Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By NICK IUELE
Tottenham, a couple weeks removed from a big win over Manchester United, will face another stiff test in English Premier League table toppers Chelsea. Spurs new boy Clint Dempsey scored against Man U and twice in the United States’ World Cup Qualifier against Guatemala on Tuesday, so it appears he is back in good form and could help with a potential upset. Tottenham is currently in the fifth position and all three points could boost them to second.
In Italy, co-leaders Juventus and Napoli will do battle. These two are the only undefeated sides in Serie A and a win for either club would allow for control of the top spot. This may be Napoli’s chance to put their mark on the season and take over, while Juventus will try to maintain a dominance they have enjoyed since last season.
Bundesliga top-four clubs Borussia Dortmund and Schalke play on Saturday. Title holders Dortmund has found climbing the table a bit cumbersome, while Schalke is right where they thought they would be. Both clubs are in could form, but a win for Dortmund puts them in a Champions League position. Three points is essential, as only four points separates positions three through nine in the table.
Here are the rest of the matches going on in Europe’s top leagues this weekend:
West Bromwich Albion will look to keep pace with the big boys in their match against Manchester City. The Baggies have only lost once this term, but every point is essential when trying to keep pace in the Premiership. City has yet to lose, but three draws leave them tied for third in the table, four points behind Chelsea.
Manchester United matches up against Stoke City to try to rebound from last round’s home loss to Spurs. United is currently tied on points with City for second in the table. Stoke has settled for a draw five times this term and has only lost once. The quest for the Potters’ second win goes through Old Trafford.
Here are this weekend’s English Premier League matches:
Tottenham vs. Chelsea
Fulham vs. Aston Villa
Liverpool v.s Reading
Manchester United vs. Stoke City
Swansea City vs. Wigan Athletic
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City
West Ham United v Southampton
Norwich City v Arsenal
Sunderland v Newcastle United
Queens Park Rangers v Everton
AC Milan’s road to recovery gets no easier when they travel to Lazio on Saturday. Lazio is in solid form, accumulating five wins so far this season and currently sit in third place. Milan on the other hand has lost four times and only won twice, far from the side many are accustomed to seeing. Perhaps a win on the road against a good club is what they need.
Fourth-place Inter Milan takes on a Catania side hanging on to the top 10 for dear life. Catania has had a dream start to the season, but Inter has gotten better as the season has progressed. If Catania can pull a positive result from this fixture, they may just prove themselves to the big boys of Serie A.
Here are this weekend’s Serie A matches:
Juventus v Napoli
Lazio v AC Milan
Cagliari v Bologna
Atalanta v Siena
Chievo Verona v Fiorentina
Inter Milan v Catania
Palermo v Torino
Parma v Sampdoria
Udinese v US Pescara
Genoa v AS Roma
Malaga suffered a setback against a hot Atletico Madrid side last round and will be looking to set themselves right against Valladolid. The loss was Malaga’s first negative result of the campaign, but they still hold third position in the table. Earning all three points helps the club keep pace and hold a Champions League spot.
Real Madrid attempts to continue their assent up the table against Celta Vigo on Saturday. Despite early season struggles, Madrid is now in fifth position in the table, just three points behind third-place Malaga. Cristiano Ronaldo is on goal-scoring tear, expect that to continue in what should be three easy points for Madrid.
Here are this weekend’s La Liga matches:
Malaga v Valladolid
Real Madrid v Celta Vigo
Valencia v Athletic Bilbao
Deportivo La Coruna v Barcelona
Getafe v Levante
Espanyol v Rayo Vallecano
Granada v Real Zaragoza
Osasuna v Real Betis
Real Sociedad v Atletico Madrid
Top-five clubs Eintracht Frankfurt and Hannover square off on Saturday. Frankfurt sits in second place, five points back of Bayern Munich, while Hannover is in fifth one point back of a Champions League spot. Frankfurt’s only loss of the season came last round, but should be ready to go against a tough opponent.
Bayern Munich looks to make it eight for eight against Fortuna Dusseldorf on Saturday. The perfect Munich side has looked unbeatable so far this season and Dusseldorf will probably not do much to challenge that notion.
Here are this weekend’s Bundesliga matches:
TSG Hoffenheim v SpVgg Greuther Furth
Bayer Leverkusen v Mainz
Borussia Dortmund v Schalke 04
Eintracht Frankfurt v Hannover 96
Fortuna Dusseldorf v Bayern Munich
VfL Wolfsburg v SC Freiburg
Werder Bremen v Borussia Monchengladbach
Nurnberg v FC Augsburg
Hamburg SV v VfB Stuttgart
Paris Saint-Germain takes on Stade de Reims on Saturday. PSG can move into a share of first place with a win, while Reims can move into position for European football with a positive result. PSG has yet to lose this term.
Lyon will try to keep pace with the top two against Brest. Only a one-time loser, Lyon has an opportunity to move into second place with a positive result and some help from PSG.
Here are this weekend’s Ligue 1 matches:
Bordeaux v Lille
Paris Saint-Germain v Stade de Reims
AS Nancy Lorraine v Sochaux
Evian Thonon Gaillard v Toulouse
Nice v St. Etienne
Stade Rennes v Montpellier
Valenciennes v Lorient
AC Ajaccio v Bastia
Lyon v Brest
Troyes v Marseille