Let’s go again then.
This weekend’s five selections span from Saturday morning to Monday evening and there should be some thrilling clashes among the quintet. With the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A all represented, there will be a diverse serving of soccer to get stuck into too.
All kick offs are in Eastern time. Enjoy your weekend and enjoy the games!
West Ham United vs. Manchester City
Saturday, October 24, 7:30 a.m. ET, Peacock Premium (free trial)
West Ham’s strong early-season form has been one of the biggest surprises of the Premier League so far and they’ll approach this showdown with Manchester City with no fear.
The Hammers showed incredible resolve in their previous outing, somehow fighting back from three goals down to snatch a 3-3 draw with Tottenham Hotspur. While it’s still early days in the season, Manuel Lanzini’s dramatic goal deep into added time will take some topping as goal of the season.
City have yet to hit their stride completely. although there were some small signs in midweek that they are beginning to find a rhythm. Sergio Aguero grabbed his first goal of the season in the 3-1 win over Porto and if he finds a goalscoring touch then it’ll bring a different edge to City’s play.
Pep Guardiola’s side romped to a 5-0 win at the London Stadium on the opening day of the previous campaign. Given the way David Moyes’ side are performing at the moment, this should be a much tighter affair.
Barcelona vs. Real Madrid
A Clásico clash between Barcelona and Real Madrid is always one of the highlights of the European season. However, both sides are in peculiar form going into the showdown at the Camp Nou.
Real Madrid have particularly struggled. In La Liga last weekend they were stunned on home soil by newly-promoted Cadiz, losing 1-0; they backed that up with another disappointing home defeat in the Champions League, as Shakhtar Donetsk were able to score a memorable 3-2 win.
The pressure is on manager Zinedine Zidane as a result and it looks as though he will be without talismanic skipper Sergio Ramos for the trip to Barcelona too. If they are to take anything from this match then a huge improvement will be needed on Saturday.
Barcelona also lost their last domestic match, away at Getafe, although they were able to build some momentum with a 5-1 over Ferencvaros. New manager Ronald Koeman has yet to completely convince since taking the job in the summer and a win over the Blaugrana’s bitterest rivals would be key in earning some early favor.
Manchester United vs. Chelsea
Fresh from a memorable in over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, Manchester United host Chelsea at Old Trafford on Saturday in the game of the Premier League weekend.
After their 6-1 humiliation at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur, United have responded well. A late surge at Newcastle saw them to a 4-1 win, while their success in Paris on Tuesday night was one of their best performances since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took charge.
The worry for United supporters going into this weekend is that the team currently looks a lot more assured away from Old Trafford. That’s something that will offer encouragement to Blues boss Frank Lampard, as he will feel he has the players to expose what’s been an uncertain Red Devils defense on occasion.
Lampard would have been pleased to see his team keep an overdue clean sheet in midweek too, as they drew 0-0 with Sevilla in the Champions League. The onus will be on the attacking talent signed in the summer—Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech—to inject some fear back into United though.
Borussia Dortmund vs. Schalke 04
Saturday, October 24, 12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+
The Revierderby took centre stage earlier in the year, when the eyes of the footballing world were on Dortmund and Schalke as the Bundesliga restarted. Schalke will want to acquit themselves much better this time around than they did that day.
Dortmund have looked a lot more vulnerable this time round. Lazio were able to secure a comfortable win over them in the Champions League, with Lucien Favre’s side lacking intensity in their defensive play and any real ingenuity in attack. Given the players at his disposal, that’ll be a concern for Dortmund fans.
In the Bundesliga, they’ve had a decent start, registering three wins and a draw. And while there’s always an edge when these two rivals meet, given Schalke’s form as of late they may represent the perfect opponent for Dortmund to bounce back.
Since the restart of the Bundesliga last season, Schalke have looked like relegation candidates and they are loitering down in 17th place in the standings. Should they suffer a heavy defeat this weekend then there’s every chance Manuel Baum’s team will be bottom of the pile come Sunday night.
Milan vs. Roma
Monday, October 26, 3:45 p.m. ET, ESPN+
AC Milan have enjoyed a stellar start to the 2020-21 season and will want to continue building momentum against Roma on Monday.
Both sides were in action in the Europa League on Thursday, which is why the clash has been put back. They both secured wins on the road too, with Milan downing Celtic and Roma getting the better of Young Boys.
In terms of their league form, Milan have won four from four. Having dispatched three sides they would have been expected to get the better of, their 2-1 win over rivals Inter Milan last weekend felt like a huge step forward, especially with star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic producing a virtuoso display at the point of the attack.
Roma have been a mixed bag in Serie A so far this term, but showed the firepower they do possess when they smashed Benevento 5-2. They need to find more consistency to mount a serious push for European places this season though.
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