Another bumper weekend of football action is upon us. Here are the 10 most interesting matches to look forward to.
Saturday September 24
1. Manchester United vs Leicester City
The point that won the championship for Leicester last season. Then there is Mourinho vs Ranieri. When it comes to the football, this match should enable us to get a clear picture of where these squads lie and somewhat determine their realistic aims for the season.
2. Eintracht Frankfurt vs Hertha Berlin
Fourth vs Fifth in the Bundesliga. While it’s unlikely that these two will hold their current positions, both clubs have played some quality football so far, which should make for a good watch.
3. Arsenal vs Chelsea
Contrary to the vibes in pre-season, Arsenal come into this game looking more settled than Chelsea. Will the wise head of Wenger prevail against the new energy of Conte? A fascinating watch awaits in this London Derby!
4. Athletic Bilbao vs Sevilla
Their Europa League quarterfinal last season was a classic. Emotions from that tie linger. Athletic are finding their form while Sevilla are second in the table. Will the Basque side get their revenge? Will the side from Andalusia finally get an away win??
5. Besiktas vs Galatasaray
The Istanbul Derby needs no introduction. The stakes are high this time around, as the two rivals are unbeaten and on the same points, with only goal difference keeping the hosts ahead in second.
6. Las Palmas vs Real Madrid
The team from the Canary Islands have been a revelation in 2016. This was one of Zinedine Zidane’s toughest away matches in his first campaign. Should be a close match again as both teams look to move on from disappointing midweek results.
7. Napoli vs Chievo
Napoli underwhelmed in their goalless draw at Genoa, but will look to get back on track against Serie A’s surprise team so far in Chievo. The intricate passing of Marek Hamsik and Valter Birsa should be a delight to watch as they try to give their teams the advantage.
Sunday September 25
8. Hoffenheim vs Schalke 04
Four games and four draws for Hoffenheim. Four games and four losses for Schalke 04. Both teams are desperate for their first win. Nagelsmann and Weinzierl are under pressure and something has to give! Nerves will play a part, but expect goals the way these two defences have operated so far.
9. Cologne vs RB Leipzig
Peter Stoger’s men are second in the table, playing some excellent football as witnessed in their midweek win at Schalke. The Leipzig momentum had a bit of a stutter as a result of their home draw in midweek. Nevertheless, a chance to join their hosts at the higher end of the table should make for an exciting match between two counter attacking teams led by understated managers.
10. Fiorentina vs AC Milan
This is always one of Serie A’s must see fixtures and it should be no different this time. Milan are finding some form after two wins and two clean sheets, while La Viola need a win to join the race for Europe. The Artemio Franchi is always bouncing and never more so, than when one of the big teams visit. Should be a cracker!