Football Article

Five Must-See Football Matches This Weekend

Five Must-See Football Matches This Weekend Photo: TT
Everton's captain Seamus Coleman (L) tries to prevent a cross from Liverpool's Sadio Mane (C) during the Premier League Merseyside Derby match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park

European club football returns this weekend following the international break with some massive derbies, while there’s plenty of selection doubts after numerous injuries and with the impact of coronavirus around the continent following travel.

Everton v Liverpool

Saturday 1:30pm European time - English Premier League

The English Premier League returns after the international break with arguably the most hotly anticipated Merseyside derby in years, with Everton currently on top of the table while champions Liverpool are coming off a stunning 7-2 loss to Aston Villa. Carlo Ancelotti’s side have enjoyed a perfect start to the new season, led by new signing James Rodriguez and top scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Liverpool have had some issues with coronavirus within their squad, but Sadio Mane has been declared available after testing positive before the last fixture but keeper Alisson Becker is ruled out with a shoulder issue.

Celtic v Rangers

Saturday 1:30pm European time - Scottish Premiership

The Old Firm takes centre stage in Scotland on Saturday afternoon when Celtic meet Rangers for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak, which forced the premature end of the 2019-20 Scottish Premiership season. The lack of crowd will create an eerie feeling to the derby, but don’t expect any shortage of tension, particularly with Rangers starting the season well, to sit a point ahead of Celtic, who have a game in hand. Alfredo Morelos is back from international duty in Colombia for Rangers, while Celtic may get Ryan Christie back despite being ordered to self isolate. Forward Odsonne Edouard is also in doubt for the Hoops.

Napoli v Atalanta Bergamo

Saturday 3pm European time - Italian Serie A

Early Serie A pace setters Atalanta make the trip south to Gennaro Gattuso’s Napoli on Saturday. Both sides have won all the games they’ve played this term but Napoli were hit with a 3-0 defeat and docked a point for their unplayed match against Juventus prior to the break, after two players had tested positive to COVID-19 and ensuing confusion around league rules. They’ll be eager to get back on the park but taking on an Atalanta side who’ve scored 13 goals in three games won’t be easy. The visitors have the league’s top scorer in Alejandro Gomez up front.

Inter Milan v AC Milan

Saturday 6pm European time - Italian Serie A

It’ll be a different Derby della Madonnina on Saturday, played without the backdrop of a massive crowd at the San Siro, even though there was talk of a potential 15,000 attendance a few weeks ago. Inter Milan have started the season positively with seven points from three games and 10 goals scored, while AC Milan have offered hope with a perfect start, with three wins from three matches. Milan keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma said during the week that the gap between the two has been narrowed, to add some extra spark. Alexis Sanchez is in some doubt for Inter after a reported injury with Chile during the international window.

Manchester City v Arsenal

Saturday 6:30pm European time - English Premier League

Last season’s runners-up Manchester City take on Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal who’ve started the new campaign well, with three wins from four games to sit inside the top four. City have stuttered with four points from three games and they won’t be helped by an injury to Kevin De Bruyne on international duty which has him in doubt, along with Raheem Sterling. Gunners skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has a sprained ankle too, so he’s also not certain to play. It is still very early in the season but Pep Guardiola will be keen to get all three points and usher away any extra pressure on City this term.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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