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5 games to watch: 21-22 October 2023

With the international break now behind us, club football returns in what is a huge weekend of sport!

Here's Mike Demesmaeker, a South African who's also a lover of rugby and cricket which means this is a very big weekend, to run you through 5 matches that are worth following this weekend on Superbru Football.

Merseyside derby. Rivalries don’t get much bigger than these two with their stadiums just a stone’s throw apart. One half of Merseyside is red, the other, blue. There will be no love lost when these sides meet this coming Saturday and it's an early kick off starting at 12:30 local (13:30 SA) which means this is the match to start your football weekend.

Liverpool can go top of the league even if only for a short while with a win over an Everton side that is struggling this season. The Toffees will be bolstered by their recent 3-0 win over Bournemouth but they’ll have it all to do this game. If you're like me you'll be keeping an eye on this one while you channel hop to the South Africa vs England Cricket World Cup match as well! I reckon this will be nothing short of a comfortable win for the red half of Merseyside as Liverpool push to keep their league title ambitions alive. Saturday: 12:30 KO (UK)

9 points separate these two sides as we head to Stamford Bridge for what could be a magical London derby. A few weeks ago this game looked like it would be a walk in the park for Arsenal given their form (and Chelsea’s lack of) but the Blues have won 3 in a row across all comps for the first time since March and will be well up for a battle here.

The Gunners are brimming with confidence though following their win against current champions Man City just before the international break and will take some stopping given their current form and desire for the league title.

Pochettino vs Arteta for London bragging rights. 18:30 SA time for this one so when the full-time whistle goes you’ll have just enough time to gather your thoughts before the big Rugby World Cup semi-final! Odegaard and co. will be too much for Chelsea this time round in my opinion. Sorry Blues fans, you’re on the right track, just not against Arsenal unfortunately. Saturday: 17:30 KO (UK)

This one clashes with another rather important fixture in France on Saturday night (Yes, another rugby reference, apologies) but 2nd vs 6th this in Ligue 1 should be interesting as unbeaten Nice take on Marseille who finished 3rd last season.

After a rocky start to the season with 3 straight draws, Nice have turned it around and trail league leaders Monaco by only 1 point. Olympique Marseille (OM) haven’t won an away game in their last 10 across all competitions so it's really a wonder how they’re sitting in 6th to be honest but new manager Genaro Gattuso has brought plenty of goals in his opening three games so it will be interesting to see if OM can force a first defeat for Nice at Allianz Riviera since April.

Ligue 1 has been very tightly contested so far though with only 5 points separating the relegation zone and the European qualification spots so there's lots to play for. I personally see it being a long night for 'Les Phocéens' (that’s Marseille by the way) and Nice will take this one to keep the unbeaten streak alive. My prediction: 2-1. Saturday: 20:00 KO (UK)

A slightly more niche one here but it's worth drawing attention to what already looks like a big game in the Serie A relegation battle as 19th and 20th go head-to-head this Sunday. Salernitana and Cagliari are both yet to taste victory this season, winless in their first 8 games, with one point separating them. Both teams are sitting on a -13 goal difference, so if one side can manage a win they'll leave the other in a very vulnerable position.

Home side Salernitana have sacked head coach Paulo Sousa and brought in Pippo Inzaghi to take charge during the international break so that they can hopefully turn a woeful start into a first win of the season in Inzaghi's opening game. Claudio Ranieri and his recently promoted Cagliari are finding life in the top flight very difficult and you have to believe another loss here could spell the end for the former Premier League winning manager's spell at Cagliari.

This is a tough one to pick as neither side has anything exciting to offer in the goals department so I'm going to sit one the fence and say that by the end of the weekend, it’ll still be 0 wins for these teams. Sunday: 14:00 KO (UK)

One of the standout fixtures of the Serie A calendar. Table topping Milan host 3rd placed Juve at the San Siro this Sunday. A great fixture to close out a ridiculously good sporting weekend.

Milan have had a couple of goalkeeping issues of late, with Mike Maignan getting sent off deep into stoppage time during their last game as many of you will know because who can forget the goalkeeping heroics from Olivier Giroud! Yes, you read that correctly, Giroud in goal. He made a really good save late on. Marco Sportiello would usually deputise with Maignan obviously being suspended due to his red card but the number 2 is injured which means Antonio Mirante is set to start between the sticks - if anything happens to him we're likely back to Giroud!

Juve will be up for the challenge as well and haven't conceded in their last 3 games, but keep their recent record against Milan in mind as they lost both fixtures last season while failing to find the back of the net in both games.

Grab your popcorn folks. If you’re not still too full of Braai meat or hungover from the rest of the weekend's sporting action, because this has all the makings of a classic! Milan should have just too much for Juventus again this time round in my opinion as their form is too strong to ignore. Sunday: 20:00 KO (UK)

Which games are you most looking forward to this week?

This article is part of a fresh regular feature on the brand new Superbru Football app, which is the best place to make your football predictions across all of the tournaments we cover. If you're yet to try out the new app, you can do so now by downloading it here.