WEEKEND WATCH: TOP GAMES AROUND EUROPE
Key Match: Inter Milan v AC Milan
Saturday 17th October, Kick-off 17:00
The Derby della Madonnia is one of the great fixtures in world football, with Milan’s two legendary clubs going head to head in a game that grabs the attention of football fans around the world.
In recent years the derby hasn’t had as much weight on it, with neither club being in the running for the Serie A title for most of the last decade, however that has all changed this season.
AC Milan have had a miraculous turn around over the past year, under the leadership of head coach Stefano Pioli. They are unbeaten in 19 competitive games and are being tipped to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since the 2013/14 season.
Inter are also back competing at the top of Italian football, having finished second last season under Antonio Conte, and with stars Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez both scoring 3 goals in their first three games this season, the club is in great form.
Both clubs also had stellar transfer windows, with AC signing Italian wonderkid Sandro Tonali, whilst Inter signed Arturo Vidal and Achraf Hakimi, with the Moroccan getting 2 assists in his first three games.
Make no mistake, this is the biggest Milan Derby in years. The Pressure is on Inter to win, with Conte having had enough time to mould his team exactly how he wants it. The expectation is that the club should win the Scudetto this season, and to do that they must beat their fiercest rivals. AC however will not go down easily, and will likely push Inter all the way.
Other Notable Fixtures:
Napoli v Atalanta, Saturday 17th October, Kick-off 14:00
Crotone v Juventus, Saturday 17th October, Kick-off 19:45
Key Match: Hoffenheim v Borussia Dortmund
Saturday 17th October, Kick-off 14:30
The Bundesliga has given us some great games this season, with Dortmund and Hoffenheim being at the centre of a lot of the excitement. The clubs sit in 5th and 6th respectively, both on six points after winning two games and losing one.
Hoffenheim striker Andrej Kramaric sits top of the Bundesliga scoring charts, with the ex-Leicester man scoring 6 goals in the clubs first three Bundesliga games. His best performance came against Bayern, where the club beat the European Champions 4-1.
Dortmund have had a tremendous transfer window, keeping hold of Jadon Sancho and signing another English prodigy, Jude Bellingham, who at 17-years-old, is already a first-team regular.
They have undoubtedly one of the best attacks in Europe, with a plethora of attacking talent including Sancho, Marco Reus, Julian Brandt, Giovanni Reyna and Erling Haaland.
Despite losing to Augsburg in-game week two, the team has been putting in good performances on the pitch, with Haaland getting 4 goals in three Bundesliga games, and American youngster Reyna grabbing 4 Assists.
If they want to get their Bundesliga title challenge back on track Dortmund need to win this weekend, but as Hoffenheim showed against Bayern, they can compete against anybody.
Other Notable Fixtures:
Monchengladbach v Wolfsburg, Saturday 17th October, Kick-off 19:30
Bielefeld v Bayern Munich, Saturday 17th October, Kick-off 17:30
Key Match: Villarreal v Valencia
Sunday 18th October, Kick-off 15:00
This match is set to be the most competitive game in La Liga this weekend, but carries even more weight too, due to the dealings between the two clubs during the transfer window.
Valencia owner Peter Lim was desperate to cut costs after the pandemic, and put star players up for sale for next to nothing.
Villarreal sensed a great opportunity to sign their rival’s best players, and signed Francis Coquelin for £13 million and Dani Parejo, Valencia’s best midfielder, for free. This has made Valencia fans extremely angry, especially as it could hand their rivals Champions League football.
Transfer dealings aside, both clubs have had similar starts to the season. Villarreal are fourth on 8 points, and Valencia are in eighth with 7, meaning a win would put the club above Villarreal, maybe giving the fans the lift they need.
Gerard Moreno and Paco Alcacer have both scored 3 goals for the yellow submarines, whilst Valencia have also been good going forward, with Maximiliano Gomez also grabbing 3 goals and Lee Kang-In getting 2 Assists. This should all make for a very interesting game.
Other Notable Fixtures
Getafe v Barcelona, Saturday 17th October, Kick-off 20:00
Real Madrid v Cadiz, Saturday 17th October, Kick-off 17:30