European Weekend Preview: Chelsea and Liverpool meet again, Napoli faces Juve

European Weekend Preview: Chelsea and Liverpool meet again, Napoli faces Juve

European Soccer

European Weekend Preview: Chelsea and Liverpool meet again, Napoli faces Juve

Two of the remaining three unbeaten sides in the English Premier League meet for the second-time this week on Saturday, hoping to knock each other off in a mouth-watering league match.

After eliminating Liverpool from the Carabao Cup midweek, Chelsea will look to make it two-for-two this week in all competitions. The Blues downed the Reds, 2-1, at Anfield on Wednesday, using a game-winner from Eden Hazard to advance in the cup competition. Maurizio Sarri’s men will look to extend their current unbeaten run against the Merseyside club to five matches with a full three points in London. Hazard will lead the Blues with his five league goals already this season to what will be a strong end to September.

Jurgen Klopp’s side remain one of the favorites to lift the league crown after winning their opening six matches. A 3-0 triumph against Southampton last weekend saw Mo Salah score his first goal since Aug. 25th. The Egyptian was key to Liverpool’s success a season ago and will hope his goal last time out will spark him to a dominant performance against his former club.

Elsewhere, a pair of Serie A title hopefuls square off as Napoli faces Juventus. Ligue 1 leader Paris Saint Germain entertains Nice away from home on Saturday, while Monaco travels to St. Etienne a day prior. Borussia Dortmund faces a trip to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday in the Bundesliga headliner. The Madrid Derby takes center stage in Spain with Atletico Madrid traveling to the Bernabeu.

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

English Premier League

Saturday’s action begins also from London with West Ham United welcoming Manchester United to town. Manuel Pellegrini looks to have turned the tide slightly for the Hammers, as they are unbeaten in their last three matches. An 8-0 battering of fourth-tier side Macclesfield Town on Wednesday saw six different players get on the scoresheet. Andriy Yarlomenko and Marko Arnautovic are the danger players to watch for the hosts, with five goals between them.

Manchester United’s hopes of lifting the League Cup this season crashed and burned on Tuesday as they fell 8-7 in a penalty shootout to Derby County at home. Despite sitting on a three-match league unbeaten run, Jose Mourinho certainly feels some pressure following reports this week of his players angry with the manager. Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku will headline the attack for the Red Devils who drew 0-0 in this fixture last May.

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

Saturday

  • West Ham United vs. Manchester United
  • Huddersfield Town vs. Tottenham Hotspur
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Southampton
  • Arsenal vs. Watford
  • Manchester City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Everton vs. Fulham
  • Newcastle United vs. Leicester City
  • Chelsea vs. Liverpool

Sunday

  • Cardiff City vs. Burnley

Monday

  • AFC Bournemouth vs. Crystal Palace

La Liga

Another chapter of the Madrid Derby takes place this Saturday with Atletico Madrid traveling to face the European champions. Diego Simeone’s men are in fine form, winning three straight matches in all competitions. French playmakers Antoine Griezmann and Thomas Lemar each has two goals apiece and will be the key pair to watch for the visitors.

Real Madrid are coming off their first defeat since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to Italy but remain in the fight for top spot. A 3-0 hammering to Sevilla away from home is hardly how Julen Lopetegui wanted to near the end of September but still has one match to end on a high. These sides drew 1-1 in this meeting last season with CR7 and Griezmann bagging the goals.

Barcelona will also look to erase a midweek defeat as they host Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou. The defending league champs fell 2-1 at Leganes for their first loss since May 13th of last season. Despite an early goal from Phillipe Coutinho, the visitors allowed a pair of goals in quick succession to suffer defeat. Lionel Messi has eight goals in all competitions this season and will expect to do whatever he can for Barca to avoid another slip-up.

Here’s all of this weekend’s La Liga fixtures:

Friday

  • Rayo Vallecano vs. Espanyol

Saturday

  • Real Sociedad vs. Valencia
  • Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao
  • Eibar vs. Sevilla
  • Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid

Sunday

  • Huesca vs. Girona
  • Villarreal vs. Valladolid
  • Levante vs. Alaves
  • Real Betis vs. Leganes

Monday

  • Celta Vigo vs. Getafe

German Bundesliga

Two winning sides will square off for the first time this season as Bayer Leverkusen welcomes Borussia Dortmund to town. Leverkusen are winners of three straight in all comps, including a 2-1 success away from home on Wednesday at Fortuna Dusseldorf. German striker Kevin Volland led the way with a brace giving him his first goals of the domestic season. The 26-year-old scored in this fixture last season as the sides drew 1-1 at the BayArena.

