As the European football season rumbles on, SportsPundit looks forward to five of the biggest matches that will be played out over this weekend.
Roma are the only club in the Italian top flight who have yet to drop a single point in the first six rounds of the championship, while Inter Milan are four points behind them in fourth. The clash at the San Siro on Saturday evening is a mouth-watering one indeed, with both teams flying high and playing some wonderful football. Rudi Garcia’s Roma have conceded just one goal and scored an incredible 17, while Walter Mazzarri’s Nerazzurri have yet to lose a match and have scored 16 times. The clash in Milan promises to be an intriguing one, and one that could potentially become a goalfest.
Juventus may be third in Serie A with 16 points from six matches, just two worse off leaders Roma, but Antonio Conte’s side have shown some signs of losing momentum over the past week of so. Their dramatic 2-2 draw against Galatasaray in midweek has left their hopes dangling by a thread in the Champions League, although Milan have hardly been impressive, the Rossoneri will be looking to take advantage of the Bianconeri’s blip in Turin on Sunday. Milan always turn up on the big occasion, although with the suspended Mario Balotelli, coach Massimiliano Allegri will have to conjure up something very special to pick up maximum points at the Stadio Olimpico. A win for Milan and a draw between Inter Milan and Roma will pull the former right back into the Scudetto race.
Marseille vs. Paris Saint-Germain, French Ligue 1, Sunday 2100CET
At the start of the 2013-14 Ligue 1 season, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco were considered the main challengers for the title, while Marseille were being held as outside bets. However, with every passing week OM are looking more and more like they could push PSG and Monaco hard for the championship. Heading into Sunday’s clash at the Stade Velodrome, Marseille find themselves third in the league table with 17 points from eight matches, while PSG are second but only a point in front. These two are traditional French rivals and a win for either could prove to be damaging for the losers.
Bayern Munich are the runaway favourites not just for the Bundesliga but also for the Champions League. So it is a very positive sign (for the neutrals, at least) to find that Pep Guardiola’s side are actually sandwiched between Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen in second place in the standings with 19 points from seven matches. Bayer are a point behind them in third place and they could earn themselves a huge confidence-booster should they get the better of the Bavarian giants at the BayArena. It will not be an easy task, though, given that Bayern have yet to lose in any competition this season.
Trabzonspor are not traditionally considered one of the giants of Turkish football, but in recent years they have started to push the big three – Fenerbahce, Galatasaray and Besiktas. So when they take on Fenerbahce away from home on Sunday, they will have a good chance of winning the match and enhancing the chances of winning the championship this term. Mustafa Resit Akcay’ side are currently fourth in the table with 12 points from six matches, but they are just three points behind leaders Fenerbahce.