After another midweek of UEFA Champions League and Europa League action there’s a few heavyweight clashes this weekend led by Manchester United taking on Arsenal, although it’s not quite the same without Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.
Borussia Moenchengladbach v RB Leipzig
Saturday 6:30pm European time - German Bundesliga
Two of last season’s Bundesliga top four meet in the late Saturday kick-off in Germany as Borussia Moenchengladbach welcome RB Leipzig. The visitors are fresh from a 5-0 walloping from Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League and will have their tails between their legs, desperate for a response. Leipzig are currently top of the Bundesliga, collecting 13 points from a possible 15 and conceding only three goals. Gladbach are sixth and unbeaten in their past four matches. This match looms as a real test of the incumbent league leaders, with Julian Nagelsmann last week introducing Justin Kluivert and Alexander Sorloth.
Ajax Amsterdam v Fortuna Sittard
Saturday 8pm European time - Dutch Eredivisie
We don’t normally nominate uneven match-ups like this, but Ajax Amsterdam’s record-breaking 13-0 rout of VVV Venlo last weekend grabbed a lot of global attention. The thing is VVV are four spots above Ajax’s upcoming opponents, Fortuna Sittard, who are currently bottom of the Eredivisie. If Erik ten Hag’s men are in the mood again, could we see something equally ugly? Lassina Traore netted four goals against VVV but the most impressive part of the Ajax win was that seven different players hit the scoresheet, meaning there’s no shortage of threat. For Fortuna, who’ve shipped 15 goals in six games, that stat will only send shudders.
Sunday 5:30pm European time - English Premier League
Manchester United may be flying in the UEFA Champions League but they’ve not been able to replicate that in the Premier League this season, coming into this clash with old rivals Arsenal sitting down in 15th with seven points from five games. The Gunners started well but have lost three of their past four matches to slump down to 11th, so there’s plenty at stake for both clubs. Marcus Rashford netted a hat-trick for United in midweek and he’ll be needed with Anthony Martial still out suspended, while Edinson Cavani is not yet up to speed. Arsenal won 3-0 over Irish club Dundalk in the Europa League on Thursday but rested some key players including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Sunday 6pm European time - Italian Serie A
To the uninitiated Serie A fan, this match doesn’t seem like much on paper, but it’s actually a showdown between second-placed Napoli and third-placed Sassuolo who are unbeaten after five matches. For all the praise heaped on Atalanta’s attacking line-up, Sassuolo have actually scored the most goals in Serie A this season, with 16 strikes in five games, led by Francesco Caputo. In recent times, Napoli have always been considered one of the contenders, although winning a Scudetto has eluded them since Diego Maradona’s days. Gennaro Gattuso may have high aspirations this term, with plenty expected of Dries Mertens and Hirving Lozano.
Lille v Olympique Lyon
Sunday 9pm European time - French Ligue 1
Second-placed and undefeated Lille welcome last season’s UEFA Champions League semi-finalists Olympique Lyon in Ligue 1’s glamour Sunday night kick-off. Christophe Galtier’s Lille has only conceded three goals in eight league matches this term and despite a 2-2 home draw with Celtic in the Europa League on Thursday, they’re a form side. Lyon have had a few lean years but their standards and are down in sixth currently, but unbeaten across their past five games. Rudi Garcia’s side possess some dangerous attacking options led by Memphis Depay and Karl Toko Ekambi.