Here are the five football matches you should follow today

The level of football on display on Sunday in the top European leagues is set to be tantalising.

Top teams throughout the continent are set to lock horns as the season gets closer to its World Cup break early next month.

From the season’s first El Clasico in Madrid to the Classique in Paris, and some key games in England, here are the five games you should keep an eye out for today:

Real Madrid vs Barcelona

Where: Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain
When: 3:15pm (14:15 GMT)

The first Clasico of the season is a chance for the two teams involved to lay down a marker for the season.

Both teams are unbeaten in the league this season. Barcelona come into the Clasico sitting top, ahead of Real only on goal difference.

Real will be looking to exact revenge for the 4-0 thrashing from Barcelona at the Bernabeu earlier this year.

Madrid talisman Karim Benzema has not scored since August but Brazilian forwards Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo, who have scored 11 goals between them in all competitions this season, have not let his drought be felt.

Barcelona will be looking to bounce back from their Champions League draw against Inter Milan midweek that left them on the brink of a second successive group-stage exit. They have conceded just one goal in the league so far but injuries to Jules Kounde, Hector Bellerin, Andreas Christensen and Ronald Araujo have debilitated their backline.

The Catalan club’s chances of winning the game depend heavily on Robert Lewandowski, who has scored 14 goals in 12 games for the club.

Liverpool vs Manchester City

Where: Anfield, Liverpool, UK
When: 4:30pm (15:30 GMT)

The rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester City has defined the Premier League in the last five years.

But, Liverpool’s indifferent start to the season coupled with Manchester City threatening to reach new heights since Erling Haaland’s arrival, has dented the fixture’s top billing.

Liverpool have won just two of their last five games, beaten 3-2 by Arsenal in their last Premier League outing. They took out their frustration on Rangers in the Champions League, thrashing the Scottish side 7-1. Mohamed Salah scored the quickest hat-trick in Champions League history and Liverpool will be hoping that the Egyptian, who has had a slow start to the season, carries his confidence into the game on Sunday.

Haaland’s arrival has catapulted Manchester City to a higher level. They average nearly three goals a game and Haaland has scored 15 of City’s 33 goals this season in the league.

Haaland has scored 15 goals in the league this season already [Phil Noble/Reuters]

Paris Saint-Germain vs Marseille

Where: Parc de Princes, Paris, France
When: 7:45pm (18:45 GMT)

Trouble is never too far off at Paris Saint-Germain.

The main talking point going into the Ligue 1 Classique is that Kylian Mbappe is unhappy at PSG and is pushing for a move away from the club in January.

Mbappe’s wish to leave just a few months after signing a mammoth three year-contract could have a destabilising effect on Christophe Galtier’s team who have been in imperious form this year.

Lionel Messi looks back to his best and Neymar, who has already scored 11 goals in all competitions, is playing arguably the best football of his PSG career.

Marseille have been impressive under Igor Tudor and will enter this game riding the confidence of their 2-0 win at Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League.

Alexis Sanchez has been impressive since his summer move from Inter Milan and is the club’s top scorer with six goals in all competitions this season.

A win on Sunday would draw them level on points with PSG.

mbappe
Paris St Germain’s Kylian Mbappe [Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters]

Union Berlin vs Borussia Dortmund

Where: Stadion An der Alten Försterei
When: 4:30pm (15:30 GMT)

Have you seen the Bundesliga table as it stands?

Bayern Munich lie outside the top four, Bayer Leverkusen are 16th and Borussia Dortmund are seventh.

Sitting two points clear at the top is Union Berlin.

Since their promotion to the Bundesliga in 2019, the club has made a habit of proving people wrong. They were earmarked for relegation that year but finished 11th. The following year they finished in the UEFA Conference League places and last season, came agonisingly close to qualifying for the Champions League.

This season, they have already defeated city rivals Hertha Berlin, RB Leipzig and held Bayern Munich to a draw.

Dortmund showed remarkable character to come back from two goals to win a point in the Der Klassiker against Bayern last weekend.

Napoli vs Bologna

Where: Diego Armando Maradona Stadium
When: 5pm (16:00 GMT)

Napoli have taken the world by storm this season.

Luciano Spaletti’s side has scored 19 goals in its last five games, including a statement 6-1 win over Ajax in Amsterdam.

They are unbeaten in all competitions this season and sit two points clear on top of Serie A.

The attacking nous of players like Victor Osimhen, Giacomo Raspadori and new signing Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has Neoplitanas dreaming of a first title since 1990.

Lowly Bologna could be the next victims of this swashbuckling Napoli team that is easily the most exciting team in Europe at the moment.

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