Another weekend full of intriguing fixtures, including blockbusters from Portugal, Spain, Italy and England where Cristiano Ronaldo will be a conspicuous absentee.
Friday 9:15pm European time - Portuguese Primeira Liga
It’s one versus two in Portugal on Friday evening, with Benfica setting the early Primeira Liga pace with 25 points from nine games. Porto are three points behind, with the lead pair opening up a nice gap on the rest, with 2021 champions Sporting Lisbon appearing not to be contenders at this stage. Known as O Classico, Porto have won the past three encounters and not lost to the Eagles since 2019.
Saturday 6:30pm European time - English Premier League
All the talk over the past few days has been around Cristiano Ronaldo who will not be part of United’s team for this game, having left the substitutes’ bench early in their 2-0 midweek win over Tottenham. It’s easy to forget this is a blockbuster between two sides likely contending for the third or fourth UEFA Champions League spot in England, given their early season form. Chelsea have been better under Graham Potter but were held 0-0 by Brentford in midweek so the jury is still out.
Saturday 9pm European time - Spanish La Liga
Carlo Ancelotti’s Los Blancos are in the driver’s seat in La Liga after their Clasico win last weekend but they cannot afford any let ups with Barcelona right behind them. Sevilla are serial top-four contenders but they’ve started this campaign disastrously, leading to Julen Lopetegui’s dismissal. Jorge Sampaoli has come in and stabilised things, with Rojiblancos unbeaten in their past three and up to 12th but winning at the Santiago Bernabeu could really confirm their revival. They’ve got the talent.
Sunday 8:45pm European time - Italian Serie A
Any match involving Jose Mourinho brings drama and intrigue, but with the Portuguese’s Giallorossi taking on early pace-setters Napoli in the Italian capital, this game is must-watch viewing. Roma are also in fifth, fresh from winning three straight in Serie A but they have lost Paulo Dybala to injury in a major blow. Napoli are top of the table and the league’s top scorers with 25 goals from 10 games, plus they remain unbeaten. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has been a revelation for Napoli this term.
Sunday 9pm European time - Spanish La Liga
With Real playing on Saturday, the Blaugrana will know the equation to stay in touch. Barca’s Champions League disappointment along with last weekend’s Clasico defeat has created some pressure on Xavi and the visit of Bilbao is never easy. Los Leones are currently sixth, having failed to win in their past three games. Barca’s 3-0 midweek win over Villarreal relieved some pressure but they are amid a difficult run of fixtures, where something may give.