Things to look out for in European football: November 23-24

A refreshed Cristiano Ronaldo and Inter’s away record are among the things to watch for this weekend. You can bet on this weekend’s action here.

Will Ronaldo bring his international form back to Juventus?

It would not be unfair to claim that Cristiano Ronaldo did not depart Italy on the best of terms before the international break. The Portuguese was replaced before the hour mark in Juventus’ win over AC Milan and headed straight for the changing room, with his replacement Paulo Dybala netting the game’s only goal. It was later alleged that Juventus’ record signing had left the stadium before the game had even finished. Manager Maurizio Sarri was quick to play down the incident, but he cannot hide the fact that Ronaldo has only scored five times in ten league games this season. Two of those were penalties. The 34-year-old scored four times in two matches for Portugal last week, and fans will hope he can carry that form into the Old Lady’s game at Atalanta, where they failed to win in two visits last season.

Inter Milan to extend perfect away record

Antonio Conte has hit the ground running at Inter Milan, surpassing expectations with his new side just one point behind Juventus after almost a third of the campaign. The Nerazzurri have won all six of their away matches so far this season in the Serie A, scoring 15 times along the way. The firepower of Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez, who are responsible for 11 of those goals, will be crucial if Conte’s side are to maintain their title challenge. Their next test is at Torino, whom they have not beaten in their last five meetings. This Torino side is struggling, though, and Inter can smell blood.

Real Madrid have chance to consolidate place in top four

Real Madrid currently sit level on points with Barcelona at the summit of the table in La Liga, but defeat to Real Sociedad on Saturday could see them fall to fifth by Sunday evening. Such an outcome isn’t impossible, either. Los Blancos lost twice to Sociedad last season and are only two points above them in the standings this time. Zinedine Zidane will need another strong performance from his defence, which have not conceded a single goal in their last five games in all competitions. They cannot afford to let last season’s frailties return, as victory would move them five points clear of Sociedad in fifth and boost any title aspirations.

Getafe to heap more misery on Espanyol

Having lost just three times this season, Getafe are up to seventh in La Liga and it appears increasingly as though last season’s fifth-placed finish was no fluke. That run is made more impressive given that those defeats came against Barcelona, Atletico and Sevilla. This Sunday they travel to Espanyol, who languish in the relegation zone and have lost nine of their 13 league games this season. Getafe will not arrive in Barcelona with any fear.

Which Union Berlin will face league leaders Monchengladbach?

Union Berlin were handed a slap in the face in August as their Bundesliga journey began with a 4-0 defeat at home to RB Leipzig. Their next home game saw them beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1, only for them to then suffer defeats to Werder Bremen and Eintracht Frankfurt on home turf in September. They have since taken three points against both Freiburg and Hertha, leaving them with a home record of three wins and three defeats. This set of results makes Saturday’s visit of league leaders Monchengladbach even more intriguing. The visitors have won eight of their last ten league games and, should Union give any performance below their best, a heavy defeat could be on the cards. On the other hand, their famous home support could lift them to another impressive victory.