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Five football matches you shouldn’t miss today

We are just eight days away from the opening match of the 2022 World Cup between hosts Qatar and Ecuador.

This Saturday, club teams from around the world will be looking to secure three points before the domestic leagues take a break for the World Cup.

Here are five key matches to watch today:

Manchester City v Brentford

Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, UK
When: 12:30 (12:30 GMT)

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  • Current form of Manchester City: WWWWDW
  • Present form of Brentford: DEATH

An in-form Manchester City host a Brentford side who have failed to win in their last seven Premier League games. The West London outfit missed out on the League Cup on Tuesday after losing to Gillingham FC, a side currently languishing near the bottom of League 2.

City beat Brentford in both of their Premier League meetings last season. Now, with Erling Haaland scoring 18 goals in 12 Premier League appearances, they will be clear favorites for today’s game.

Brentford, who are missing several key players through injuries, will look to City’s final home league game against Fulham for a small ray of hope. Man City narrowly beat the visitors 2-1 thanks to a dramatic 95th-minute penalty.

Erling Haaland celebrates scoring a stoppage-time winner against Fulham [Carl Recine/Reuters]

Newcastle United v Chelsea

Where: St James’ Park, Newcastle, UK
When: 17:30 (17:30 GMT)

  • Current form of Newcastle United: DWWWWD
  • Chelsea’s current form: LWLWD

Newcastle go into today’s match third in the table and on a run of nine games without losing in the league.

The two teams experienced contrasting fortunes in the League Cup in midweek, with Chelsea, known as the Blues, going down while the (Newcastle) Magpies knocked out Crystal Palace on penalties.

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If Newcastle win today’s match, it will be the third loss in a row for new Chelsea manager Graham Potter.

Both teams have recently suffered a series of injuries. Chelsea have won the last four games against the Magpies, scoring eight goals without conceding.

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FC Schalke 04 vs Bayern Munich

Where: Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
When: 17:30 (17:30 GMT)

  • Schalke current form: WLLLLLL
  • Current form of Bayern Munich: WWWWWW

Two of Germany’s biggest clubs will meet in today’s match at opposite ends of the Bundesliga. FC Schalke 04 are currently bottom of the table, having lost seven games in a row until a narrow 1-0 victory over Mainz in midweek.

Bayern Munich are currently top of the league, four points clear of Union Berlin, who face third-place Freiburg on Sunday. Bayern have beaten Die Königsblauen in their last five meetings, scoring a staggering 21 goals and conceding none.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal

Where: Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, UK
When: 19:45 (19:45 GMT)

  • Wolverhampton Wanderers current form: WLDLLW
  • Arsenal current form: LWWWLD

The Gunners or Arsenal will look to top the World Cup break at the top of the Premier League with a win over 19th-placed Wolves.

Arsenal are unbeaten in seven league games and have one of the best defensive records this season. The north London side lost to Brighton in midweek after fielding an almost completely different side from the one that beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

Wolves have only scored eight Premier League goals, the lowest tally of any Premier League team this season. Their big-name signing Diego Costa is still suspended after receiving a red card against Brentford.

PSV Eindhoven vs AZ Alkmaar

Where: Philips Stadium, Eindhoven, Netherlands
When: 20:00 (20:00 GMT)

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  • PSV current form: WWWWLL
  • Current form of AZ Alkmaar: LWWWLL

It will be a crucial weekend for the Eredivisie matches, with PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord Rotterdam neck-and-neck with 30 points. Defending champion Ajax is third with 29 points.

PSV are currently in the midst of a four-match winning streak that included an impressive 2-0 victory over Premier League leaders Arsenal in the Europa League.

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AZ Alkmaar are currently fifth in the league, having lost to RKC Waalwijk last weekend. They enjoy a superior head-to-head record in recent years, having beaten PSV in five of their last six meetings.

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