European Weekend Preview: Tottenham hosts Chelsea, Bundesliga begins, and more

European Weekend Preview: Tottenham hosts Chelsea, Bundesliga begins, and more

European Soccer

European Weekend Preview: Tottenham hosts Chelsea, Bundesliga begins, and more

As three of Europe’s top league begin this weekend, the top match comes from Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Tottenham Hotspur welcomes London rivals Chelsea to Wembley, looking to make add more misery to the Blues start of the season. Mauricio Pochettino’s side used a pair of second-half goals on the opening weekend at Newcastle in a 2-0 victory. Dele Alli and Ben Davies got on the scoresheet, and Tottenham will look to avoid a first home league loss to Chelsea since October 2012. Chelsea fell, 3-2, at home against Burnley last weekend, and will look for a much-better performance this time around. Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas were both sent off in the loss, despite Alvaro Morata scoring his first league goal for the Blues.

Elsewhere this weekend, Bayern Munich hosts Bayer Leverkusen in Friday’s Bundesliga opener while Schalke welcomes RB Leipzig to town on Saturday. In Spain, Barcelona welcomes Real Betis to town on Sunday, while Real Madrid heads to Deportivo. Serie A starts on Saturday as defending champion Juventus hosts Cagliari, while Napoli travels to Hellas Verona. Ligue 1’s must-watch takes place early on Saturday as Bordeaux travels to Lyon.

Here is a closer look at this weekend’s European action:

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

The round concludes on Monday as Manchester City welcomes Everton to the Etihad Stadium. Pep Guardiola’s men used a pair of late goals to edge Brighton in their season opener last Saturday. Sergio Aguero got off to a good start, scoring a goal at the Amex Stadium in the opener. Everton opened their season with a 1-0 home win over Stoke City as a goal from Wayne Rooney was all the Toffees needed to earn the club’s first three points of the season.

Saturday’s late fixture comes from the Bet365 Stadium as Stoke City welcomes Arsenal to town. Stoke fell, 1-0, at Everton on the opening day, and will look for a better result in their home opener. Newly acquired forward Jese is expected to make his club debut after joining from Paris Saint-Germain. Arsenal opened the season with a dramatic 4-3 home victory over Leicester City. Alexandre Lacazette scored his first league goal for the Gunners in the win, while Olivier Giroud headed home the winner. Arsenal was a 4-1 winner in this fixture last season.

Here are all of this weekend’s EPL fixtures:.

Saturday

  • Swansea City vs. Manchester United
  • AFC Bournemouth vs. Watford
  • Burnley vs. West Bromwich Albion
  • Leicester City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace
  • Southampton vs. West Ham United
  • Stoke City vs. Arsenal

Sunday

  • Huddersfield Town vs. Newcastle United
  • Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea

Monday

  • Manchester City vs. Everton

SPANISH LA LIGA

Friday’s opening match of the round takes place from Madrid as Leganes welcomes Alves to Butarque. These sides played out two draws last season as Alaves finished in ninth place last season with 55 points, while Leganes sat four points clear of the relegation zone. Alaves’ player to watch is midfielder Ibai Gomez who scored seven goals in all competitions a year ago. The 27-year-old will be highly relied on this season. Argentinian midfielder Alexander Szymanowski led Leganes with eight goals last season.

Barcelona’s La Liga season kicks off on Sunday with a home fixture against Real Betis. Ernesto Valverde’s side is coming off a humiliating Spanish Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid, and will need to show a short memory this weekend. With Luis Suarez expected to be out for a month, the weight on Lionel Messi’s shoulders just got a little heavier. The Argentinian scored 53 goals in all competitions a year ago. Betis finished in 15th a year ago, eight points clear of the relegation zone. Barca cruised to a 6-2 victory over Betis in this fixture last season.

Real Madrid begins the La Liga title defense on Sunday, traveling to Deportivo in the late fixture. Zinedine Zidane’s men have already claimed the UEFA Super Cup and Spanish Super Cup this summer and are in good form. Cristiano Ronaldo is suspended for the team’s first four La Liga fixtures after a sending off on Sunday in the Spanish Super Cup first leg win. The eyes will be on youngsters Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio who are looking to improve even more this season. Deportivo finished in 16th a year ago, and will look for a better performance from last season’s 6-2 shellacking they received from Los Blancos in this fixture.

Here are all of this weekend’s La Liga fixtures.

