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Lewis Ambrose

Five for Friday: Pochettino can outwit Conte but Barcelona and Bayern are in trouble


After a busy midweek, there is plenty more football to get your teeth stuck into this weekend. Here are our five picks from the action across Europe

By Lewis Ambrose

After a busy midweek of Champions League and Europa League action, there is plenty more football to get your teeth stuck into over the course of the weekend. Here are our five picks from the next few days of European action.

Revenge-seeking Spurs can shock Conte

Since a change of formation, Antonio Conte’s Chelsea have won six straight Premier League games and have not conceded a single goal. Not ideal timing to face Mauricio Pochettino, perhaps. The Argentine recently shocked Arsenal with his own back three and played two strikers to beat West Ham last weekend. No doubt he has something up his sleeve to find a chink in the Chelsea armour in a third successive London derby. For the first time in 26 years and 30 matches, Tottenham can finally win at Stamford Bridge and avenge heartbreak from last season.

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Müller’s goal drought to drop Ancelotti in hot water

DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 19: Thomas Mueller of Muenchen reacts after the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Muenchen at Signal Iduna Park on November 19, 2016 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

As Bayern Munich manager you cannot drop Thomas Müller, can you? The German has not scored in nine Bundesliga outings so far this season and Carlo Ancelotti cannot afford another slip up. When they kick-off in Leverkusen on Saturday, Bayern could be six points behind RB Leipzig and in serious trouble. To make matters worse, Müller has scored in just two of 13 career games against Leverkusen: will he finally be pushed up front or dropped for Douglas Costa?

Follow all the action from Bayern Munich v Bayer Leverkusen here

Barça’s poor form will have La Real licking their lips

BARCELONA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 19: Luis Enrique, Manager of FC Barcelona give instructions to his players Sergio Busquets and Neymar JR during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Malaga CF at Camp Nou stadium on November 19, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

Since the start of the season, 10 La Liga side have a better home record than Barcelona. One of those sides is Real Sociedad, who have won their last four at the Anoeta Stadium. With Sergio Busquets not as integral as he has been in the past, Barcelona have become increasingly reliant on individual brilliance from their gilded front three to see them through games. Having conceded just one goal in their last four games, La Real will fancy their chances of an upset.

Follow all the action from Real Sociedad v Barcelona here

Free-scoring Monaco will turn the heat up on Nice


After their Champions League success on Tuesday, Monaco could top Ligue 1 on Saturday, for 24 hours at least, with a win over Marseille. Defensive stability had defined his Monaco team for a few years but Leonardo Jardim has taken off the handbrake and is being rewarded handsomely. With 39 goals after 13 games, his side have scored more times than any other side in Europe so far this season. Even more remarkable is that no single player has scored more than five so far in the league. Our tip? Keep an eye on lightning quick 17-year-old Kylian Mbappé.

Follow all the action from AS Monaco v Olympique Marseille here

Dolberg to keep firing Bosz’s Ajax

From one exciting teenager to another, Kasper Dolberg is quickly becoming a star at Ajax. The 19-year-old Dane was thrown into Peter Bosz’s side following the summer sale of Arkadiusz Milik and has not looked back. With 11 goals so far this season – including a hat-trick last weekend – Dolberg has found the back of the net more times than Marco van Basten, Luis Suárez, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Dennis Bergkamp managed in their first 20 games for the club. Famous for a conveyor belt of youth talent, Ajax will have to ward off Premier League interest should Dolberg continue his form, starting against Heerenveen on Sunday.

Follow all the action from Heerenveen v Ajax here

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