European League games take centre stage from Friday night, and all through the weekend. We preview the weekend matches from England, Germany, Italy and France.
Tottenham Hotspur are away to West Ham United at the London Stadium in Saturday’s early kickoff. Spurs have been clinical on the road to date, bagging maximum points in two games, an escape route from their Wembley Stadium hoodoo. Slaven Bilic must guard against an unwanted thrashing in the hands of his City rivals, in a game which traditional produces a league spectacle.
Joint-leaders Manchester City are home to bottom team Crystal Palace. The two teams are expressing contrasting fortunes this campaign, and it surely can be only one expected outcome at the end of match proceedings. The deadly attacking partnership of Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus will unleash terror on a Palace defence, which could welcome back Pape Souare, the Senegalese left-back making his return after 12-months out following a horrific injury in the League Cup midweek.
Leicester City and Liverpool should set the league alight when they meet at the King Power Stadium. Meetings between the pair in recent season have turned out to be a delight to both fans and neutrals, and this latest clash between the Foxes and Reds shouldn’t be any different.
Champions Bayern Munich appears to have bounced back from an away defeat at Hoffenheim a fortnight ago. The second-place team are home to a struggling Wolfsburg team on Friday. Wolfsburg, complete with Nigerian striking sensation Victor Osimhen have not hit top gear this season, and the thoughts of facing a star studded Bayern Munich could be enough to wet their pants even before kickoff.
Hoffenheim welcomes Schalke 04 who were on the receiving hand of a comprehensive 3-0 home defeat to Bayern Munich on Tuesday night. Hoffenheim on their part fought back from two goals down to secure a much needed 3-2 away win at Mainz. This game promises to be explosive with no margin for error from both teams.
League leaders Borussia Dortmund are having a dream start to the league campaign. Borussia Monchengladbach are the latest team to attempt to put spanners in their works when they come calling to the Signal Iduna Park on Saturday. It will not be a stroll in the park for Dortmund, but guaranteed goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and his fellow forwards; they should emerge with maximum points.
Roma and Udinese will light up the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday afternoon in a potentially exciting Italian Serie A game. The visiting team lost at home on Wednesday night to Torino and do have a herculean task against a seventh-place Roma team that have been firing on all cylinders lately.
Newly promoted SPAL have done a pretty decent job in shutting out big score lines despite their lowly league position. They are home to leaders Napoli. Napoli are in fearsome form, hitting ten goals in successive games, conceding just one, Lazio at the receiving end of four of those strikes on Wednesday night. It appears to be a straight forward win for Lazio who are gunning to continue their 100 percent start to the season, but we expect SPAL to limit the rampant Napoli attack from having a filled day.
The eagerly anticipated Turin derby sees Juventus hosts Torino on Saturday. Juventus weren’t totally convincing in their last win at home to Fiorentina, though that could be pardoned because a few key players were rested ahead of the derby game. Torino on their part have been impressive in recent games, partly due to the impressive form of Andrea Belloti in front of goal. Regardless of the outcome of this game, what is almost certain is Torino will breach Juventuses defence, at least on one occasion.
Champions Monaco are away to Lille, whose manager Marcelo Bielsa must be feeling the intense heat only after a few rounds of matches. Monaco were humiliated on their last away Ligue 1 clash at OGC Nice and they should feel pretty confident of avoiding a repeat performance and outcome against a spineless Lille team who sit in 17th-place.
League leaders PSG must have sorted whatever dressing room division that threatened to overshadow last weekend’s home win against Olympique Lyon. The capital team had to depend on two late own goals to claim maximum points, a worry for Unai Emery. The Parisians have their work cut-out against a Montpellier side that are separated from the Nouveau Riche of French football by 11 points. Failure to pick maximum points away from home, will see Monaco close the gap on the leaders in the event Les Rogue et Bleu also win away from home.