Dortmund have kicked off their domestic season in strong form, failing to lose yet in their opening seven matches in all comps. A 7-0 beatdown against Nuremburg midweek should have the team’s spirits high as they prepare for a tougher test. Marco Reus scored twice in the dominant performance at home, while Christian Pulisic has registered a point in each of his last appearances.

Here’s all of this weekend’s Bundesliga fixtures:

Friday

  • Hertha Berlin vs. Bayern Munich

Saturday

  • Wolfsburg vs. Borussia Monchengladbach
  • Stuttgart vs. Werder Bremen
  • Hoffenheim vs. RB Leipzig
  • Schalke vs. Mainz
  • Nuremburg vs. Fortuna Dusseldorf
  • Bayer Leverkusen vs. Borussia Dortmund

Sunday

  • Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Bobby Wood
  • Augsburg vs. Freiburg

Serie A

The top two sides in Italy’s top-flight meet once again this weekend looking to get a leg up in the title race. Juventus are a perfect 6-0-0 in league play this season and have kept three clean sheets so far. Cristiano Ronaldo looks to be finding his form with his new club, leading the Old Lady with three goals in six matches. Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic also provide options against Napoli if Ronaldo somehow is off his game.

Napoli sit three points behind their Serie A rivals in the standings, and know a win will have the sides level heading into October. Carlo Ancelotti’s side has won their last two matches, outscoring their opponents 6-1. Depth is the key for Napoli this season with some summer acquisitions already paying off. Simone Verdi has a goal to his credit, while Piotr Zielinski and Arkaduisz Milik have two or more. Lorenzo Insigne leads the way with five goals in his first six appearances.

Kicking off Saturday’s action is the Derby della Capitale which sees Roma hosting Lazio at the Olimpico. The hosts snapped a five-match winless run on Wednesday with a 4-0 beatdown against Frosinone. Four different goalscorers highlighted the home triumph which was Roma’s first win since opening day. After their poor start to the season, Roma will need to go for it against Lazio to get any sort of momentum going heading into October.

Lazio are winners of five consecutive matches in all competitions, most recently downing Udinese 2-1 away at home. Ciro Immobile will headline Lazio’s attack while some other players have chipped in goals this season. Joaquin Correa and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic lead the midfield which will be a huge factor on if Roma can get things going offensively.

Here’s all of this weekend’s Serie A fixtures:

Saturday

  • AS Roma vs. Lazio
  • Juventus vs. Napoli
  • Inter Milan vs. Cagliari

Sunday

  • Bologna vs. Udinese
  • Chievo Verona vs. Torino
  • Fiorentina vs. Atalanta
  • Frosinone vs. Genoa
  • Parma vs. Empoli
  • Sassuolo vs. AC Milan

Monday

  • Sampdoria vs. Spal

Ligue 1

Ligue 1 leaders PSG will look to continue their perfect start to domestic play as they travel to Nice. A 4-1 success over Reims midweek saw Edinson Cavani lead the way with a brace. The Uruguayan striker has five goals and three assists in all competitions and will be key against a physical Nice backline. Kylian Mbappe will miss out due to suspension so look for Julian Draxler or Angel Di Maria in the Frenchman’s place out wide.

Nice is seeking consistency with their results, winning three of their last five matches in league play. A 2-1 road win at Nantes will give Patrick Vieira’ side some confidence as they have a tough test awaiting. Mario Balotelli continues to be absent for Nice so look for Myziane Maolida to start up top for the hosts. The 19-year-old Frenchman has yet to score since his move from Lyon this summer.

Friday sees the action get underway with AS Monaco seeking three points on the road at St. Etienne. Since their opening day win at Nantes, Leonardo Jardim’s men have truly struggled to get anything going. Seven straight matches without a win sees Monaco sitting in the relegation zone. Youri Tielemans and Radamel Falcao headline the attack, but defensively they have work to do.

St. Etienne have won back-to-back matches for the first time since April and will look to keep that form going at home. A 3-2 road win at Toulouse midweek saw Yannis Salibur steal the show with a winning goal. It was the 27-year-old’s first goal for his new club since his move from Guingamp in the summer.

Here’s all of this weekend’s Ligue 1 fixtures:

Friday

  • St. Etienne vs. Monaco

Saturday

  • Nice vs. PSG
  • Angers vs. Guingamp
  • Caen vs. Amiens
  • Lyon vs. Nantes
  • Stade Reims vs. Bordeaux
  • Strasbourg vs. Dijon

Sunday

  • Rennes vs. Toulouse
  • Montpellier vs. Nimes
  • Lille vs. Marseille

 

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