Friday

  • Leganes vs. Alaves
  • Valencia vs. Las Palmas

Saturday

  • Celta Vigo vs. Real Sociedad
  • Girona vs. Atletico Madrid
  • Sevilla vs. Espanyol

Sunday

  • Athletic Bilbao vs. Getafe
  • Barcelona vs. Real Betis
  • Deportivo vs. Real Madrid

Monday

  • Levante vs. Villarreal
  • Malaga vs. Eibar

GERMAN BUNDESLIGA

The German Bundesliga kicks off this weekend as defending champion Bayern Munich welcomes Bayer Leverkusen to the Allianz on Friday. Carlo Ancelotti’s men are coming off a German Super Cup victory earlier this month, and should have an easy time in their opener. Striker Robert Lewandowski is the man to watch after 30 league goals a season ago. New midfielders James Rodriguez and Corentin Tolisso will fight for regular starting time. As for Leverkusen, the goal is to replace the production of summer departure Javier Hernandez. Midfielder Julian Brandt is the playmaker of the group, and will be relied on a lot this season.

Saturday’s premier fixture comes from the VELTINS-Arena as Schalke welcomes RB Leipzig to town. Schalke finished in 10th a season ago, and will hope for a better campaign in 2017/18. Striker Guido Bergstaller will be Schalke’s main striker this season after Klass-Jan Huntelaar left this summer. RB Leipzig finished in second place a season ago, and should be right in the mix again this year. Midfielder Emil Forsberg led the Bundesliga with 19 assists a year ago, while striker Timo Werner tallied 21 goals. This duo will be one to watch this season.

Hoffenheim will look to bounce back from a Champions League defeat midweek as they host Werder Bremen on Saturday. Julian Nagelsmann’s side was a huge surprise last season, finishing in fourth place and going unbeaten at home. Strikers Sandro Wagner (11 goals in 2016/17) and Andrei Kramaric (15 goals in 2016/17) are a deadly duo and are a huge reason for Hoffenheim’s success. Max Kruse leads Bremen’s attacking front and will look to build off of last season’s 15-goal campaign.

Here are all of this weekend’s Bundesliga fixtures.

Friday

  • Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen

Saturday

  • Hoffenheim vs. Werder Bremen
  • Hertha Berlin vs. Stuttgart
  • Hamburger vs. Augsburg
  • Mainz vs. Hannover
  • Wolfsburg vs. Borussia Dortmund
  • Schalke vs. RB Leipzig

Sunday

  • Freiburg vs. Eintracht Frankfurt
  • Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Koln

ITALIAN SERIE A

Defending Serie A champ Juventus kick off the new season on Saturday, hosting Cagliari. Massimiliano Allegri’s side is aiming to win their seventh consecutive Scudetto and are favorites to do so. Despite losing Leandro Bonucci to AC Milan, Juventus retained the services of Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli while Gonzalo Higuain led Juventus with 24 league goals a year ago. Cagliari finished in 11th last season and will look for a stronger defense to help them improve up the table.

The must-watch fixture in Italy this weekend comes from the Giuseppe Meazza on Sunday. Inter Milan welcomes Fiorentina to town looking to kick off a better 2017/18. Luciano Spalletti comes in as the new Inter manager and will look to help the team improve on their seventh-place finish from last season. Striker Mauro Icardi led the team with 24 league goals a year ago, and is the player to watch. Fiorentina lost several starters this offseason, but striker Nikola Kalinic remains with the team. The Croatian will look to replicate his 15-goal campaign from 2016/17.

Here are all of this weekend’s Serie A fixtures.

Saturday

  • Juventus vs. Cagliari
  • Hellas Verona vs. Napoli

Sunday

  • Atalanta vs. Roma
  • Bologna vs. Torino
  • Crotone vs. AC Milan
  • Inter Milan vs. Fiorentina
  • Lazio vs. Spal
  • Sampdoria vs. Benevento
  • Sassuolo vs. Genoa
  • Udinese vs. Chievo Verona

FRENCH LIGUE 1

The Ligue 1 match of the round comes from Lyon as the hosts welcome Bordeaux on Saturday. Lyon are unbeaten through their opening two matches of the season, outscoring their opponents, 6-1, in that span. Former Real Madrid forward Mariano leads the team with three goals, while Nabil Fekir has two. Bordeaux are coming off their first win of the season, and will look for a similar performance as last year’s meeting. Bordeaux rolled off a 3-1 win at the Parc OL last season.

PSG returns to the Parc Des Princes this Sunday, as they welcome Toulouse to town on Sunday. Unai Emery’s side has won their first two matches of the season, thanks to two goals and two assists from Edinson Cavani while Neymar scored on his PSG debut last weekend. Toulouse bounced back nicely last weekend, defeating Montpellier, 1-0, at home. Striker Andy Delort has a goal and assist so far this season for the visitors.

Here are all of this weekend’s Ligue 1 fixtures.

Friday

  • Metz vs. Monaco

Saturday

  • Lyon vs. Bordeaux
  • Montpellier vs. Strasbourg
  • Nice vs. Guingamp
  • Rennes vs. Dijon
  • Saint-Etienne vs. Amiens
  • Troyes vs. Nantes

Sunday

  • Lille vs. Caen
  • Marseille vs. Angers
  • PSG vs. Toulouse

 

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