Manchester’s giants collide on Saturday, as Manchester City host Manchester United in the Premier League’s late kick-off.
The match—which stars at 19:30 CAT on SS3—is our pick of the weekend’s action, as two managers in the midst of differing seasons go toe to toe.
While City are struggling in the title race, and entered this week 11 points behind leaders Liverpool, they served an enduring reminder of their threat on Tuesday as they defeated Burnley 4-1.
It was a fine display, even without the injured Sergio Aguero, as Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez stepped into key roles.
The former has been made to wait in the shadows for long spells of his City career, with Aguero proving immovable as Pep Guardiola’s leading man.
However, few reserve strikers in the Premier League are as effective as Jesus, who will surely be relishing the opportunity to lead the reigning champions out in a derby and perhaps even prove the match winner.
“It’s not easy to replace Sergio, but the team doesn’t have doubts about Jesus,” Guardiola told journalists after the midweek triumph. “The quality of the strikers made the difference.
“The goals scored were really good, incredible crosses and finishing,” he added. “We need Gabriel Jesus, strikers are there to score goals and we need him.
“Strikers like him and Sergio Aguero live for goals.”
Even without their Argentine superstar they would surely have been confident heading into the derby, having lost only one of their past six meetings against United.
Last season, Guardiola’s side enjoyed such superiority over their city rivals—then coached by Jose Mourinho—that they beat them home and away in the league.
It’s imperative that City avoid dropping further points if they’re to remain in the title hunt, although Guardiola remains calm, and optimistic that his side can still overhaul Liverpool.
“The title is over?” the Spanish coach asked after Tuesday’s victory. “Nobody gives us a chance. I don’t believe it.
“Our team is stable and that’s what we want, for the distance we have with Liverpool it would be crazy to think about the title, we have to think about the derby, the other competitions, and take this rhythm into those games.”
Over in Italy, things are much tighter at the top, although reigning champions Juventus must surely have begun to take the title challenge of fallen giants Internazionale seriously.
When Juve defeated Inter 2-1 on October 6 to move into top spot, the expectation was that the Nerazurri would fall away and that their title bid would peter out.
However, in the intervening weeks, Inter have maintained a remarkable consistency, while Juve have endured a wobble or two.
Inter head into Friday evening’s clash with AS Roma one point ahead of Juve, and have won all of their last five games in the competition.
Particularly impressive was their 3-0 victory at Torino earlier this month, although they were much less convincing as they dispatched SPAL 2-1, and must up their game if they’re to see off Roma to maintain their winning run.
The capital club, who are currently in fifth, have also impressed in recent weeks, having won five of their last six matches, with a defeat by Parma the only exception.
Catch this heavyweight clash at the top of Serie A on SS8 (South Africa) and SS9 (Rest of Africa), at 21:45 CAT on Friday.
This weekend, SuperSport are also delighted to present the pick of the PSL action, with Orlando Pirates away at Baroka FC, and Kaizer Chiefs hosting Bloemfontein Celtic.
The Buccaneers prepared for their weekend assignment with a 3-3 friendly draw with minnows JDR Stars earlier this week, with Augustine Mulenga, Vincent Pule and Austin Muwowo among the goals for the domestic giants.
Pirates defeated Polokwane City 3-2 in their last match, and will be keen to end a testing few months on a high with Baroka and Black Leopards to come between now and the end of the year.
Rulani Mokwena’s Bucs have struggled for consistency this term, but has vowed to bring joy to his team’s supporters across the festive period.
Thembinkosi Lorch will be absent for Bucs due to suspension, although Pirates will be boosted by the return of captain Happy Jele.
For Chiefs, enjoying a perhaps unexpectedly successful campaign, the festive period is full of banana skins as they look to preserve, or even extend, their 10-point lead over the rest of the pack.
Amakhosi are beginning to look like champions-elect in every way, with Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt the latest to add his name to those tipping Chiefs for the domestic crown.
“Chiefs have…got a hell of a lead now,” the Wits coach told journalists. “It’s for them to lose it now. It’s a big lead.
“The other teams have got to win three or four matches in a row to catch them, [and] Chiefs will have to lose three or four matches…they’ve only lost one.”
Will Celtic prove to be Pirates’ latest victims, or could they succeed where others have failed, and halt the league leaders’ momentum?
Catch the Pirates and Chiefs games on SS4 (South Africa) and SS11 (Rest of Africa) at 15:30 and 20:15 CAT, respectively, on Saturday.
Friday 6 November
SuperSport United vs Highlands Park SS4 (SA) & SS9 (ROA) Kickoff at 20:00 (CAT)
Inter Milan vs Roma SS8 (SA) & SS9 (ROA) Kickoff at 21:45 (CAT)
Villarreal vs Atletico Madrid SS7 Kickoff at 22:00 (CAT)
Saturday 7 November:
Real Madrid vs Espanyol SS7 Kickoff at 14:00 (CAT)
Everton vs Chelsea SS3 Kickoff at 14:30 (CAT)
Baroka FC v Orlando Pirates SS4 (SA) & SS11 (ROA) Kickoff at 15:30 (CAT)
Bournemouth vs Liverpool SS3 Kickoff at 17:00 (CAT)
Tottenham Hotspur vs Burnley SS8 (SA) & SS2 (ROA) Kickoff at 17:00 (CAT)
Udinese vs Napoli SS8 (SA) & SS9 (ROA) Kickoff at 19:00 (CAT)
Man City vs Man Utd SS3 Kickoff at 19:30 (CAT)
Kaizer Chiefs v Bloemfontein Celtic SS4 (SA) & SS9 (ROA) Kickoff at 20:15 (CAT)
Lazio vs Juventus SS8 (SA) & SS9 (ROA) Kickoff at 21:45 (CAT)
Barcelona vs Mallorca SS7 Kickoff at 22:00 (CAT)
Sunday 8 November:
Aston Villa vs Leicester City SS3 Kickoff at 16:00 (CAT)
Bologna v AC Milan SS8 (SA) & SS9 (ROA) Kickoff at 21:45 (CAT)
Monday 9 December:
West Ham vs Arsenal SS3 Kickoff at 22:00 (CAT)
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