The new Italian Serie A and Spanish La Liga seasons commence this weekend, while there’s some key clashes for big clubs headlined by Manchester United.
Saturday 5:30pm European time - Italian Serie A
Italian champions Milan host Udinese on the opening weekend of the Serie A season, boosted by the off-season additions of Charles De Ketalaere and Divock Origi. Inter Milan and Juventus have been installed as the title favourites despite Milan ending their wait for a Scudetto last term. Stefano Pioli’s side cannot be underestimated, given last season’s efforts but they have lost Franck Kessie to Barcelona and Zlatan Ibrahimovic is out injured.
Saturday 5:30pm European time - English Premier League
The pressure has been on United all week after Erik ten Hag’s first-up 2-1 home defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion where the Red Devils struggled. Cristiano Ronaldo was used off the bench but may need to be in the starting line-up. The trip to Brentford also marks Christian Eriksen’s return to the club who gave him a second chance last season. The Bees fought back from 2-0 down to claim a 2-2 draw at Leicester City to open their season, which was a decent result. But the intrigue is all about United’s response to last weekend.
Saturday 8pm European time - Spanish La Liga
La Liga resumes this weekend and there’s been a lot of hype around Barcelona this off-season as they’ve made a splash in the transfer market despite their financial challenges. In fact, there’s uncertainty about whether Barca can register all of their signings, including Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie, in time for Saturday’s game against Vallecano who finished 12th last season. But it’s likely we’ll see Robert Lewandowski in action in Barca colours for the first time along with Raphinha and Jules Kounde.
Sunday 4:30pm European time - English Premier League
Sunday marks a London derby, with both the Blues and Spurs starting the season with wins last weekend. Chelsea got past Everton 1-0 at Goodison Park while Tottenham came from a goal down to win 4-1 over Southampton. The Blues have been linked with plenty of players in the transfer market, with Timo Werner exiting for RB Leipzig in midweek, but for the time being they’re going to need to make do with their current lot. Raheem Sterling will likely make his home debut.
Sunday 4:30pm European time - German Bundesliga
German champions Bayern Munich will play at home for the first time this league season against Wolfsburg, who were top-four contenders last term. Wolfsburg opened their new campaign with a 2-2 home draw against newly-promoted Werder Bremen, while Bayern smashed Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt 6-1, even without the departed Robert Lewandowski, with Sadio Mane scoring on his Bundesliga debut. Former Bayern boss Niko Kovac leads Wolfsburg nowadays in a nice twist too.