Following the international break we return to club football this weekend and there’s plenty of intrigue as we see huge matches in England, Italy, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.
Sports Pundit’s Game of the Weekend
English Premier League, 1.45pm (Central European Time)
England’s two genuine giants face off in Saturday’s early kick-off in the Premier League which is sure to stir plenty of emotion, after United overtook the Reds last term as the club who’ve won the most league titles.
Indeed, it’s been a lean past two decades for the Reds, but with Kenny Dalglish now at the helm there is renewed optimism. The Reds are currently sitting fifth and haven’t started the season poorly by any means, with Luis Suarez, Charlie Adam and Andy Carroll looking good. United, on the other hand, have 19 points from a possible 21 this season and look the goods, although Wayne Rooney still holds the key. With Rooney returning to the Merseyside, there’s also some extra flavour there too.
German Bundesliga, Friday 8.30pm (CET)
In Germany, two of the Bundesliga big clubs face off in a Friday evening thriller at Bremen’s Weserstadion.
Werder, who struggled last term, will be looking to maintain their bright early season form, while reigning champions Dortmund have had a slow start to the new campaign and need to get going with Bayern motoring away at the summit. Werder are currently second with Claudio Pizarro firing, while Dortmund are on the improve down in sixth.
Dutch Eredivisie, Saturday 6.45pm
The Dutch champions take on the early Eredivisie leaders in Saturday’s first match as a new round kicks off in the Netherlands.
And Ajax come into the game in some poor form having won just one of their past six matches in all competitions, that being a Dutch Cup clash with lower league Noordwijk, while AZ are flying having won their past six Eredivisie matches. Rasmus Elm has been lethal from set-pieces while Brett Holman has been full of energy in attack too. Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, who left AZ for Ajax in the off-season, is out of this game due to injury and won’t be back until the new year, meaning there’s some issues for the champions and this game could come at the wrong time for them.
Spanish La Liga, Sunday 6pm (CET)
Spain’s top four usually features Barcelona and Real Madrid, but seldom is the pair joined by Levante and Malaga, however that’s the case early this season.
Levante have surprised all to be unbeaten and second after six matches, while big-spending Malaga are up to fourth after a decent start to the new campaign. Many are expecting Levante to slowly slide away while Malaga could push for a top four berth given their financial might. Levante have only conceded three goals this term, meaning Malaga’s hitmen like Ruud van Nistelrooy and Julio Baptista will have their work cut out for them. Santi Cazorla holds the key for Malaga.
Italian Serie A, Sunday 8.45pm (CET)
Sunday’s late kick-off in Italy brings a Rome derby, with seventh-placed Lazio facing off against sixth-placed AS Roma. The fact these two are sitting next to one another on the table right now, suggests they are fairly evenly matched.
Lazio were surprise packets last term in finishing fifth and with Miroslav Klose and Djibril Cisse adding some real quality to their attack this campaign, there is a chance they can break into the top four. Roma, meanwhile, started the season slowly under Luis Enrique, but have won their past two league matches and appear to be finding their stride.