As the European football season rumbles on, SportsPundit looks forward to five of the biggest matches that will be played out over this weekend.
On paper, Real Madrid should have no problem in dispatching of a Real Sociedad side who are struggling in La Liga having collected just 17 points from 12 matches. However, this is an encounter that is steeped in history as Basque giants Sociedad will be eager to put one over Carlo Ancelotti’s side. Los Blancos cannot afford to lose the fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu as they could potentially fall nine points behind arch-rivals and league leaders Barcelona, while La Real would enjoy spoiling the adversaries’ campaign so early in the season.
The gap between the top team and the 12th-placed side in the Dutch Eredivisie at the moment is just seven points, so victory in this fixture will be crucial for either side. AZ Alkmaar are just a point clear at the top of the table with Feyenoord two points behind in fourth place. Feyenoord will have an advantage as they are the home side, but AZ are on a high and will be confident of picking up something in Rotterdam.
Arsenal are flying high having made a great start to the season both in the Premier League and in the Champions League, while Manchester United are stuttering under new manager David Moyes. However, Old Trafford remains a fortress and United have a great team, which means that Gunners cannot get complacent. Arsene Wenger’s side are five points clear at the top of the league table, but a victory for the Red Devils will edge them closer to their rivals.
Olympiakos vs. PAOK Salonika, Greek Super League, Sunday 18.30CET
It’s first versus second in the Greek first division on Sunday when Olympiakos host PAOK Salonika. The home side have picked up 28 points from 10 matches, while their visitors are just three points behind them. Olympiakos are still unbeaten in the league, having won nine of their 10 matches, scoring 30 goals and conceding just three in the process. A home win looks likely, but Salonika could spring a surprise as going level with the rivals on points would be a huge motivation.
Juventus and Napoli both have picked up 28 points from 11 matches in Serie A and their clash at the Stadio Olimpico in Turin on Sunday is going to be electric. These are two of the most entertaining sides in the Italian top flight and their meeting promises to be hugely entertaining. The duo are three points behind leaders Roma and win for either would take them at least to sole second.