Mid-October. The month where stability starts to become established; where the sides with aspirations to be at the top end of the table seek to move towards that goal, and the time where faltering coaches are no longer afforded any room for slouching, just ask Craig Shakespeare.
And another manager with his job in a highly insecure state – if not precarious – position is Everton’s Ronald Koeman, with his big-spending side languishing at the wrong end of the table. Koeman has stated that the board still back him, but the Dutchman will need results sooner rather than later, and on Sunday his team play host to Arsenal, a game they can ill-afford to lose.
That fixture is bound to share – or at least battle for the tag of being the Premier League’s biggest game of the weekend, alongside another Sunday match-up, which pits Tottenham against Liverpool at Wembley, both teams coming off the back of positive Champions League results in midweek.
But even those games are unlikely to generate the kind of anticipation which will befall Napoli’s game at home to Inter Milan, the Serie A leaders go up against the team in second place. A win for Inter and they go top, while Napoli seek to continue their perfect start to their domestic campaign.
Elsewhere, struggling Ligue 1 champions Monaco who have lost two games in a row in all competitions play host to Caen, while Bayern Munich travel to face their favourite opponents Hamburg in the Bundesliga and Barcelona look to maintain their lead atop La Liga when they welcome bottom of the table side Malaga to the Camp Nou.
Juventus travel to Udinese, Real Madrid host Eibar in Spain, and free-scoring Manchester City host Burnley in the Premier League.
Oh, and there’s the small matter of a French ‘Le Classique’ derby, as Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain do battle at Stade de Velodrome.
Fixtures in full
Premier League: Chelsea v Watford; Southampton v West Brom; Manchester City v Burnley; Newcastle v Crystal Palace; Swansea v Leicester; West Ham v Brighton; Huddersfield v Manchester United; Tottenham v Liverpool; Everton v Arsenal; Stoke v Bournemouth
Serie A: Atalanta v Bologna; Udinese v Juventus; Milan v Genoa; Torino v Roma; SPAL v Sassuolo; Napoli v Inter Milan; Lazio v Cagliari; Benevento v Fiorentina; Chievo Verona v Hellas Verona; Sampdoria v Crotone
Ligue 1: St. Etienne v Montpellier; Monaco v Caen; Nice v Strasbourg; Amiens v Bordeaux; Metz v Dijon; Nantes v Guingamp; Rennes v Lille; Troyes v Lyon; Marseille v PSG; Angers v Toulouse
Bundesliga: Schalke v Mainz; Borussia Monchengladbach v Leverkusen; Hamburg v Bayern Munich; Wolfsburg v Hoffenheim; Koln v Werder Bremen; Frankfurt v Dortmund; Augsburg v Hannover; RB Leipzig v Stuttgart; Freiburg v Hertha BSC
La Liga: Real Madrid v Eibar; Levante v Getafe; Real Sociedad v Espanyol; Barcelona v Malaga; Villarreal v Las Palmas; Deportivo v Girona; Leganes v Athletic Bilbao; Real Betis v Alaves; Valencia v Sevilla; Celta Vigo v Atletico Madrid