In recent years Serie A has shed its reputation as a league of defensively-minded and one-paced soccer. Now the Italian top flight is packed with enterprising and aesthetic outfits, and with so many illustrious names in the division, regular big-name clashes.
This weekend there are three of those. One sees the Italian champions against one of the league’s rising forces, another sees the two most likely challengers to the division’s dominant force go head-to-head, while on Sunday it’s a city derby like no other.
While the spotlight will be on the Scudetto over the coming days, there are also huge matches to savour from the Premier League and La Liga too; meetings between two teams from different cities with very different opinions on football.
All kick-off times are in Eastern time. Enjoy your weekend and enjoy the games.
Those who doubt the credentials of this version of Manchester United will tell you they’ve yet to be adequately tested in the Premier League so far this season. After Saturday, when they visit Anfield to face Liverpool, that’ll no longer be the case.
Spurred on by the passion and determination from their supporters, it’s easy to see Liverpool clattering out of the traps in this encounter and giving United’s defence plenty to ponder. Even though Sadio Mane is sidelined, the pace of Mohamed Salah, guile of Philippe Coutinho and intelligence of Roberto Firmino makes the Reds so tough to tame.
United have the tools to contain Liverpool better than most. Even without Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic can lock a game down in midfield, whereas the centre-back partnership of Phil Jones and Eric Bailly is blossoming. Plus, they have arguably the world’s best goalkeeper between the sticks in David De Gea.
Additionally, United have the firepower to expose Liverpool’s defensive hesitancies, with Romelu Lukaku in red-hot form and brilliantly supported by the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. If the Red Devils don’t get gifted chances by their hosts, the quality is there to prise Liverpool apart.
JUVENTUS VS. LAZIO
Saturday, October 14, 12 p.m. ET, beIN SPORTS Connect (live), beIN SPORTS (joined in progress at 12:15pm), fubo Premier (free 7-day trial)
For the first time in a long time it feels as though Juventus have a serious challenge for their title in Serie A. That extra competitiveness in the division makes games like this against Lazio so important.