Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A: Key weekend showdowns
The European big leagues return after the international break with a series of mouthwatering clashes this weekend. This includes the Premier League's Manchester United vs Arsenal match, La Liga Madrid derby where Real Madrid go up against Atletico Madrid, Bundesliga showdown involving Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund and finally the Serie A's Derby della Madonnina, between AC Milan and Inter Milan.
Ahead of the Manchester United vs Arsenal game, the major talking point is the rivalry between respective managers, Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger. Over the years, the animosity between the two was evident in the "vicious verbal spats, chest shoving and handshake snubs." Mourinho will look to keep up his fine record against the Gunners boss, whom he described as 'a specialist in failure'.
Jose and Arsene met 15 times. Of this, Mourinho has upper hand having won 8 times, and never beaten by Wenger's side in a competitive game. The worst of these losses faced by Wenger was when Chelsea under Jose thrashed Arsenal 6-0, in March 2014.
The history between Man United, Arsenal goes back to late 1990s and ever since produced countless iconic matches. Arsenal are winless in their last 9 premier league matches at Old Trafford. With 24 points and two points behind premier league leader Liverpool, Arsenal are riding high. On the other hand, placed at 6th, Manchester United are struggling to make it into the top 4.
Real Madrid go into the Madrid Derby against Atletico Madrid with an unbeaten record in the league this season. Diego Simeone's men have a strong record in the recent derbies. Atletico were unbeaten in the last 9 domestic matches against Real Madrid and will be determined to maintain the record. Atletico need to win the match to keep their title hopes alive.
Der Klassiker, as the German Clasico is called, will see the Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich face Borussia Dortmund. With Bayern in the danger of losing their top spot to RB Leipzig, who have the same points as them, and Tuchel's Dortmund in danger of losing touch with sides in the league title race, a lot is at stake in this fixture.
Despite being off the pace from Serie A leaders Juventus, Derby di Milano is always an exciting fixture. With a home advantage, AC Milan go into the game as favorites.