A fan of Football Derbies? Then this week will be a real treat as we shall see three of the greatest rivalries in the world of football. The history between each of these teams is very rich, fierce and saw both teams enjoy huge success in both domestic and in European leagues.
Though I’ll be previewing about each derby separately, one thing remains the same between the 6 clubs : no matter how the clubs are performing or no matter which position they lie in the table, each of the teams is very capable of beating its rivals and will consider this the biggest test of the season so far.
Arguably the most glamorous derby in football, El Clasico pits two of Europe’s wealthiest and most successful clubs against each other in what is a battle for both prestige and political ascendancy. Traditionally a struggle between the wealthy elites of Madrid and the socialist separatists of Catalonia, Barcelona versus Real Madrid always makes for an impassioned occasion.
Match Preview :
After a poor start to the season, Real Madrid look to hit form in the right time and their star man Ronaldo has hit 2 hat-tricks in back to back games for the club.That gap is still at eight points going into the seventh round of fixtures this weekend, but reigning champions Madrid at least appear to have put their early-season malaise behind them now.
Mourinho will have a full strength squad to chose from and in fact selecting the XI will be more than a pain.
The Midfield madness : Only Ronaldo and Alonso are sure starters for Madrid. But the other 3 spots in the midfield could see a battle between 6 players. Kaka seems to be coming back to form and his quick feet and sublime touches in the last two games showed all that he could probably be the same player he was once. Having said that, the likes of Modric and Ozil have not put a foot wrong. It will be interesting to see if Mourinho plays 2 of these 3 players. All 3 of them will not play for sure and after Kaka played in the mid week, he looks the most probable one out of the three to sit out. Essien will not start after having a couple of bad games. The other 2 players challenging for a place in the XI will be Di maria and Khedira.
The striker and the left back position seem to be the same story for Madrid. 2 players in each position and each of them is not so different from the other. Benzema and Higuain will fight for that striker role while it is between Marcelo and Coentrao for the left back role.
All in all, Madrid don’t seem to have any worries and will look to win the game.
The main talking point throughout the week was the hand injury of Puyol. He joins Pique and Abidal in the injured list of the defenders. Alex Song and Javier Mascherano are set to play in central defence for Barcelona against Real Madrid. And Mascherano already made a mistake in the Super Cup earlier this season which cost them the game. Victor Valdes will have to start performing in the big games. Another mistake from him will be a treat for the critics.
The front line looks dangerous enough to embarrass any opponent in the world and with the return of form for Fabregas and Villa’s return from injury will boost the team which already boasts of the deadly trio of Xavi,Iniesta and Messi.
Le Classique :
Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille partake in the biggest rivalry in French football and these meetings became important during the late 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s. The two most successful teams in the league, sit on top of the table currently. The tension between OM and PSG fans is always high and the various groups of Marseille and Parisian supporters have hated and battled each other.
Like all major rivalries, the antipathy between Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique de Marseille extends outside the pitch as Paris and Marseille are the two largest cities in France.
Match Preview :
With the money flowing in for P.S.G. from their new owners, one thing is for certain. They will attract more fans from outside the country. The neutrals would like to see the match at least for the big names. With the likes of Ibrahimovich, Thiago Silva, Lavezzi joining the likes of Alex and Pastore, this team can defeat any team on their day. But it all comes down to team work and co-ordination which doesn’t look 100% still.
P.S.G. have 15 points from 7 games and sit second in the table while Marseille have had the perfect start to the season winning all six games until last weekend when they got thrashed 4-1 away to Valenciennes.
O.M. captain Andre Ayew could not resist a jab at the capital club heading into Sunday’s game.
“It has never been my dream to play for PSG,” Ayew said.
“For me, Marseille is the biggest club in France.
“It is not a question of the PSG’s image but identity.”
PSG head into the match having slumped to a 1-0 defeat away to Porto in the Champions League, while Marseille were in Cyprus this week for their Europa League fixture against AEL Limassol.
Milan Derby :
The Milan Derby, like many intercity derbies, began due to a schism within the hierarchy of one club, due to, of course, which players should be signed and which shouldn’t.
The Milan clubs have traded periods of dominance in both the Serie A and Europe since the 1960s.
If the unusual pattern of the last three years repeats itself again, then Massimiliano Allegri’s men are on course for a ‘Derby della Madonnina’ double.
Inter claimed bragging rights in both Serie A meetings between the clubs in the last campaign, Milan the season before that, and Inter the season before that.
Indeed, the last time the two teams produced a draw was back in 2004. Therefore, it would not be unreasonable to expect a result—goals, too.