From La Liga and Serie A to the MLS Cup final, here are today’s top football matches.
It’s November, with just a few matchdays left before the world’s top domestic football leagues are suspended and all eyes are on the Qatar World Cup.
Another great Saturday, here are our five games to watch today:
Barcelona vs Almeria
Where: Camp Nou, Spain
When: 9 p.m. (7 p.m. GMT)
Gerard Pique’s shock announcement retirement from soccer Thursday means it will be the Barca great’s final appearance at the club’s iconic Catalan home. It will be his 616th appearance in all competitions, the club’s fifth-highest tally.
But Saturday is not just Pique. Barcelona are just one point behind Real Madrid at the top of La Liga and feel their chance to return to the top. Newly-promoted Almeria may not pose a major challenge as Barcelona continue their charge, and defender Pique will be hoping for a clean sheet in their final home game.
Los Angeles FC vs. Philadelphia Union
Where: Banc of California Stadium, California
When: 4:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. GMT)
The 2022 Major League Soccer Cup (MLS) Final might just turn out to be MLS’ best game in years. Philadelphia is a city that stands out in the world of sports: two of its teams are in the running for the major title, with the Phillies currently heading for glory in the World Series of baseball. Los Angeles, meanwhile, finds itself under the guidance of the mercurial Steve Cherundolo, who has been widely tipped to become the next head coach of the United States men’s national soccer team.
Los Angeles FC (LAFC) have scored six goals in their two playoff games and remain undefeated at home to Eastern Conference sides. The last three games between these two teams have ended in draws. But if Philadelphia is on the scoreboard, watch out for another – the Union have scored twice in five minutes no less than 13 times this season.
Atalanta against Napoli
Where: Gewiss Stadium, Bergamo
When: 7:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. GMT)
Napoli, sitting atop Italy’s Serie A with a comfortable five-point lead, go to second place Atalanta.
Both teams are in good form, losing only once this season. Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti is in the hunt for his first Italian title and could take a big step towards that goal with a win on Saturday. But Atalanta’s defense – statistically only second in Serie A behind Juventus this season – won’t make it easy.
Galatasaray vs. Besiktas
Where: Nave Stadyumu, Istanbul
When: 7:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. GMT)
Galatasaray would go four games unbeaten at home if they can earn a win against local rivals Besiktas, who sit a spot above them in the Turkish Super Lig.
A win for Besiktas, meanwhile, would put four points between the two teams – but they will have to overcome a Galatasaray defense which has conceded just nine league goals this season.
Besiktas, who have found the net 25 times in their 12 league appearances so far this season, are also buoyed by the recent return of Senol Gunes as head coach. That said, keep an eye out for Kazimcan Karatas’ return from Galatasaray after injury. It won’t be an easy match for either team.
Manchester City v Fulham
Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
When: 3:00 p.m. (3:00 p.m. GMT)
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said Premier League top scorer Erling Haaland – who has already scored 22 goals in all competitions this season – could return to action against Fulham after being rested for City’s Champions League clash with Sevilla this week.
But Kalvin Phillips and Kyle Walker are still not fit to make the matchday squad, with City two points behind leaders Arsenal.
Newly promoted Fulham have had a stellar start to the season, sitting seventh in the Premier League, but head coach Marco Silva will have to make sure Fulham don’t waste any chances they might be lucky enough to get. against a City side on a 14-game winning streak at home.
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