The excitement in the top European leagues continues this weekend with some high profile games which could determine leadership positions at the conclusion of the round of matches.
Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur get the weekend Premier League matches underway at Old Trafford. Both teams are level on points, the Reds Devils a spot ahead in second-place. The form guide might suggest Spurs have a slightly better momentum heading into this tie, considering Manchester United have picked up a solitary point in their last two games. We can expect a very open and entertaining game, a consistent factor involving Mauricio Pochettino’s team this season.
Champions Chelsea are away to Bournemouth in a game which sets the Blues up for a fifth successive away league win of the season. Despite the continued absence of N’Golo Kante and obvious defensive struggles, Chelsea have managed two wins in their last four games in all competitions and this could make it number three in that sequence.
Jurgen Klopp for the first time in his managerial career faces David Wagner, a man who was his trusted lieutenant at Borussia Dortmund. Liverpool and Huddersfield Town meet at Anfield and based on the past work relationship between both men, surely they wouldn’t spare any details to their players in a game which likely will be high scoring.
League leaders Manchester City are away to West Brom in a testing game for Pep Guardiola against a tactically shrewd Tony Pulis. The Citizens surprisingly failed to score midweek in the league cup and could be further tested when they face a hard battling Baggies team, who are determined to end the leaders seven game league winning run.
Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig meet for a second time in three days at the Bayern Arena in what promises to be an explosive league game. The two teams played out a score draw in regulation time on Wednesday in the German Cup and that encounter only further increased the anxiety ahead of Saturday’s match. The return of Jupp Heynckes has seen Bayern Munich stabilise, sitting in second-place a spot and point ahead of Leipzig. The home team should comfortably win this game, a repeat scenario in this fixture last season, a period which coincided with Leipzig’s giant killing antics and red-hot form which has deserted them this season.
League leaders Borussia Dortmund are away to sixth-place Hannover 96. Dortmund have recently struggled, a slump which coincided with a return from international duties and it must be really worrying times for Coach Peter Bosz whose team are winless in two successive league games. Hannover have a decent home record this season, and could be favoured to get at least a point against an opponent who will have an eye on midweek UEFA Champions League commitments, a competition in which they have struggled this season.
The biggest game in the Serie A this weekend holds at San Siro when AC Milan hosts Juventus. The timing of the game doesn’t appear to suit the home team who are in bad form and despite their away win on Wednesday night are in eight-place. Champions Juventus have encountered troubles of theirs this season, their seeming invincibility departing them, most recently a home loss to Lazio. They are third on the log, head into this grudge encounter expecting an uncertain reception from Leonardo Bonnuci-he should be available for the game after serving a one match ban- a prodigal son who departed them in the summer after his well-documented bust-up with teammates at half-time in his last official Juventus game.
League leaders Napoli have a perfect opportunity to further extend their two point lead at the top when they host Sassuolo on Sunday afternoon. Two interesting facts ahead of this encounter are; Sassuolo have been impressive in recent away league games and the last two league encounters between both teams have ended in score draws. Hence, we can expect goals at both ends but certainly not a third successive drawn game.
League leaders Paris Saint-Germaine will be without world’s most expensive player Neymar when they host OGC Nice on Friday night. The expensively assembled capital side have a four point lead at the top after ten rounds of matches and even in the absence of Neymar , they remain favourites against a struggling Nice in 14th-place.
Seventh-place Bordeaux are home to champions Monaco. The champions who sit in second-place haven’t been convincing this season, blowing hot and cold, but that could be expected given the high profile summer departures. Coach Leonardo Jardim will be without inspirational striker and Captain Radamel Falcao, who was confirmed out in a press conference with a thigh injury.
Stevan Jovetic, who has been Sparingly used since his summer arrival from Inter Milan, the likely replacement for the Colombian.