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Inter Milan vs Juventus headlines SuperSport’s weekly schedule

The heavyweight showdown between Serie A’s top two clubs is the highlight of SuperSport’s weekly schedule

Serie A’s top two teams collide on Sunday when Inter Milan host Juventus live on SuperSport, in a real test for the hosts’ title credentials.

The Nerazzurri have stormed out of the blocks in the Italian top-flight this season, taking maximum points from their opening six fixtures to sit atop the pile on 18 points.

It’s been an emphatic start to the campaign, with Inter netting 13 goals so far, as well as boasting the division’s best defence, having only conceded two goals.

They’ve faced some tough assignments as well.

While they breezed through the home victory over Lecce and the away triumph at Sampdoria, their mettle has been tested.

They required a late Romelu Lukaku penalty to down Cagliari and rode their luck at times in 1-0 victories over Udinese and Lazio.

However, the 2-0 victory against AC Milan made the Italian football establishment sit up and take notice of the fallen giants who appear to be returning to prominence.

Goals from Marcelo Brozovic and Lukaku were enough for Inter to dispatch their city rivals, and prompt title talk in the blue-and-black half of Milan.

However, Sunday evening’s meeting at home against Juventus will be their toughest test yet.

The Old Lady have already dropped points this term, having been held by Fiorentina, and will be desperate not to lose more ground in the title race.

Apart from that draw, Juve have demonstrated some vulnerabilities this term, notably falling behind at home against Verona and then away at Brescia.

While they ultimately bounced back to win both of those contests, Inter may prove the reigning champions lack the stability of years gone by.

In Premier League action this weekend, Liverpool welcome Brendan Rodgers’ in-form Leicester City to Anfield as they look to extend their perfect start to the season against a coach who knows them well.

While the Reds have been superb during the opening weeks of the campaign, the Foxes too have excelled, although their progress has not gone unnoticed on Merseyside, where Sadio Mane has acknowledged that the reigning European champions must improve to keep the East Midlanders at bay.

Liverpool suffered a scare in the Champions League in midweek, when they led Red Bull Salzburg 3-0 only to be pegged back to 3-3, before Mohamed Salah struck a late winner. It was a fixture that revealed the Reds’ vulnerabilities at the back, and a lethal Leicester frontline may capitalise.

“I think if we want to win we have to play better than [against Salzburg] because we know Leicester,” Mane told journalists. “Especially this season they are very strong and a very good team. 

“For sure we are going to learn from it and be ready for Saturday, which will be a massive game for us.

“I think they started the season very well and are a very good team and if we want to beat them we have to be 100 per cent ready. 

“Vardy always scores so we have to make sure this game he will not score and we try to take all our chances – that will be the key.”

The match also represents a PL reunion between Rodgers and the man who replaced him at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp.

While the latter has surpassed Rodgers’ achievements at Anfield, the Northern Irish coach had appeared set to end their wait for a league title in 2014, only for Steven Gerrard’s infamous slip against Chelsea to hand the initiative back to Manchester City.

“I have heard the other one about us being overconfident,” Rodgers told the Telegraph this week, when asked about his memories of taking Liverpool close to the title, and that failure against Chelsea. “When you look at it before that game I did and said nothing different.

“We had won 11 games on the spin going into that game, making a quick start and playing attacking football. That was what put us in that position, including beating Manchester City at Anfield. We could not have played any other way and I have no regrets about sticking to that. Of 14 games at the end of that season we won 12.”

Will the Reds extend their winning run against their former boss this time around, or will Rodgers be the man to finally end Liverpool’s relentless winning streak under his successor?

The weekend’s SuperSport coverage continues on Saturday with the MTN8 final between Highlands Park and SuperSport United.

The latter are the favourites, having convincingly downed Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0 in the semi-final to advance to the final, and continue to deny Pitso Mosimane success in this competition.

Kaitano Tembo, however, will be desperate to build on this win and bring home the trophy, having fallen short last season.

Tembo got SSU to the final last term, but were defeated by Cape Town City, and they will be keen to make amends this time around.

The likes of Dean Furman, Bradley Grobler and Thamsanqa Gabuza make United an irresistible prospect on their day, although Teboho Mokoena was the semi-final hero.

Highlands Park must not be underestimated, having eliminated Orlando Pirates in the quarter-final, before squeezing past Polokwane City on penalties in the last round.

On Sunday, SuperSport are also delighted to present the final La Liga clash of the weekend, as Barcelona and Sevilla go toe to toe at the Nou Camp.

While last year, Real Madrid found themselves in disarray, this year it’s Barca who are the division’s heavyweight strugglers.

The Catalan giants head into the weekend down in fourth place in La Liga, and while they may only be two points off Real—who remain undefeated—Barca have already been beaten twice this term.

Their meeting with Sevilla, who are also on 13 points, represents a significant challenge for Ernesto Valverde’s side as the Rojiblancos have impressed so far this term.

They demonstrated their resolve to defeat Real Sociedad last weekend, having fallen to consecutive losses against Real Madrid and Eibar, and star man Joan Jordan, Lucas Ocampos and Sergio Reguilon have the quality to trouble the reigning champions.

Could an upset be on the cards?

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