Madrid Derby: Will Griezmann enter the field before 60 minutes?


With England still in a state of mourning after the passing away of Queen Elizabeth II, three matches have been postponed. The biggest of them is Chelsea vs Liverpool and Manchester United’s home game against Leeds. Brighton & Hove Albion’s fixture against Crystal Palace is the other match that will not take place.

With the blockbuster encounters missing this week from the EPL, eyes will turn towards leagues like the Serie A and the La Liga which have mouthwatering clashes lined up for the fans. Here’s some of the matches which you do not want to miss this weekend:

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid (Monday, 12.30 AM)

The big one from La Liga this weekend is the derby between table toppers Los Blancos and archrivals Rojiblancos on Monday night. Atletico will aim to end Real’s perfect start to the season and with Karim Benzema reportedly missing in action with an injury, they will have one less thing to worry about. On the other hand, Atletico themselves will be without their main shot stopper Jan Oblak who is also on the injured list. Another thing which will be interesting to see in this match is if Diego Simeone lets forward Antoine Griezmann come in the game before 60 minutes. The France player is stuck in an unenviable position due to a dispute between Barcelona and Atletico with the latter asking Simeone to limit the minutes Griezmann plays in an attempt to avoid having to pay the former 40 million euros stipulated in his loan contract if he played more than half the available minutes. Even with the lack of significant gametime, Griezmann has scored 3 times in his 7 appearances and in a just world, would start ahead of an out of form Joao Felix in the starting lineup. The well oiled Real Madrid machine will be licking their chops to have a go at this Atletico lineup, limited by injuries and disputes, which has left them languishing in the 7th position.

Milan vs Napoli (Monday, 12.15 AM)

From the trials and tribulations of one French striker in Spain, we come to Italy where another French forward will represent Milan’s leading hope in their clash against table toppers Napoli. Olivier Giroud, who has been on a tear since helping Milan win their first Serie A title in 11 years, will be the attacking focus of the side. The Rossoneri will miss their season’s top goal scorer Rafael Leao, who is suspended and legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic. They will also be without the services of Alessandro Florenzi, Ante Rebic and Divock Origi. With both clubs having 14 points, Milan will need an outright victory against the Naples club to leapfrog them and clinch top spot. Napoli, like Milan, are undefeated this season and will be buoyed by their recent Champions League drubbings of Liverpool and Rangers. After losing a bunch of key first team players in the transfer window, the Gli Azzurri have unearthed diamonds like Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Giovanni Simeone and Giacomo Raspadori who are leading the charge for them. However, their star player Victor Osimhen will still be missing due to injury.

Tottenham vs Leicester City (Saturday, 10 PM)

In the recent past, this game would be a decent mid table clash but this season, the gulf between the two sides is humongous. Tottenham are 3rd in the table while Leicester are at the fag end of it, having lost 5 out of 6 matches. But Tottenham are famous for losing the plot very quickly, like they did against Sporting in the Champions League, conceding 2 goals after the 90th minute leading to defeat. Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers knows that and you can bet anything that he will look to this fixture as one that starts an uptick in Leicester as well as his own fortunes. Tottenham, meanwhile, have been on a 7-game winning streak at home and it won’t be easy for Leicester to break down a side which defeated them twice last season. One thing that might be worrying for Conte is that they will have to face a well-rested Leicester side while the Lilywhites had a grueling trip to Portugal in the midweek. The gameplay against Sporting was not flattering, with Spurs failing to create any clear cut chances in the attacking third. Conte will be hoping for a much better performance against a down on their luck Leicester City who shipped 5 goals to Brighton in their last match.

Notable mentions

Manchester City vs Wolves (Saturday, 5 PM)

Brentford vs Arsenal (Sunday, 4.30 PM)

Roma vs Atalanta (Saturday, 9.30 PM)

Villareal vs Sevilla (Saturday, 7.45 PM)





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