Five football matches you should not miss today

We are just eight days away from the World Cup 2022 opening match between hosts Qatar and Ecuador.

This Saturday, club sides around the world will be looking to secure three points before the domestic leagues take a break for the World Cup.

Here are five key matches to look out for today:

Manchester City vs Brentford

Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, UK
When: 12.30pm (12:30 GMT)

  • Manchester City’s current form: WWWWDW
  • Brentford’s current form: DDDLDW

An on-form Manchester City will host a Brentford team that has failed to win in its last seven Premier League matches. The west London team crashed out of the League Cup on Tuesday after losing to Gillingham FC, a side currently languishing near the bottom of League 2.

City beat Brentford in both of their Premier League meetings last season. Now, with Erling Haaland having scored 18 goals in 12 Premier League appearances, they will be clear favourites for today’s game.

Brentford, who are missing several key players through injury, will look to City’s last home league game against Fulham to provide a small glimmer of hope. Man City narrowly beat the visitors 2-1 thanks to a dramatic 95th-minute penalty.

Erling Haaland celebrates scoring a stoppage-time winner vs Fulham [Carl Recine/Reuters]

Newcastle United vs Chelsea

Where: St James’ Park, Newcastle, UK
When: 5.30pm (17:30 GMT)

  • Newcastle United’s current form: DWWWWD
  • Chelsea’s current form: LLWLWD

Newcastle head into today’s fixture, sitting third in the table and boasting a nine-game unbeaten streak in the league.

The two teams experienced contrasting fortunes in the League Cup midweek, with Chelsea, known as the Blues, crashing out while the Magpies (Newcastle) knocked Crystal Palace out on penalties.

If Newcastle win today’s game, it will be the third loss in a row for Chelsea’s new manager Graham Potter.

Both teams have recently endured a raft of injuries. Chelsea have won the last four fixtures against the Magpies, scoring eight goals without conceding.

FC Schalke 04 vs Bayern Munich

Where: Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
When: 5.30pm (17:30 GMT)

  • Schalke’s current form: WLLLLL
  • Bayern Munich’s current form: WWWWWW

Two of Germany’s largest clubs will head into today’s fixture at opposite ends of the Bundesliga. FC Schalke 04 are currently bottom of the table, having lost seven matches in a row until a narrow 1-0 victory over Mainz midweek.

Bayern Munich are currently top of the league, four points clear of Union Berlin, who face third-placed Freiburg on Sunday. Bayern have beaten Die Königsblauen in their last five meetings, notching up an eye-watering 21 goals and conceding none.

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Arsenal

Where: Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, UK
When: 7.45pm (19:45 GMT)

  • Wolverhampton Wanderers’s current form: WLDLLW
  • Arsenal’s current form: LWWWLD

The Gunners or Arsenal, will look to head into the World Cup break top of the Premier League with a win over 19th-placed Wolves.

Arsenal are unbeaten in seven league games and boast one of the best defensive records this season. The North London side lost to Brighton midweek after fielding an almost entirely different team to the one who beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

Wolves have only scored eight goals in the Premier League, the lowest of any Premier League side this season. Their big-name signing Diego Costa is still suspended after picking up a red card against Brentford.

PSV Eindhoven vs AZ Alkmaar

Where: Philips Stadion, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
When: 8pm (20:00 GMT)

  • PSV’s current form: WWWWLL
  • AZ Alkmaar’s current form: LWWWLL

It will be a crucial weekend of Eredivisie fixtures, with PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord Rotterdam neck-on-neck with 30 points. Reigning champions Ajax are third with 29 points.

PSV are currently in the midst of a four-game winning streak which included an impressive 2-0 win over Premier League leaders Arsenal in the Europa League.

AZ Alkmaar currently sit fifth in the league, having lost to RKC Waalwijk last weekend. They do enjoy a superior head-to-head record in recent years, having beaten PSV in five of their last six meetings.

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