European Weekend Preview: Barcelona battles Sevilla, Milan Derby and more

European Weekend Preview: Barcelona battles Sevilla, Milan Derby and more

European Soccer

European Weekend Preview: Barcelona battles Sevilla, Milan Derby and more

Even though it’s still early in the domestic season, defending La Liga champs Barcelona are seeking a way to stop the bleeding in league play this weekend. Barcelona sits a point behind Sevilla for first place, and has not earned a league win in their last four tries. Lionel Messi leads the way with six goals, while Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez each has three. Defensively, they will need to quiet an in-form Sevilla attack.

Sevilla sits atop the La Liga summit with 16 points and last defeated Celta Vigo 2-1 in league play. Depth in their attack has played a big role so far as Sevilla currently has four players with two goals or more this season. Andre Silva headlines the bunch with seven while Wissam Ben Yedder has five. The visitors last defeated Barcelona in 2015.

Elsewhere, the Milan derby takes centerstage in Italy with AC Milan and Inter squaring off. Bayern Munich looks to get back to winning ways in Bundesliga play against Wolfsburg. Nice hosts Marseille in the must-watch match in Ligue 1, while Chelsea hosts Manchester United in the English Premier League.

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

English Premier League

Two of England’s historic and most successful clubs square off for the first time this season. Second place Chelsea welcomes Manchester United to Stamford Bridge in Saturday’s early showdown. The Blues are one of three unbeaten sides remaining in the top-flight in 2018 and will look to down hand the Red Devils another defeat to what has been a disappointing start. Eden Hazard’s seven goals in eight league appearances leads the team.

Manchester United currently sit in eighth place and will hope that the rest of the international break does them good. The Red Devils fought back for a 3-2 win over Newcastle United prior to the break despite being down by two early in the match. Romelu Lukaku leads the team with four goals but has failed to score in his last three appearances.

Match Day Nine comes to an end on Monday as Arsenal welcomes Leicester City to the Emirates. The Gunners are on a nine-match winning run, most recently thumping Fulham 5-1 in a London Derby at Craven Cottage. Unai Emery is getting the best from his players so far and will now seek to inch even further up the table. Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang and Alexandre Lacazette each have four goals and both found the back of the net in their last match.

Leicester City fell 2-1 to Everton back on Oct. 6th which snapped a three-match winning run in all competitions. Claude Puel’s side are in 10th place with four wins and four defeats in eight matches. James Maddison has been a bright spot for the Foxes, scoring three goals and adding two assists in his first season with the club. Jamie Vardy returned to the starting XI following suspension in the loss on Merseyside.

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

Saturday

  • Chelsea vs. Manchester United
  • AFC Bournemouth vs. Southampton
  • Cardiff City vs. Fulham
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Watford
  • West Ham United vs. Tottenham Hotspur
  • Manchester City vs. Burnley
  • Newcastle United vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Huddersfield Town vs. Liverpool

Sunday

  • Everton vs. Crystal Palace

Monday

  • Arsenal vs. Leicester City

Spanish La Liga

The top two sides in La Liga square off on Saturday with the defending champs looking to end an unexpected winless run in league play. Barcelona sits a point behind Sevilla for first place, and has not earned a league win in their last four tries. Lionel Messi leads the way with six goals, while Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez each has three. Defensively, they will need to quiet an in-form Sevilla attack.

Sevilla sits atop the La Liga summit with 16 points and last defeated Celta Vigo 2-1 in league play. Depth in their attack has played a big role so far as Sevilla currently has four players with two goals or more this season. Andre Silva headlines the bunch with seven while Wissam Ben Yedder has five. The visitors last defeated Barcelona in 2015.

Atletico Madrid will look to extend their unbeaten run to eight matches in all comps, as they face Villarreal away from home. Diego Simeone’s has posted clean sheets in five of those matches, most recently defeating Real Betis 1-0 at home. Its been a shared group of scorers for Atletico, with Antoine Griezmann, Thomas Lemar, and Angel Correa each chipping in two.

