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One week after Liverpool's embarrassing dismantling of Man United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still at the helm, likely breathing some fresh air thanks to their vital 3-0 victory vs. Spurs on the weekend. The Norwegian bench boss shouldn’t rest on his laurels, though, next up in the Premier League his club hosts their superior cross-town rivals with pressure at an all-time high.
Before all that, the Champions League is back for Matchday 4, headlined by a budding modern rivalry, and at week’s end West Ham looks to continue its pursuit of a top-four spot against one of the Premier League’s best.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Liverpool vs. Atletico Madrid
Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 4:00PM ET | Live stream
Result: Liverpool (-154), Draw (+300), Atletico (+400)
Goals: 2.5 — Over (-125), Under (+100)
Liverpool and Atletico Madrid face off for the second time in just two weeks, and if history tells us anything, this one should be filled with drama.
In Matchday 3 at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, Group B leaders Liverpool took a quick 2-0 lead before Antoine Griezmann led an Atletico comeback with two goals to equalize, only to receive a straight red card after getting his cleat near Roberto Firmino’s face. Mohamed Salah then scored a penalty kick later in the game to maintain Liverpool’s perfect record in the Champions League.
With the Matchday 4 stage set at Anfield, memories bring us back to Atletico’s stunning extra-time domination of the Reds in the 2020 Champions League Round of 16.
Though heavily favoured, Liverpool is coming off a draw vs. Brighton at home on the weekend and faces a difficult stretch ahead with a depleted midfield.
Thiago Alcantara, Fabinho, James Milner and Harvey Elliott are all injured, and Naby Keita might be joining them after hurting his hamstring on the weekend. At least Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak should be happy:
Atletico enters the match with a bit of swagger after an impressive 3-0 victory over fifth-place Real Betis in La Liga. And don’t forget Luis Suarez is also back at Anfield — few footballers have a bigger flair for the dramatic.
The two clubs are building a modern rivalry in Europe, as evidenced by Diego Simeone's evasion of Jurgen Klopp’s handshake last time out, so expect more fireworks on one of soccer’s most historic battlegrounds.
Man United vs. Man City
Saturday, Nov. 6 at 8:30AM ET | Live stream
Result: United (+350), Draw (+300), City (-150)
Goals: 2.5 — Over (-150), Under (+120)
Much like when Liverpool came to Old Trafford on Oct. 24, Man City enters United’s "Theatre of Dreams" as significant favourites — an unfathomable scenario 15 years ago.
To put this into perspective, City once went winless at Old Trafford for nearly 34 years (1974-2008). Though tides have turned in the industrial city since Alex Ferguson left United and Sheikh Mansour bought Man City, the Citizens have failed to take a stranglehold in the rivalry.
Since 2015, United leads the matchup with eight wins to six, including three draws.
But if the oddsmakers know anything, and they seemed to when it came to Liverpool (although even those +120 odds look foolish in retrospect), it’s clear Saturday’s tilt spells trouble once again for United.
The Red Devils are coming off an electric victory vs. Spurs, but they might be the only club in a worse position than United as of late. They're now looking for a new manager themselves after Nuno Espirito Santo was sacked Monday morning just four months since taking over.
A big goal for Manchester United and a first in four for Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/S8Q8ymVsnj
— DAZN Canada (@DAZN_CA) October 30, 2021
On the other side of the pitch, City fell to Crystal Palace 0-2 in a hectic match that saw Aymeric Laporte given a red card and Gabriel Jesus have a spectacular goal disallowed. But they’re likely to bounce back on Saturday – the Citizens haven’t lost twice in a row in the Premier League since 2018.
West Ham vs. Liverpool
Sunday, Nov. 7 at 11:30AM ET | Live stream
Result: West Ham (+425), Draw (+333), Liverpool (-167)
Goals: 2.5 — Over (-188), Under (+150)
There are few better stories than West Ham in the Premier League right now.
Last season, the Hammers maintained a top-four position for most of the campaign, only to fall to sixth in the final few matchdays. But as winners of seven of their last eight in all competitions, they look determined to earn a first taste of Champions League football for their passionate fans.
Algerian international Said Benrahma is having a breakthrough season of sorts with three goals and three assists in 10 appearances, Pablo Fornals has taken a leap with three goals already this campaign and Michail Antonio continues to be a goalscoring machine – he’s tied for third with six league goals.
England’s Declan Rice, a long-time Chelsea youth player, continues to show he’s a player that could fit in a side of that calibre. Unfortunately for Hammers fans, the 22-year-old is unlikely to don West Ham maroon beyond next summer if he keeps playing like this.
Nice from Rice! 👌
West Ham back in front at Villa Park! pic.twitter.com/lLtuRxdCqo
— DAZN Canada (@DAZN_CA) October 31, 2021
Liverpool, of course, is a different animal — still a calibre of side West Ham has yet to face in the Premier League, even with a depleted midfield. And bad news for the Hammers – the Reds are coming off a draw, and Salah’s 10-game goal streak came to an end on the weekend. Like most top clubs, they’re likely to rebound and come out with guns blazing in their next matches. The best thing West Ham can hope for is Atletico tire them out midweek.
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