The German Bundesliga and Italian Serie A commence their 2020-21 seasons this weekend, while some big clubs are also in action along with an early season English Premier League blockbuster.
Friday 8:30pm European time - German Bundesliga
Reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich commence their 2020-21 less than a month after they won the UEFA Champions League final. Most of Bayern’s squad skipped the recent internationals to get a rest ahead of the new campaign. Leroy Sane is Bayern’s big new signing from Manchester City across the brief off-season, so given his past with Schalke, that makes this an interesting match-up. The Royal Blues were way down in 12th last term but David Wagner is building something and he’s made numerous changes including the acquisition of veteran Vedad Ibisevic.
Borussia Dortmund v Borussia Moenchengladbach
Saturday 6:30pm European time - German Bundesliga
Last season’s Bundesliga runners-up Borussia Dortmund will host last term’s fourth-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach on the opening weekend of the new campaign. Lucien Favre’s Dortmund have added Jude Bellingham, Reinier and Thomas Meunier in the off-season while star striker Erling Haaland has had his first pre-season with the club after his January move. Gladbach were strong last term and manager Marco Rose has added Austrian pair Hannes Wolf and Valentino Lazaro to compliment their line-up.
Saturday 8:45pm European time - Italian Serie A
The new Italian Serie A season starts this weekend, with champions Juventus playing host to Claudio Ranieri’s Sampdoria. The match is new Juve boss Andrea Pirlo’s first in charge, ushering in a new era for the Old Lady, who are gunning for their 10th consecutive title. There’s been some change since Pirlo’s arrival, with Arthur signed from Barcelona while Gonzalo Higuain, Miralem Pjanic and Blaise Matuidi have left. Ranieri took over at Sampdoria last October, guiding the side to 15th and he’ll be buoyed by more time to mould his squad.
Sunday 5:30pm European time - English Premier League
Big-spending Chelsea takes on champions Liverpool in an early English Premier League blockbuster which will reveal a lot about both clubs. Chelsea won 3-1 on Monday in their opening 2020-21 fixture, while the Reds got past newly promoted Leeds United 4-3, although boss Jurgen Klopp won’t be happy with their defensive display. New Blues signing Timo Werner looms large, after failing to score on his debut along countryman Kai Havertz, while Liverpool are expected to sign Thiago Alcantara but the deal is unlikely to go through in time for this match.
Sunday 9pm European time - Spanish La Liga
The new Spanish La Liga started last weekend but neither of the big pair Barcelona or Real Madrid were in action, but Zinedine Zidane’s side will resume on Sunday away to Real Sociedad. The hosts finished last season in sixth to qualify for Europe under Imanol Alguacil, so they’re a dangerous first-up opponent. Real will largely utilise the same squad from last term with no major signings while a few fringe players have left. Eden Hazard is battling an ankle issue for Real while Martin Odegaard provides an interesting subplot, given he’s back with Madrid after a loan spell at Sociedad although he’s an injury doubt.