MATCHDAY: Man City host Tottenham; Madrid vs Alaves
Real Madrid host Alavés for their first game since being outclassed by Paris Saint-Germain in their Champions League game which they were lucky to lose only 1-0. Madrid leads the Spanish league with four points ahead of Sevilla. Carlo Ancelotti’s side are on their worst run of the season, however, having won only once in their last five games in all competitions. Crosstown rivals Atlético Madrid are in even more trouble, out of the top four spots after losing to bottom-placed Levante. The defending champions travel to Osasuna ahead of their Champions League game against Manchester United next week. Getafe are aiming to maintain their solid form when they visit struggling Cadiz, while Villarreal are at Granada having lost just once in their last five games.
Cologne host Eintracht Frankfurt for the Bundesliga showpiece on Saturday, although not everyone will be happy to be the center of attention. Frankfurt have not won any of their last 15 games played on a Saturday night. Frankfurt will need to turn the tide if they are to overtake eighth-place Cologne and challenge the European qualifying spots. Wolfsburg, who beat Frankfurt last weekend, host Hoffenheim earlier hoping to secure three straight wins since going on an 11-game winless streak. Relegation-threatened Stuttgart have not won for seven games and are home to Thomas Reis’ promoted Bochum side, who shocked Bayern Munich last weekend. The last eight teams to beat Bayern did not win their next game.
Nantes manager Antoine Kombouaré was impressed by Paris Saint-Germain’s win over Real Madrid in the Champions League but insists his side are ready to take on the runaway league leaders at home. Kombouaré is a former Nantes defender with great love for the club and helped keep it going last season. Since then, stability has returned and Nantes are in a good ninth place in the league and qualify for the semi-finals of the Coupe de France. Kombouaré says that the fear of defeat that inhabited the players has disappeared and that confidence has returned. It would be a feat for Kombouaré to attribute to PSG only their second defeat in the league this season and particularly satisfying for him. Kombouaré was replaced as PSG coach midway through the 2011–12 season to make way for Carlo Ancelotti as the team were three points clear at the top.