Weekend Wanderings – Manchester derby, Old Firm and a clash at the top of the WSL

It’s been another mixed week of impressive, surprising and damaging results.

Three Premier League managers have lost their jobs with Unai Emery, Quique Sanchez Flores and Marco Silva all paying the ultimate price.

The packed festive fixture list is in full flow now without any let-up – and it won’t be long until another boss is seemingly on the brink.

Alasdair Hooper highlights the key fixtures you should be keeping an eye on this weekend.

Manchester City v Manchester United (Saturday, 5.30pm)

The fixture that will certainly grab all the attention is this Saturday’s Manchester Derby, with both teams coming off midweek league victories.

Rather surprisingly, Manchester United beat former boss Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham on Wednesday night with a 2-1 win at Old Trafford.

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They will be looking to turn a corner with that result as too often this season one step forward has been followed by two steps back.

The prospect of facing their neighbours Manchester City gives an opportunity to build on that victory with Pep Guardiola’s side stuttering this season.

Their 4-1 win over Burnley certainly helps that and they are always capable of brilliance. Could United catch them on an off day again?

Everton v Chelsea (Saturday, 12.30pm)

On Thursday night, Everton became the latest club to sack their manager as Marco Silva paid for the team’s horrid run of form.

While their 2-1 defeat to Leicester garnered a few positives there wasn’t much to gain from Liverpool putting five goals past them in midweek.

With the Toffees now in the relegation zone, the board have acted and put Duncan Ferguson in temporary charge.

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Things don’t get much easier either for Everton as Chelsea are the next visitors at Goodison Park.

Despite the blip against West Ham, Frank Lampard’s team are still winning plenty of admirers and the return of Tammy Abraham on Wednesday night was a welcome boost.

Can Ferguson get a reaction from the Everton players or is there more misery ahead for their fans?

Rangers v Celtic (Sunday 3pm)

Up in Scotland it’s time to decide who claims the first piece of major silverware.

In what is probably a surprise to no one, the Scottish League Cup sees Celtic and Rangers go head to head, with the two teams comfortably better than the rest in the league this season.

Yet for Rangers this is a real opportunity. The team are far more of a match for Celtic than they have been for years and this is a real chance to put an end to Celtic’s run of trophy winning – they have won the treble for the last three seasons after all.

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A trophy here would also be a real statement of intent for Steven Gerrard, and also means questions could well be asked of Neil Lennon in the Celtic dugout.

Not much has separated the two teams at all this year and the chances are this final will be exactly the same.

Chelsea Women v Manchester City Women (Sunday, 12pm)

Everyone enjoys a top of the table clash in the WSL and this weekend we get just that.

On Sunday afternoon Chelsea, who are still unbeaten, take on Manchester City who are a place and two points ahead of them.

Chelsea do have a game in hand after their last league outing was postponed at Everton but it’s looking tight at the top with just two points separating Arsenal in first and Emma Hayes’ side in third.

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Because of the relatively short season these games against their top table rivals matter even more – both Hayes and City boss Nick Cushing will know that.

It looks set to be another close battle down at Kingsmeadow.

Borussia Monchengladbach v Bayern Munich (Saturday, 2.30pm)

Speaking of close title races, the Bundesliga is taking twists and turn with every matchday.

Surprise leaders Borussia Monchengladbach are continuing to impress and are on their longest run at the top of the league table since they won the title in 1976/77.

It’s also the first time they meet Bayern while ahead of them in the standings since 1997 and understandably there’s much to like about Marco Rose’s team.

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For Bayern, Hansi Flick’s start as interim boss got to off to an impressive start but they suffered a blip last weekend after losing to Bayer Leverkusen.

That result leaves them four points behind the leaders, in fourth place, and they will definitely need to be at their best if they are to come out with something in this match.

With two exciting teams going up against each other this should be a very interesting watch.

You can follow Alasdair on Twitter @adjhooper1992

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