Geoffrey Kondogbia’s Atletico Madrid travel to city rivals Real Madrid on Sunday night looking to end their ongoing poor run of results against Los Blancos in the Madrid derby.
In the Premier League, the continent’s stars in the title race look to deliver huge performances for their teams: Manchester City (Riyad Mahrez), Liverpool (Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane) and Chelsea (Edouard Mendy).
Having reclaimed top spot last weekend, Manchester City host Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Etihad Stadium looking to consolidate first place with a win.
Mahrez has made more Premier League starts of late — playing from the off in two of the Citizens’ last three games — and the Algeria superstar will hope for his third start in four matches and fifth altogether this season.
Man City must at least match Liverpool and Chelsea’s results to stay atop the PL standings.
Salah & Mane
The Liverpool forwards play host to resurgent Aston Villa looking to ruin Steven Gerrard’s Anfield homecoming.
Salah has been the standout player in the league so far, notching 13 league goals and setting up another nine, while Mane’s tally of seven domestic goals is bettered by only three players, Salah inclusive.
With Villa gaining nine points from an available 12 under their new boss, the Reds pair will strive for success at Anfield looking to secure a win that gives them a chance of supplanting Man City, who play Wolves in the day’s early kick-off.
Mendy & Ziyech
It has been a tough run of games for the Chelsea goalkeeper who has kept a clean sheet in one of his last five league games for the Blues, with last week’s 3-2 defeat by West Ham United the nadir in that run of performances.
Thomas Tuchel is likely to turn to the Senegalese for the visit of Leeds United this weekend after giving him a breather in Wednesday’s 3-3 draw with Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League.
Owing to the German’s inclination to rotate his attack, it remains to be seen if Hakim Ziyech features from the off against the Whites, although the Morocco man ought to play in some capacity at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea could end the weekend top of the league if they pick up maximum points and Manchester City lose and Liverpool draw.
Aubameyang & Partey
Monday night was not good for Arsenal, as they suffered a defeat at the hands of an Everton side that were winless since September before that clash.
Thomas Partey had another underwhelming game in the middle of the park, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was a second-half introduction, saw his run without a goal extend to six Premier League games.
The pair are expected to feature when the Gunners host Saints in one of the afternoon fixtures in the English top flight striving to win four home games on the trot and banish the effects of the last two away defeats.
Success at the Emirates Stadium could take the North London side closer to West Ham United who are away at Burnley on Sunday.
Owing to the injury doubts at the back, Diego Simeone may have to rely upon Kondogbia in Sunday’s clash at Real Madrid.
The versatile 28-year-old has started the last two games in all competitions and may start in this weekend’s Madrid derby as Los Colchoneros look to return to winning ways in La Liga after last week’s surprising 2-1 defeat at the Wanda Metropolitano against Real Mallorca.
However, failing to beat Real in the last seven meetings in all competitions between the pair means Carlo Ancelotti’s team are huge favourites heading into this gameweek.
A win for Los Blancos takes them 13 points clear of their fierce rivals, albeit having played a game more.