Weekend preview: First vs Second in Spain and France; Chelsea visits Anfield


Valencia have had quite the barnstorming start to the season, Los Che still remain unbeaten in La Liga this campaign under manager Marcelino, and are only four points off the top of the table. They’ve already faced two of last season’s top three, and drew both- 2-2 against Real Madrid and goalless against Atletico, but their upcoming fixture is bound to be their biggest test. They play host to log leaders Barcelona, who have only dropped two points in the league all season. Barcelona are yet to fully convince, however, and as they showed in midweek, they look short of creativity without Leo Messi. That’s both good and bad for Valencia.

Another top-two meeting takes place not far from the Spanish borders, as Ligue 1 leaders and goal-factory Paris Saint-Germain visit second placed Monaco, who are six points behind. Given that Leonardo Jardim’s side were knocked out of Europe in midweek, this game might just go a long way to determine how successful a season they would have.

In the Premier League, the headline act is Chelsea’s trip to Anfield to face Liverpool. The talk is bound to be centred on Liverpool’s defensive concerns, as well as the form of Reds summer signing Mohammed Salah, who spent a rather disappointing two(-ish) years at the club.

Elsewhere, there is a Ruhr Derby for Borussia Dortmund, as struggling Die Schwarzgelben face fierce rivals Schalke with manager Peter Bosz under huge pressure; while Juventus look to bounce back from last weekend’s loss to Sampdoria when they host Crotone, and Premier League leaders Manchester City visit Huddersfield, who earlier this season beat City’s neighbours United.

Real Madrid play host to Malaga, Bayern Munich face a trip to Borussia Monchengladbach, Lyon and Nice go head-to-head, while under-pressure Milan host Torino and Arsenal travel to Burnley.

Weekend Fixtures

Premier League: Swansea v Bournemouth; Manchester United v Brighton; Huddersfield v Manchester City; Burnley v Arsenal; Newcastle v Stoke; Liverpool v Chelsea; Crystal Palace v Stoke; West Ham v Leicester; Southampton v Everton; Tottenham v West Brom

Serie A: Bologna v Sampdoria; Chievo v SPAL; Sassuolo v Hellas Verona; Cagliari v Inter; Milan v Torino; Juventus v Crotone; Atalanta v Benevento; Lazio v Fiorentina; Genoa v Roma; Udinese v Napoli

Ligue 1: Monaco v PSG; Rennes v Nantes; Marseille v Guingamp; Montpellier v Lille; Metz v Amiens; Caen v Bordeaux; St. Etienne v Strasbourg; Dijon v Toulouse; Troyes v Angers; Nice v Lyon

La Liga: Valencia v Barcelona; Villarreal v Sevilla; Real Betis v Girona; Espanyol v Getafe; Real Sociedad v Getafe; Levante v Atletico Madrid; Alaves v Eibar; Celta Vigo v Leganes; Real Madrid v Malaga; Deportivo v Athletic Bilbao

Bundesliga: Hannover v Stuttgart; RB Leipzig v Werder Bremen; Freiburg v Mainz; Dortmund v Schalke; Borussia Monchengladbach v Bayern Munich; Koln v Hertha BSC; Hamburg v Hoffenheim; Augsburg v Wolfsburg; Frankfurt v Leverkusen

About Olakunle Ajao 281 Articles
Olakunle Ajao is a Mass Communication student at the University of Lagos. Commonly known as 'The Major' by friends and fiends alike, he has quite the obsession with football, watching, reading, writing and playing- although he's not very good at that last part.

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