunday afternoon.
The top two in the league, and the sides everyone expects to fight for the title in the end, face off at Anfield.
For Manchester City it represents a massive opportunity. It’s a chance to claw back some of that six-point deficit they have on Liverpool.Embed from Getty Images
It’s also a chance to inflict a first league defeat on Jurgen Klopp’s men. Just think what impact that might have if the Reds were to lose here.
Of course, should Liverpool win that would give them a vitally important nine-point gap between them and City.
It would mean they remain unbeaten and should take huge confidence in their quest for a first top-division title since 1990.
In simple terms this is a game between the best two teams in the Premier League right now. They also happen to be two of the best sides we’ve ever seen. It should be a cracker.
Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund (Saturday, 5.30pm)
Speaking of title clashes, Germany’s version has a very different narrative to the one being written in the Premier League.
First and foremost, Der Klassiker – Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund – is always a must-watch.
But the two teams go against each other with just one point between them.Embed from Getty Images
There is also the small matter that, after last weekend’s dismal 5-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt, Niko Kovac was axed as head coach.
All this raises a number of questions. What type of Bayern side will show up and how will they respond to their most recent blow in the Bundesliga?
Will we see the attacking potency we’ve come to expect from Dortmund, or will their inconsistencies come to play?
You can find out all the answers this Saturday evening.
Leicester City vs Arsenal (Saturday, 5.30pm)
Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes have quickly established themselves as one of the most exciting prospects in the Premier League.
They are third on 23 points and, for many, stand a real chance of taking apart an Arsenal side that is hitting some major bumps in the road.Embed from Getty Images
After the turbulence of last week, Arsenal have stripped the captaincy from Granit Xhaka before conceding a 91st-minute equaliser to Vitoria in the Europa League on Wednesday night. A calming couple of days then.
On a serious note the clouds are starting to circle around Unai Emery as more and more fans turn against him and his team.
They desperately need to pull out a performance, Leicester might not be the place to get it.
Lyon vs Marseille (Sunday, 8pm)
Traditionally, Lyon and Marseille have been two giants of French football.
This rivalry, or ‘Clash of the Olympics’, is always heated but this Sunday’s latest edition is interesting for various other reasons.
Firstly, let’s look at the managerial situation. Rudi Garcia joined the club as boss on October 14 following the dismal start to the season under Sylvinho.Embed from Getty Images
Naturally Garcia’s appointment wasn’t exactly a popular one, his last post was as manager of Marseille whom he left in May this year.
That said, despite Lyon languishing in 10th, they have won their last two league games and have players like Memphis Depay who can make a difference.
Marseille currently lie in fourth as they also seek a return to past glories under the management of a certain Andre Villas-Boas.
After 12 league games the pressure is still beginning to mount on Villas-Boas, but they had a morale-boosting victory over Lille last weekend.
A defeat here would be bad news for either of these bosses.
Follow Alasdair on Twitter @adjhooper1992