SPANISH LA LIGA

Real Madrid 2 Atletico 1

Real Madrid have a better team ethic without departed talismanic record goal scorer Cristiano Ronaldo. Coach Julen Lopetegui has cultivated a hybrid brand of football, combining a possession based game with urgency in front of goal. Starlets Marco Asensio and Isco will provide Real with the cutting edge in a tight contest.

Barcelona 2 Athletic Bilbao 0

Blagruana were held to a surprise two-all draw at the Nou Camp by Catalan rivals Girona mostly due to a red card received by defender Clement Langlet. Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez should bounce back to rip apart poor travellers Bilbao.

OTHER MATCHES
Eibar 1-1 Sevilla
Huesca 2-3 Girona
Villarreal 2-1 Real Valladolid
Rayo Vallecano 0-1 Espanyol
Real Sociedad 2-1 Valencia
Levante 1-0 Alaves
Real Betis 2-1 Leganes
Celta Vigo 1-1 Getafe

FRENCH LIGUE ONE

Lille 2 O. Marseille 2

Mercurial left feet will be on display when Christophe Galtier’s surprise package Lille host Rudi Garcia’s Marseille. Two of the league’s top scorers - Lille’s Ivorian dynamo Nicolas Pepe and Marseille’s star Florian Thauvin will be pitting their goal scoring prowess against each other. Goals galore!

ITALIAN SERIE A

Juventus 1 Napoli 0

This collision between Serie A’s top two sides over the last four seasons promises fireworks. Juve’s 100 percent record faces a stern test from former manager Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli. I am only going with Juventus because they always find a way of winning.

OTHER MATCHES
Fiorentina 1-1 Atlanta
Parma 2-1 Empoli
Sassuolo 1-1 AC Milan
Sampdoria 2-1 SPAL
AS Roma 1-1 Lazio
Inter Milan 2-0 Cagliari
Bologna 2-1 Udinese
Chievo 1-1 Torino
Frosinone 0-0 Genoa

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Chelsea 1 Liverpool 1

Chelsea have a habit of toppling Liverpool even when they aren’t at their best. However, I must admit I haven’t seen an Anfield side play with such zest since Rafa Benitez guided the Kop to second position a decade ago. Even Stevens is my verdict for this match.

West Ham 1 Man Utd 1

In holding unbeaten Chelsea to a barren draw, Manuel Pellegrini’s Hammers played like a team coached by a Premier League champion. They were confident, organised and ambitious. I think they will tame off form Manchester United, who are also battling staff fracas, with minimum fuss.

OTHER MATCHES
Man City 2-0 Brighton Hove
Cardiff City 0-1 Burnley
Arsenal 2-1 Watford
Everton 3-1 Fulham
Huddersfield T. 0-2 Spurs
Newcastle Utd 1-1 Leicester City
Wolves 2-1 Southampton
Bournemouth 2-1 Crystal Palace

German Bundesliga

Hertha Berlin 1 Bayern Munich 2

Though the team from Germany’s capital - Hertha Berlin - has been in pulsating form, Bayern Munich is a bridge too far. The Bavarian giants are in uncompromising form themselves and are benefitting from a return to form of James Rodriguez, Thomas Muller and Robert Lewadowski. Hertha Berlin will huff and puff to no effect.

B. Leverkusen 1 B. Dortmund 1

This is a clash between two on form sides. Leverkusen have won two in a row to stem early season rot whereas Dortmund fired seven past hapless Nuremberg on Wednesday. I can see the two sides cancelling each other out. This is primed to be an enthralling game and highlight of the weekend.

OTHER MATCHES
Augsburg 2-1 Freiburg
Hoffenheim 2-1 RB Leipzig
Wolfsburg 1-1 Gladbach
Stuttgart 1-1 Werder Bremen
Nuremberg 2-1 F. Düsseldorf