Football Across Europe: August 26-27 | Arsenal Visit Anfield

Premier League (England)

Heading into Match Week 3 in England, there are usual suspects (Man United) and some new faces (Huddersfield Town) atop the table, with all possible six points in hand, joined by West Brom. West Ham sits in the cellar, having conceded seven goals through the first 180 minutes of the season. Chelsea responded to their dreadful start with a big win over London rivals Spurs last week. Here are our favorite matches this weekend, including Sunday’s clash between Liverpool and Arsenal.

Manchester United vs. Leicester City: With back-to-back 4-0 wins, nobody is flying higher to start the season than Manchester United. Summer signing Romelu Lukaku is scoring goals, the defense has yet to concede, and former Chelsea man Nemanja Matic has looked like the key in midfield, allowing Paul Pogba to show off his great skill. But with wins over injury-depleted West Ham and Swansea, the test may get tougher when Leicester come to Old Trafford on Saturday. The Foxes are coming in on the heels of a 2-0 win over promotion side Brighton & Hove after their heartbreaking last-minute 3-4 loss to Arsenal in the opening match of the season.

Chelsea vs. Everton: The defending champions rebounded last weekend with a needed win over Spurs in a match that could have left them with no points coming into the third weekend of play. Though they had less than 40% possession, Chelsea‘s defense held stout, with the only Spurs goal an own goal from Michy Batshuayi. Fullback Marcos Alonso provided both Chelsea goals. On Sunday, Everton come to Stamford Bridge. Key men Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kanté will look to lead a convincing display against the Toffees who come in with a win and a draw away to Manchester City on Monday, with new striker Wayne Rooney scoring in both. He’ll look to lead the Merseyside club to make an even louder statement that they are to be taken seriously this season by beating the reigning champs in their home.

Liverpool vs. Arsenal: The Gunners of Arsenal visit Anfield on Sunday to take on Liverpool. After a thrilling 4-3 comeback win to open the season, Arsenal looked flat in a 1-0 loss to Stoke last weekend. They should have star man Alexis Sánchez fit and on the pitch, though, joining Mesut Özil and the rest of the Arsenal attack who will look to make Liverpool pay for its high-pressing attacking style. The Reds must avoid an emotional letdown after securing advancement to this season’s Champions League group stage with a win over German side Hoffenheim midweek. Though it’s looking increasingly likely that the dangerous midfielder will remain on Merseyside, Liverpool will once again be without star player Philippe Coutinho and fellow midfielder Adam Lallana, further limiting manager Jürgen Klopp’s options should he look to shuffle his XI for fresh legs.

La Liga (Spain)


Alavés vs. Barcelona: It was an emotional opening match at the Camp Nou for Barcelona last weekend in the wake of the recent terror attack. The Catalan club won, though Lionel Messi, looking for his 350th La Liga goal, was denied, hitting the post three times. He will be looking to hit another historic milestone against an Alavés club who lost their opener on the road, but will be looking to spring the upset in front of home fans at the Estadio Mendizorrotza.

Real Madrid vs. Valencia: The title defense for Real Madrid got off on the right foot last week with a 3-0 win on the road over Deportivo. Though Cristiano Ronaldo remained suspended, Gareth Bale, Casemiro, and Toni Kroos all found net. They return home this weekend to open the season at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in front of their home fans.  Los Blancos will be without Ronaldo once again, as well as Sergio Ramos, who picked up a red card in the waning moments of last weekend’s match. Valencia comes to town with a win under their belt but will have to rise to the challenge of considerably tougher competition this weekend.

Bundesliga (Germany)


Werder Bremen vs. Bayern Munich: It was a 3-1 win for defending champs Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena last Friday in the Bundesliga opener, but manager Carlo Ancelotti could not have been pleased. Despite the scoring, including a Robert Lewandowski goal from the spot, they conceded 50% possession and 16 shots to Bayer Leverkusen. They hit the road this weekend, heading to the Weserstadion to take on hosts Werder Bremen who started their season last weekend with a 1-0 loss to Hoffenheim, though they were six minutes away from a point. They will need a similarly stout defensive effort against the German champions.

Serie A (Italy)


Genoa vs. Juventus: The Italian champs Juventus opened their title defense campaign at home in dominating fashion last weekend. Stars Mario Mandzukic, Paolo Dybala, and Gonzalo Higuaín all scored as The Old Lady dispatched Cagliari with ease. This week they travel to Genoa, who fought Sassuolo to a goalless draw last weekend and return to the home crowd in the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. Manager Ivan Juric will be looking for his squad to pull the upset as Juventus will be looking to keep showing why they are the giants of Italian football.

Roma vs. Inter Milan: It’s a clash of two iconic Italian teams as Inter Milan travel to the Stadio Olimpico to take on Roma. Inter opened their season at the San Siro with a 3-0 win over Fiorentina last weekend, while Roma were 1-0 victors away to Atalanta. This season, both clubs will be looking to put more pressure on Juventus at the top of the table and will see this match as a major test. Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi is the new Roma captain, inheriting the armband from the long-time and legendary Roma star Francesco Totti.



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