Soak it up. Soak it all up. It’s that time again, the weekend before an international break. Soak up the domestic soccer from around the world.
It’s a weekend that’ll inevitably lead us to wanting more too. In the Premier League the defending champions host the favorites for glory this term in what will potentially be one of the most important and entertaining matches of the season.
Elsewhere, first meets third in France and first meets second in Portugal in matches that bookend the weekend. Our other two selections include big names from Germany and Italy seeking to ignite their season after slow starts.
All kick offs are in Eastern time. Enjoy your weekend and enjoy the games!
A 3-0 win over Bayern Munich in midweek represented a huge statement for PSG after their summer of massive investment. They’ll get back to the grind of Ligue 1 against an impressive Bordeaux side on Saturday.
Dani Alves, Edinson Cavani and Neymar were all on the scoresheet in midweek, as the French giants swept Munich aside. The attacking potency of the latter duo alongside Kylian Mbappe gave Bayern so many issues in the final third and every time that trio takes to the field they’re a treat to watch.
Last time out in Ligue 1 the Parisians did get a little complacent and without Neymar they slumped to a 0-0 draw at Montpellier. And while they’ll always be favourites to win at the Parc des Princes, in Bordeaux they have an obdurate opponent to overcome.
So far they’re unbeaten in their seven matches in Ligue 1 and in young Brazilian forward Malcom—who has three goals and four assists this term—the visitors have one of the stars of 2017-18 on their books. Sides like Bordeaux, who can approach this game knowing there’s little for them to lose, will potentially be dangerous for PSG.
Stamford Bridge will be the venue for the most intriguing match of the Premier League season so far on Saturday, as champions Chelsea host the favorites to win this year’s crown in Manchester City.
Excitement would have been high ahead of this fixture anyway, but Chelsea’s performance at Atletico Madrid in the Champions League epitomised a team at total ease with their identity. A 2-1 victory at the Wanda Metropolitano was their standout display of the season, with Michy Batshuayi snatching a crucial late winner.
There’ll be so much confidence bristling among Antonio Conte’s players, though if possible, the visitors may even be in higher spirits. City have won their last six games in all competitions, scoring 24 goals in the process and conceding just one. When Pep Guardiola’s side settle into an attacking groove, they’re tough to stop.
Early last term Chelsea travelled to City and produced an away performance that cemented their credentials as favorites in the race for the Premier League title. City, on the turf of the current holders, will believe they have what’s required to do exactly the same here.
For the first time in a long time at Bayern, the players will be under pressure this weekend. Hertha Berlin will hope to capitalize on their illustrious opponent’s stuttering form.
It’s undoubtedly been a week to forget for the German champions. On Friday they flung away a 2-0 lead against Wolfsburg on home soil, drawing 2-2 and allowing Borussia Dortmund to extend their advantage at the top of the table. But that result was followed up with a heavy 3-0 loss to PSG in the Champions League.
That’s not like Bayern. Typically this team finds a way to bounce back after shock results, though they were timid and disjointed against their Parisian opponents. While the absence of injured goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is a huge blow to the team, those who follow the Bavarians are right to expect more from this illustrious crop of players.
They won’t get it all their own way against Hertha Berlin either and it’ll be intriguing to see what state the visitors are in after a mentally and physically draining week. The capital outfit have struggled for consistency so far this term, with two wins, two draws and two defeats from their six games.
AC MILAN vs. ROMA
Sunday, October 1, 12 p.m. ET, beIN SPORTS Connect and fuboTV
AC Milan need a big result to kickstart their 2017-18 campaign and a home showdown with Roma at the San Siro may be the perfect tonic.
If the big-spending Rossoneri are going to get one over their opponents then it’s vital they improve their standards. Last weekend Milan were nothing short of appalling in a 2-0 defeat to Sampdoria, as Vincenzo Montella’s team were unable to conjure any chances of note in the game. Already talk of a crisis is brewing.
Indeed, while there would have undoubtedly been an understanding that this team will take time to gel after so many additions in the window, Milan fans would have anticipated a little more from their players. Perhaps a home game against a potential rival for a Champions League place will bring the best from them.
Roma have been performing quietly well in Serie A with wins in their last three games and a 2-1 victory over Qarabag in midweek represented another sign of progress. Worryingly for Milan, the Giallorossi’s star forward Edin Dzeko appears to have rediscovered his touch in front of goal too, with six netted in his last four.
SPORTING CP vs. PORTO
Sunday, October 1, 2:15 p.m. ET, GolTV and fuboTV
The standout sides in the Portuguese top flight so far go head-to-head on Sunday, with Sporting hosting a Porto team with a perfect domestic record.
Porto not only head into this encounter having built up momentum in their Primeira Liga fixtures, but in the UEFA Champions League they were exceptional in midweek. Sergio Conceicao’s team were sensational away at Monaco, putting in a stunning counter-attacking performance to beat the French champions 3-0.
You sense a similar gameplan will be adopted here when they make the trip to Lisbon to face their nearest challengers at the top of the table. Sporting performed to a decent standard themselves in midweek, but were eventually beaten 1-0 by Barcelona after a Sebastian Coates own goal.
This game against their divisional rivals will be an entirely different contest. And given Sporting can move to the top of the table with a victory, expect the Estadio Jose Alvalade to be abuzz with excitement and hostility when these two take to the field.
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