On Sunday, the major European leagues will put on a tantalizing display of football.
As the season approaches its World Cup break early next month, top teams from around the continent are expected to face off.
Here are the five matches you should pay attention to today, including the first El Clasico of the season in Madrid, the Classique in Paris, and several crucial matches in England:
The first Clasico of the year provides an opportunity for the two competing teams to set the tone for the coming campaign.
This league season, no team has lost a game. Barcelona enters the Clasico in the first place, only ahead of Real on goal differential.
Real will be seeking retribution after Barcelona’s 4-0 thumping at the Bernabeu earlier this year.
Although Brazilian strikers Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo, who have combined for 11 goals this season across all competitions, have kept Madrid’s icon Karim Benzema from feeling the effects of his goal drought since August.
Barcelona will be attempting to recover from their Champions League tie with Inter Milan in the previous week, which put them in danger of losing their next two group-stage games. Although they have only let up one goal in the league thus far, their defense has been severely weakened by the injuries to Jules Kounde, Hector Bellerin, Andreas Christensen, and Ronald Araujo.
Robert Lewandowski, who has scored, is crucial to the Catalan club’s chances of winning the match.
In the last five years, the Premier League has been defined by the rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester City.
However, the match’s top billing has been damaged by Liverpool’s lackluster start to the season and Manchester City’s potential to soar to new heights with Erling Haaland’s arrival.
In their most recent Premier League match, Liverpool lost 3-2 to Arsenal after winning just two of their previous five games. They berated Rangers 7-1 in the Champions League as a result of their irrational rage. Liverpool will be hoping that Mohamed Salah, who has had a sluggish start to the season, continues his confidence into the game on Sunday after scoring the fastest hat-trick in Champions League history.
Manchester City has advanced thanks to the addition of Haaland. Haaland has scored 15 of City’s 33 league goals this season, averaging nearly three goals per game.
The primary topic of conversation leading up to the Ligue 1 Classic is Kylian Mbappe’s discontent at PSG and his desire to leave the team in January.
The desire of Mbappe to leave only a few months after signing a massive three-year contract might destabilize Christophe Galtier’s squad, which has been in dominant form this year.
Neymar, who has now scored 11 goals across all competitions, is perhaps playing the finest football of his PSG career as Lionel Messi displays a return to his best.
Marseille has been impressive under Igor Tudor, and they come into this match with confidence after their 2-0 Champions League victory against Sporting Lisbon.
Since moving from Arsenal in the summer, Alexis Sanchez has shown promise.
Have you seen the current Bundesliga table?
Borussia Dortmund is ranked seventh, Bayer Leverkusen is sixteenth, and Bayern Munich is outside the top four.
Union Berlin leads the pack by two points.
Since their 2019 promotion to the Bundesliga, the team has developed a reputation for disproving critics. Despite being predicted to be relegated that year, they came in at 11th place. They placed in the UEFA Conference League the following season and came agonizingly close to winning the Champions League last year.
They have already defeated Hertha Berlin, RB Leipzig, and Bayern Munich this season. They also held Bayern Munich to a tie.
Dortmund displayed incredible resiliency to win a point in the Der Klassiker against Bayern last weekend after falling behind by two goals.
This season, Napoli has swept the globe.
In its last five games, Luciano Spaletti’s team has scored 19 goals, including a decisive 6-1 victory over Ajax in Amsterdam.
They are unbeaten across all competitions this year and lead Serie A by two points.
With players like Victor Osimhen, Giacomo Raspadori, and recent addition Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s attacking prowess, Neoplitanas is dreaming of winning its first championship since 1990.
Lowly Bologna might be the next victim of this daring Napoli squad, which is currently the most interesting squad in Europe.
Manchester United and Chelsea are at comparable points in their respective paths.
Both are in the early stages of a project focused on success as much as it is on long-term sustainability after a turbulent summer.
They are both led by forward-thinking, contemporary managers, whose influence on the team becomes apparent within the first few months of employment. On the scoreboard, Chelsea is ahead in fourth place, separating the two teams by one point.
At Manchester United, Erik ten Hag is starting to settle in, and his team comes into today’s match over Stamford Bridge hot off a commanding 2-0 victory at Tottenham on Wednesday.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been removed from the team and will not play today after refusing to enter the game as a substitute in the victory last week.
Graham Potter has successfully steered Chelsea’s ship while remaining unbeaten. The first major test he’ll face will be when Manchester United visits.
Karim Benzema will have the chance to be feted at the Bernabeu in their Saturday night match against Sevilla after being crowned the world’s finest player and winning the Ballon d’Or on Monday.
The previous time these two teams played was in April when Benzema scored the game-winning goal in sudden death as they overcame a 2-0 deficit. In last week’s 3-1 victory over Barcelona, Benzema scored again after a very poor start to the season.
Madrid leads the standings with a three-point advantage. In their last seven games across all competitions, Sevilla has only managed one victory.
Following convincing victories over Manchester City and West Ham United in their previous two league games, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool appears to have turned the corner.
Darwin Nunez has scored three goals in his last four outings and appears more at ease in the Liverpool front line.
Nottingham Forest, on the other hand, is at the bottom of the standings after 11 games with just one victory. The club, whose summer transfer spending was the most in Europe, is quite concerned about the possibility of being relegated.