While the Rugby Championship has come to a close, another blockbuster weekend of sports await us. From Currie Cup climaxes to big-name football rivalries, everything is on the line this weekend.
Liverpool v Manchester United (Premier League)
Alongside the Clasico in Spain, this is one of world football’s most dramatic rivalries, and the next instalment happening on Saturday gives United an opportunity to truly test their mettle against a top side. They share top spot with Manchester City, with 19 points each, but the Red Devils have had an easy run in the league so far and Liverpool will pose the first serious challenge to United’s title credentials. Klopp’s side have some defensive issues that could hurt their prospects in this game, but their fluid attackers are likely to truly test United’s defence for the first time this season. For United to be considered legitimate title contenders, nothing other than a win at Anfield will do, but it’s not a happy hunting ground for Mourinho.
Prediction: Liverpool 1 – 2 Manchester United. You can bet on the game here.
Manchester City v Stoke City (Premier League)
High-flying Manchester City will host Stoke City at the Etihad and try to do what fellow Manchester club, United, failed to do, which is record a victory against a stubborn and tenacious Stoke team. Stoke are notorious for being troublesome opponents for the top sides, having made a habit of taking points off Arsenal, United, and Chelsea in recent years. With Liverpool potentially being able to take some points off United, this is a great opportunity for Pep Guardiola to put some space between himself and longtime rival Jose Mourinho. City are still without the injured Sergio Aguero, but they’ve got more than enough firepower to put Stoke away and maintain their strong title push.
Prediction: Manchester City 3 – 0 Stoke City. You can bet on the game here.
Golden Lions v Cheetahs (Currie Cup)
The climactic finale to the pool stages of the Currie Cup goes down when the Golden Lions host the Free State Cheetahs in what should be an entertaining encounter. Both sides have been bolstered by some reinforcements, with the Lions getting their Springboks back, while the Cheetahs have had their Pro 14 stars added to the squad. The Bloemfontein side have had the edge in recent fixtures, but with the beefed-up Lions side at home and roaring for a finals place, they should be able to secure a win.
Prediction: Lions by 10. You can bet on the game here.
Borussia Dortmund v RB Leipzig (Bundesliga)
Dortmund have made a flying start in this season’s Bundesliga campaign under new manager Peter Bosz, and the current league leaders on 19 points, and they’re taking on the fast-growing RB Leipzig who are fourth. RB Leipzig has grown exponentially fast, making their way through the lower divisions into the Bundesliga with rapid success. As a club they’ve got their sights set on success and this game against Dortmund gives them a good opportunity to make their intentions clear. It’s going to be difficult, though, as Dortmund have scored 21 goals already while only conceding two in the league, making their attacking and defensive record the best in the league.
Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 3 – 1 RB Leipzig. You can bet on the game here.
Atletico Madrid v Barcelona (La Liga)
Another case of first versus fourth, this time taking place in La Liga as Barcelona visit Atletico Madrid’s new stadium for the first time. The Wanda Metropolitano provides over 10,000 more seats than the Vicente Calderon, and Atletico have made a positive start to their season by remaining unbeaten in their first seven league matches. Barcelona, however, aren’t just unbeaten, but they’ve also recorded seven successive victories, so they’re going to be tough opponents. Atletico have a solid defensive record though, having only conceded four goals so far – so this match will be a stern test for Barcelona and give second place Sevilla an opportunity to close the gap should the Blaugrana fail to win.
Prediction: Atletico Madrid 1 – 1 Barcelona. You can bet on the game here.
If you’re looking to earn your weekend drinks off the guys at Sportingbet (it wouldn’t be the first time), you can place your bets on the upcoming sporting clashes here.
What are your predictions for this weekend? Which teams will come out on top in the respective encounters? Let us know by tweeting us @MenStuffZA!