Villarreal fell 3-1 to Espanyol ahead of the international break, and only has two leagues wins so far this season. A lack of scoring has proved to be Villarreal’s main issue this season, scoring only six goals through eight matches. Cameroonian international Karl Toko Ekambi leads the team with a pair of goals after his move from Ligue 1.

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

Friday

  • Celta Vigo vs. Alaves

Saturday

  • Real Madrid vs. Levante
  • Valencia vs. Leganes
  • Villarreal vs. Atletico Madrid
  • Barcelona vs. Sevilla

Sunday

  • Rayo Vallecano vs. Getafe
  • Eibar vs. Athletic Club
  • Huesca vs. Espanyol
  • Real Betis vs. Valladolid

Monday

  • Real Sociedad vs. Girona

German Bundesliga

Bayern Munich faces a tricky test in their return to league play on Saturday at Wolfsburg. The German giants are winless in their last four in all comps, being shutout in back-to-back league matches. Offensively, Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben each has three goals this season and will look to help the team snap out of their funk.

Wolfsburg is trying to snap a five-match winless run of their own, and have not tasted victory since Sept. 1st. 10 goals scored through their opening seven matches will need to improve if they want to improve up the table. Wout Weghorst and Admir Mehmedi each has two goals for the hosts, while U.S. Men’s National Team defender John Brooks leads the backline.

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

Friday

  • Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Fortuna Dusseldorf

Saturday

  • Wolfsburg vs. Bayern Munich
  • Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hannover
  • Nuremburg vs. Hoffenheim
  • Stuttgart vs. Borussia Dortmund
  • Augsburg vs. RB Leipzig
  • Schalke vs. Werder Bremen

Sunday

  • Hertha Berlin vs. Freiburg
  • Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Mainz

Italian Serie A

The first Milan Derby of the 2018-19 season takes place on Sunday with both teams coming in on good form. Inter has won six in a row in all comps, while also picking up a pair of victories in the UEFA Champions League group stage. Defensively, they have been strong as they’ve only conceded four goals during the winning run. Mauro Icardi (three goals) leads the dynamic attacking front for Inter, while Ivan Perisic is also a player to watch.

AC Milan is unbeaten in eight straight in all comps, last suffering defeat on Aug. 25th to Napoli. The arrival of Gonzalo Higuaín on-loan has been a huge success so far, with the Argentine scoring four goals in five matches in Serie A play. Spanish midfielder Suso is a deadly playmaker, totaling six assists this season as well. AC Milan last defeated their rivals in league play in Jan. 2016, and should put on a good showing.

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

Saturday

  • Roma vs. Spal
  • Juventus vs. Genoa
  • Udinese vs. Napoli

Sunday

  • Frosinone vs. Empoli
  • Bologna vs. Torino
  • Chievo Verona vs. Atalanta
  • Parma vs. Lazio
  • Fiorentina vs. Cagliari
  • Inter Milan vs. AC Milan

Monday

  • Sampdoria vs. Sassuolo

French Ligue 1

Ligue 1’s headliner comes on Sunday this weekend as Nice welcomes Marseille to the Allianz Riviera. Patrick Vieira’s side came into the international break, winning two of their last five matches. Currently sitting in 12th place, Nice will seek their first home win over Marseille since Sept. 2016. Allan Saint-Maximin is the man to watch in midfield, scoring two goals and adding one assist.

Marseille defeated Caen 2-0 prior to the week off and will be the favorites to get all three points. Florian Thauvin (seven goals) and Dimitri Payet (four goals) headline a dynamic attack who are always creating chances towards goal. 16 goals allowed is a small worry for Rudi Garcia’s side who sit in third, but with plenty of season to go expect that to get better.

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

Friday

  • Lyon vs. Rennes

Saturday

  • PSG vs. Amiens
  • Caen vs. Guingamp
  • Dijon vs. Lille
  • Nantes vs. Toulouse
  • Stade Reims vs. Angers
  • Strasbourg vs. AS Monaco

Sunday

  • Montpellier vs. Bordeaux
  • St. Etienne vs. Rennes
  • Nice vs. Marseille

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