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Saturday’s Key Games: 24th October

Manchester United v Chelsea

Saturday will see Manchester United face off against Chelsea, with both sides coming off Champions League games, which saw Chelsea play out a goalless draw with Sevilla and Manchester win 2-1 in Paris after a Marcus Rashford winner.

Manchester United will be without Anthony Martial who will drop out of the side after playing during the week, as he serves the second match of his three-match suspension after he was sent off against Tottenham. Edison Cavani is still working his way to full fitness and is a doubt for the match. Harry Maguire and Mason Greenwood are both doubts for the game against Chelsea. Eric Bailly and Jesse Lingard are both out with injuries.

Chelsea may make changes to freshen things up, their only injury concern is Billy Gilmour who is not available. Edouard Mendy will continue in goal after returning from injury during the week against Sevilla.

The last match between the two was in July when the sides met at Wembley in the semi-final of the FA Cup, when Chelsea won 3-1.

Manchester United are on six points after winning two of their opening league games, with their wins coming away to Brighton and Hove Albion and Newcastle.

Chelsea are on eight points with their only loss coming against Liverpool. They have had two 3-3 draws against West Brom and Southampton and won their other two league games against Crystal Palace and Brighton Hove Albion.

Both sides will be looking to get an important win which will improve their league position.

Borussia Dortmund v Schalke 04

Borussia Dortmund face Schalke 04 in a the Revierderby. The cities of Dortmund and Gelsenkirchen are separated by less than 20 miles in the Ruhr Region, where for generations it was the home of Germany’s coal and steel production. It is one of the fiercest rivalries in world football.

Borussia Dortmund have injury concerns with Marcel Schmelzer, Dan-Axel Zagadou and Nico Schulz all out injured. Roman Bürki started in goal during the week and may continue after Marwin Hitz had started successive matches in goal. Manuel Akanji will miss out, though he has returned to training after he observed his quarantine period following a positive coronavirus test. Thorgan Hazard may return to the squad.

Schalke are without Suat Serdar who is injured and Ozan Kobak who is suspended. Mark Uth missed last weekends game against Union Berlin with a muscle injury and is a doubt for this weekends game. Ralf Fährmann is also a doubt for the game, but Amine Harit is available after serving his quarantine period.

The last game between the two finished 4-0 to Borussia Dortmund.

Borussia Dortmund have won three of their opening four games with wins against Borussia Mönchengladbach, Freiburg and Hoffenheim. Their only league loss so far this season came against Augsburg.

Schalke have one point this season, with a draw against Union Berlin in their last league game. They have lost to Bayern Munich, Werder Bremen and RB Leipzig so far in the league this season.

Borussia Dortmund and Schalke will be looking for local bragging rights, Borussia Dortmund, will want to keep pace with those at the top and Schalke will be looking for their first league win of the season.

Barcelona v Real Madrid

The El Clásico takes place on Saturday at the home of Barcelona, the Camp Nou.

Barcelona are without Marc-André ter Stegen and Samuel Umtiti. Jordi Alba has been included in the squad but is a doubt. Junior Firpo is available after his own injury problems.

Real Madrid are without Eden Hazard, Dani Carvajal and Martin Ødegaard who are all injured. Álvaro Odriozola is a doubt, which could see Nacho play right-back. Mariano is also a doubt for the game.

The last match between the two was in March, when Real Madrid won 2-0.

Barcelona have won two of their opening four league games. They won against Villareal and Celta Vigo, drew against Sevilla and lost against Getafe.

Real Madrid have won three of their opening league games. They have won against Real Betis, Real Valladolid and Levante. They drew against Real Sociedad and lost against Cadiz.

Both sides will be looking for a win in the El Clásico, and even without fans in attendance, it is a big game for both sides.

Stafford Rangers v Skelmersdale United

This weekend will see the fourth qualifying round take place, the last qualifying round before the first round proper. Northern Premier League side Stafford Rangers will face Skelmersdale United who play their football in the North West Counties League Premier Division. Skelmersdale United are the lowest ranked team remaining in the competition.

Stafford Rangers are two levels above Skelmersdale United in the English football pyramid as they play at Level 7 (Step 3), whereas Skelmersdale United play at Level 9 (Step 5).

Stafford Rangers have won three games to reach this stage of the competition. They won 3-2 against Worcester City, then they won on penalties against Buxton. In the last round they won 3-1 against Hereford.

Skelmersdale United had to win five matches to reach this stage that started for them in the extra preliminary round. They won 3-2 against Penistone Church and then beat Congleton Town 2-1. In the first qualifying round they won 2-1 against Bootle FC. A 2-1 win against Lancaster City and a 1-0 win over Longbridge Town have left Skelmersdale United one game away from a place in the first round of the FA Cup, where the likes of Sunderland, Portsmouth and Wigan await.

Genoa v Inter

Saturday will see Inter play away at Genoa.

Genoa recently reported several COVID-19 cases with Mattia Destro, Lukas Lerager, Davide Zappacosta, Petar Brlek, Domenico Criscito, Darian Males and Fransceco Cassatta all likely to miss the game. Stefano Sturaro will miss the game through injury.

Inter have also had players test positive for COVID-19 with Achraf Hakimi testing positive during the week. Inter are also without, Milan Skriniar, Ionut Radu and Roberto Gagliardini who all have had positive tests for COVID-19 in the last few weeks. Ashley Young did test positive around a couple of weeks ago, but has now returned a negative test, but is unlikely to feature this weekend. Inter will also be without Matías Vecino, Alexis Sánchez and Stefano Sensi who are all injured.

The last meeting between the two in July saw Inter win 3-0.

Genoa have one of their opening three league games. They have beaten Crotone, lost to Napoli and drawn against Hellas Verona.

Inter have won two of their opening four league games. They have beaten Fiorentina and Benevento. They drew against Lazio and lost the derby to AC Milan.

Inter will be looking to keep up with those at the top and will want an away win, whereas Genoa will be hoping to get at least a point from the game.

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