And it returns. Club football returns after the international break. Different teams will welcome back that wantaway player who didn’t get his move away. For those who got the move away their new team will be looking to give them their debuts as they begin the task of justifying whatever amounts their clubs paid. Across various leagues we present five interesting ties to look out for today and tomorrow.
Manchester City vs Liverpool (Saturday, 12:30PM)
After the drubbing of Arsenal before the international break, Liverpool will hope their edge hasn’t been blunted by the break. Against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, Liverpool have a different opposition, one difficult to steamroll. Manchester City on seven points, had to dig deep to get a victory against Bournemouth but possess an impressive frontline capable of hurting Liverpool’s suspect defence. Kyle Walker returns to the City squad after serving his suspension while Raheem Sterling serves his but captain Vincent Kompany will be missing due to injury. Kompany’s injury could spell doom for City as they will be missing his leadership and quality in the defence against the fearsome forward line that Liverpool have. The trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah have seven goals among them and seem to have struck an exciting partnership. Phillipe Coutinho will not feature in this fixture but new signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be in line for his debut. Klopp will be buoyed by the fact that he has not lost to Manchester City in the Premier League (3W, 1D).
Hoffenheim vs Bayern Munich (Saturday, 5:30PM)
Hoffenheim were the only side that Bayern Munich failed to defeat in the Bundesliga last season. Their 1:0 win last season made Julian Nagelsmaan’s side the only team to defeat the Champions in the Bundesliga in 2017. The Sinsheim side aim to remain undefeated against Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. Bayern have major issues at left back with both David Alaba and Juan Bernat out injured but they can count on the return of midfielder Sebastain Rudy who alongside Niklas Sule will be facing their former side. Colombian James Rodriguez could make his debut for the Munich side after he returned from injury during the international break. Carlo Ancelotti’s side will hope to maintain their 100% start to the season but Hoffenheim could throw a spanner in their works.
Everton vs Tottenham (Saturday, 3:00PM)
Good for Tottenham, August is over and they are not playing this fixture at Wembley. Meaning Harry Kane can start scoring and they have a really great chance to get a victory. Spurs’ season hasn’t gone as smoothly as Mauricio Pochettino could have hoped but this game offers a chance for them to get their season on track. Wayne Rooney’s drink driving issues won’t affect him on the pitch, as he is set to start in the game. Everton did remarkably well against Manchester City in their toughest fixture yet, Ronald Koeman could further make a statement in this game about his team’s ambition and quality.
Barcelona vs Espanyol (Saturday, 7:45PM)
The Catalan derby. Heavily lopsided but it does offer a glimpse of shiny, costly new article, Ousmane Dembélé. The Blaugrana brought in the France International from Dortmund for a whopping €105 million with the hope he can fill the Neymar shaped hole in their forward trident. Luis Suarez, part of the trident returns to the side after a knee injury. Espanyol unsurprisingly haven’t won any of their two Liga fixtures this season while Ernesto Valverde’s side have an 100% record with consecutive 2-0 victories over Real Betis and Alaves. Espanyol have a disastrous record against their neighbours having lost in their last 16 meetings against Barcelona. The road to purging memories of Neymar begins with this game. No pressure kid, none at all Dembélé.
Lazio vs AC Milan (Sunday, 2:00PM)
With over €200 million spent on recruitment, AC Milan have set themselves up as one of the challengers for the Scudetto. Milan are one of the five sides with two wins from two games and this tie against Lazio is their first real test. Lazio drew their opening day fixture at the Olimpico against newbies SPAL but will be hoping to get a good result against an AC Milan side that got four points off them in the Serie A last season. It will be more difficult for Lazio as they will be without their new signing Nani and mercurial forward Felipe Anderson. Lucas Biglia returns to the Stadio Olimpico to take against his former side with the Rossonerri who have red-hot prospect Patrick Cutrone firing on all cylinders.