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Manchester City vs Chelsea headlines weekly schedule

11:14 GMT+3 22/11/2019
Mount Mason, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori
A heavyweight clash at the top of the Premier League is the pick of the European fixtures over the next seven days

Manchester City meet Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday, as Pep Guardiola’s side face another significant hurdle in their increasingly troubled title defence—the highlight of this week’s SuperSport schedule.

City were unable to haul back Liverpool in the Anfield clash between the two sides before the international break, instead falling to a 3-1 defeat that meant the Merseyside giants extended their advantage at the top of the table.

In fact, City actually head into this weekend’s fixtures in fourth, following Leicester City and Chelsea’s own excellent form in recent weeks, and find themselves a hefty nine points off the leaders.

They can ill afford for that gap to increase, and while the Reds have a tricky away clash at Crystal Palace to contend with, City cannot countenance more dropped points.

They will welcome a  young and vibrant Chelsea side buoyed after turning around their poor early season form, although Frank Lampard knows that his relatively inexperienced backline will be severely tested by City’s attacking force.

City will be without the suspended Bernardo Silva, while Aymeric Laporte, Leroy Sane and Oleksandr Zinchenko are all absent with injury.

For Chelsea, N’Golo Kante is back in contention as he returns from injury problems of his own, although it remains to be seen whether he will be risked against City.

By contrast, Christian Pulisic is a doubt after missing out on the USA’s match against Canada during the international break. He’d be a big loss for Lampard after establishing himself as a key asset for the Blues in recent weeks.

Ross Barkley, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are all missing for the Londoners.

Last term, the Sky Blues won 14 matches in a row to overtake Liverpool and win the title, and it’s imperative that they begin a similar run—beginning with Chelsea—if they’re to stand any chance this time around.

The exciting, perhaps even season-defining, match between Manchester City and Chelsea would normally top the billing for any weekend of football. But the mid-week news of Tottenham Hotspur firing Mauricio Pochettino and hiring Jose Mourinho means there will be intense scrutiny of the London derby between West Ham United and Spurs.

Both teams are in a terrible run of form with Spurs winless in 12 Premier League away games after three draws and nine losses, while West Ham are winless in their last seven matches in all competitions.

In their last home match, The Hammers lost 1-2 to Crystal Palace and will be looking to overcome Spurs’ new manager bounce to ensure they avoid back-to-back losses at home for the first time since March 2015.

For Mourinho, who takes charge of a Premier League team for the first time since Manchester United sacked him in December 2017, Harry Kane’s goalscoring form will be key. The England captain has scored freely at international level but only has two Premier League goals to his name after 12 matches.

Switching to mainland Europe sees AC Milan host Napoli in a Serie A bout, as Stefano Pioli looks to help the Rossoneri rediscover their verve.

Milan finished fifth last season, but currently find themselves down in 14th in the Italian top flight after a miserable start to the season, winning just four of their opening 12 matches.

Pioli’s arrival hasn’t led to an upturn in fortunes, with Milan losing three of their last four matches, although they may be quietly confident that Napoli are vulnerable.

The Partenopei are without a win in their last four matches in Serie A, taking just three points from a possible 12, and have fallen 13 points off league leaders Juventus.

Neither side can afford another defeat as their promising seasons continue to take turns for the worse.

Sunday sees Kaizer Chiefs return to action after the international break with a Telkom Knockout Cup semi-final against Maritzburg United. Amakhosi will be hoping to take their Soweto Derby form into the match against Eric Tinkler’s side who are unbeaten in seven matches across all competitions.

Chiefs are looking to add a 14th Telkom Cup to their trophy cabinet, and their first since 2010, while The Team of Choice are looking for their first-ever Telkom Cup trophy.

In the last five matches between the sides, Chiefs have won four and drawn one, outscoring Maritzburg by seven goals to one.

Next week, SuperSport are also delighted to bring a series of fascinating Champions League fixtures, beginning on Tuesday with a heavyweight showdown between Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, with Juventus and Atletico Madrid colliding on the same evening.

Real are on a four-game undefeated streak having bounced back from their shock 1-0 defeat by Mallorca in mid-October. Admittedly, they were held by Real Betis earlier this month, but Zinedine Zidane’s side has flexed their attacking muscles with 10 goals in their last two fixtures heading into the weekend.

Galatasaray were demolished 6-0 in UCL action before Eibar were thumped 4-0, but can Real continue their fine goalscoring form against PSG?

The reigning French champions enjoyed a dominant spell of their own at the end of October, with big wins over Club Brugge (5-0) and Olympique de Marseille (4-0), but after a shock 2-1 defeat by Dijon earlier this month, they’ve not been entirely convincing in the return victory over Brugge and a narrow 2-1 triumph over Brest before the international break.

On Wednesday, Liverpool meet Napoli, while former champions Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund go toe to toe at the Nou Camp.

The first match between Napoli and Liverpool this term was arguably the low point of the Reds’ season, as the Italian heavyweights inflicted a rare defeat on Jurgen Klopp’s troops with a 2-0 triumph at the San Paolo.

Dries Mertens opened the scoring with a disputed penalty in the 82nd minute, before Fernando Llorente killed off the contest in the first minute of stoppage time.

The defeat ultimately didn’t cost Liverpool any of their momentum, but they’ve been troubled by Napoli before—notably in last term’s Champions League—and they’ll be desperate to prove that the Italians don’t have the measure of them again.

In the past, Carlo Ancelotti has flummoxed Klopp with tactical tweaks to combat various Reds threats, and in the first match between these two, he opted to target Trent Alexander-Arnold, with Lorenzo Insigne particularly proactive in putting pressure on the England youngster.

In the first match, Kalidou Koulibaly was dominant in negating the challenges of Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, but can the towering Senegal centre-back keep the duo at bay again?