Five Must-See Matches 22/9 - 23/9
It’s a huge weekend of European football, with the English Premier League providing a bonanza of action on Sunday, while there’s huge games in Germany, Spain and Italy too.
The English champions take on Arsene Wenger’s Gunners in a massive clash on Sunday afternoon, with both clubs starting the new campaign reasonably well. This match will teach us plenty. Both sides have eight points so far, with two wins and two draws although Arsenal’s defence has been far tighter, conceding just once. The Gunners also won in midweek away to Montpellier while City suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Real Madrid which may be hard to recover from. Plenty at stake, much to learn.
Two of German football’s genuine giants go head to head in Gelsenkirchen on Saturday, with Schalke playing host to in-form early leaders Bayern. The Bavarians have brushed all who’ve come their way aside this term, with 12 goals in three Bundesliga matches, including three from new man Mario Mandzukic. Schalke haven’t been as impressive, but they’ve still grabbed seven points so far and produced a fine midweek Champions League win over Olympiacos in midweek with Klaas Jan Huntelaar scoring.
One of English football’s greatest rivalries resumes on Sunday with the added spice of Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra’s public furore, although the latter may not play. The stakes are huge for Brendan Rodgers’ Reds who are still winless this Premier League season with just two points from four fixtures, including a loss to Arsenal and draw with Manchester City. United found their groove last week, crushing Wigan 4-0, with Robin van Persie likely to lead the line, although ex-Everton man Wayne Rooney misses the Merseyside trip due to injury.
These two finished third and second in Serie A respectively last term but things have changed quite suddenly for them both. Udinese, who failed to reach the Uefa Champions League group stage, are languishing down in 17th with just one point from three league games, while Milan have only picked up three points so far, suffering two shock defeats, while their midweek goalless home draw with Anderlecht will hardly inspire. Nor will rumours of a training ground bust-up. Big stakes.
The Spanish champions’ awful start to the season looked set to continue in midweek when they trailed Manchester City 2-1 late on in the Champions League but they fought back to win the contest. Now Jose Mourinho and matchwinner Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to build on that and their points tally of four points from four games this La Liga season on the road to Rayo, who have started the season well up in sixth without conceding a goal at home so far.
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