Statistical previews of the 5 best matches to watch this weekend

Neymar, Joao Felix, Raheem Sterling

GiveMeSport has partnered with FotMob to launch a brand new feature. Each week, we’ll be bringing you statistical previews of the top five matches taking place over the coming weekend.

This weekend promises to be a cracker. There’s a whole host of eye-catching fixtures taking place across Europe, from England and Wales, to Spain and France.

In order to fully dig into each match and provide you with the best insight and analysis, GiveMeSport has taken stats from one of the world’s best and most comprehensive live score apps: FotMob.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

Cardiff vs Swansea

South Wales Derby

Competition: Championship
Kick Off Time: 12:30pm GMT

Cardiff go into the South Wales Derby in fine form. The Bluebirds have won their last four league matches consecutively, scoring 10 times and conceding just once in the process. Striker Kieffer Moore has played a huge part in that, netting half of his team’s goals, picking up two man of the match awards, and averaging a match rating of 7.9/10 across the four fixtures.

Conversely, Swansea have struggled for consistency in recent weeks after a strong start to the season. Steve Cooper’s side haven’t won back-to-back matches since late October, but remain fourth in the table, five places ahead of their rivals.

The Swans should be cautious from free kicks and corners: Cardiff have scored 11 times from set pieces so far this season, more than they’ve mustered from open play. What will give Swansea confidence, though, is that Cardiff tend to do better away from home, having picked up 15 points on the road compared to 11 at the Cardiff City Stadium.

We’re expecting it to be close, and so too are FotMob users, with 42% thinking Cardiff will win, 22% going for Swansea, and the rest predicting a draw. The result may well come down to Cardiff’s attack vs Swansea’s defence, given the latter have conceded the least goals in the division while the former have been relatively free scoring.

Manchester United vs Manchester City

Manchester Derby

Competition: Premier League
Kick Off Time: 5:30pm GMT

Manchester United’s Champions League campaign came crashing to a halt on Tuesday night, as they were unceremoniously dumped out of the competition after losing 3-2 to RB Leipzig. In the Premier League, however, United are on the up, having won their last four league outings.

Manchester City had no problems qualifying from their European group, topping the table after comfortably sweeping aside Marseille on Wednesday. After a disrupted pre-season and subsequent rocky start, Pep Guardiola and his team have recovered and are unbeaten in their last five matches.

Sergio Agüero’s recovery from injury is a timely boost ahead of the Manchester Derby. The Argentine came off the bench midweek to score just his second goal of the season. Since moving to England in 2011, Agüero boasts a record of eight goals in 13 league appearances against United, and will be keen to add to that tally on Saturday.

United will most likely look to sit deep and hit City on the break, a tactic that proved fruitful for Ole Gunnar Solskjær last time the two teams met, as United ran out 2-0 winners. Winning at home has been a huge issue for United this season, but playing on the back foot could suit them in this one.

Real Madrid vs Atlético Madrid

Madrid Derby

Competition: La Liga
Kick Off Time: 8:00pm GMT

Real Madrid have suffered some embarrassing defeats since the start of 2020-21. Losses to Cadiz, Deportivo Alaves, and two to Shakhtar have piled the pressure on Zinedine Zidane, but a crucial victory in their final Champions League group game against Borussia Mönchengladbach has spared their blushes and seen Real qualify for the knockout stages.

Atlético, on the other hand, are flying. They currently top La Liga and remain undefeated, with 21 goals scored and just two conceded. Diego Simeone has tweaked his tactics this term — his Atléti side are playing with more attacking flair and tend to field a 3-5-2, as opposed to their traditional 4-4-2 formation.

However, while Atlético are the stronger team, history favours Real in this fixture. Not since 2018 have Atléti beaten their city rivals in a competitive match, a run stretching back five games. What should fill them with confidence, though, is that Los Blancos only carry a 50% win record at home in La Liga this season, and sit six points off them in fourth.

Zidane will be hoping that Karim Benzema’s midweek brace is a sign of things to come: the French striker is his side’s best performing player statistically, with a 7.49/10 average match rating, and will no doubt be high on confidence. However, if there’s one thing Atléti know how to do, it’s shut teams out.

Manchester City vs Arsenal

Arsenal Women

Competition: Women’s Super League
Kick Off Time: 2:30pm GMT

Man City and Arsenal are two of the biggest clubs in the WSL and both will be aiming to win the league after being pipped by Chelsea last year. City bounced back from losing the Community Shield to make a strong start to the campaign, and have already bested the Gunners once this season, beating them 2-1 in the FA Cup in October.

Arsenal’s main threat, of course, comes from their world class forward, Vivianne Miedema. The WSL’s all time leading goal scorer has racked up 10 goals in eight games already this season, and will likely spear Arsenal’s attack in their customary 4-3-3 formation.

City, who currently find themselves in fourth, will be hoping they can move to within a point of Arsenal with a win as both chase down leaders Manchester United. Unlike Arsenal, City spread goals more evenly throughout their team, and will look to their U.S. duo of Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis for a moment of match-winning magic.

This is a tough one to call. We’re expecting plenty of goals, given the two clubs have scored a combined total of 54 in just 16 games, but the final result may boil down to those individual moments of quality. Watch out for some tasty midfield clashes between Jill Roord and Sam Mewis.

Paris Saint-Germain vs Olympique Lyonnais

PSG vs Lyon

Competition: Ligue 1
Kick Off Time: 8:00pm GMT

After suffering defeat in the Champions League Final to Bayern Munich, PSG kicked off their Ligue 1 campaign with back-to-back defeats to Lens and arch rivals Marseille. The Parisans then emphatically put that poor run to bed, winning eight consecutive league matches and now sit top of the table.

Lyon are currently perched in third and are undefeated in their last 10 games. Summer signing Karl Toko Ekambi has been leading the way in terms of goals, having scored four times to date. The winger, signed permanently in the close season following a successful loan spell, has been devastating, playing on the left of a front three to great effect.

PSG are also in strong form and recovered from an alleged racist incident in their midweek Champions League fixture to put İstanbul Başakşehir to the sword 5-1, after the match was originally postponed. Neymar hit a hat-trick that night, becoming the first player to clock 20+ UCL goals for two separate clubs in the process.

PSG are the clear favourites in this one, with 72% of FotMob users predicting a home victory, and having won their last four encounters with Lyon. The visitors have been in fantastic form of late, but three points at the Parc des Princes may prove a step too far for Rudi Garcia’s men.

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