As you’ve already gathered, football is back. However, this weekend sees the return of Serie A as all the major European league are back in action for the first time since the dreaded summer break.
The Premier League is on show for the third round of fixtures, Barcelona will be seeking to return to winning ways in La Liga and Juventus kick off their defence of Italian superiority this weekend as all our footballing needs are finally met.
With that in mind, here are seven fixtures you need to look out for this weekend from across the footballing calendar.
Saturday: Liverpool vs Arsenal (Premier League)
A fixture that is sure to bring goals, but Arsenal fans will be hoping a few of them are in their favour this time around.
A 5-1 trouncing last December was preceded by a 4-0 demolition the season prior at Anfield, while in between that we were graced with 3-3 and 1-1 draws at the Emirates.
Heading into Saturday’s evening game at Liverpool’s home, what makes this an even more invigorating clash is that both sides remain the only two clubs in the Premier League with 100% records. Granted, we’re only two games in, but it adds to the excitement of what is already a mouth-watering encounter.
Saturday: Parma vs Juventus (Serie A)
While certainly not one of the headline-grabbing matches in the Serie A fixture list, it will be interesting to see how Juventus line up under Maurizio Sarri after seeing an influx of stars walk through the doors at the Allianz Stadium.
The former Chelsea boss will be in charge of the club for his first game since taking over in the summer, with the likes of Adrien Rabiot,
Acting as the curtain raiser for the new season, the Bianconeri will have the chance to stamp their authority on the league with the majority of matches taking place on Sunday.
Saturday: Real Madrid vs Real Valladolid (La Liga)
Real Madrid are above Barcelona in La Liga for the first time in 818 days. Let that sink in. However, as remarkable as that statistic is, we are only one game into the season, so whether that can be sustained is a different matter entirely.
They do have the opportunity to temporarily move six points clear of their fierce rivals though, with the Blaugrana not playing until Sunday evening, which means three points against Valladolid could apply some early pressure to Ernesto Valverde’s men.
Eden Hazard is still recovering from an injury and will not make his Bernabeu bow (Bernabow?) just yet, but fellow summer additions Ferland Mendy and Rodrygo are pushing to be fit in time for Saturday’s clash.
Saturday: Schalke 04 vs Bayern Munich (Bundesliga)
Having overturned a huge deficit to seal the Bundesliga title ahead of nearest challengers Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich were expected to begin their title defence in resounding fashion as they hosted Hertha Berlin last weekend.
An 11th placed finish last term was hardly inspiring for the visitors, yet they secured a commendable 2-2 draw at the Allianz Arena to stun Die Roten, who needed a second half Robert Lewandowski penalty to snatch a point.
Even more exciting than the game itself is the club’s latest addition Philippe Coutinho, who joined on loan from Barcelona and is expected to be thrown straight into the starting XI as Niko Kovac’s side aim to reduce to gap to Dortmund.
Saturday: Manchester United vs Crystal Palace (Premier League)
If United’s Old Trafford bow against Chelsea is anything to go by, then Saturday’s clash against struggling Palace could be a cracker. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side thumped four past the Blues on that occasion, but against opposition who put in a languid showing in their defeat to newly-promoted Sheffield United, goals should be even more forthcoming this time around.
What adds incentive to the Red Devils’ game is the chance to potentially move top of the table, albeit it for a very limited time, with Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City all featuring later in the weekend.
It will also be interesting to see Alexis Sanchez’s involvement, with talk currently ongoing between United and Inter to see the misfiring Chilean leave on loan, so his inclusion (or lack of) in the side could be telling signs ahead his proposed move.
Sunday: Paris Saint-Germain vs Toulouse (Ligue 1)
After been schooled last weekend by…a schoolboy, PSG will be looking to make amends for their 2-1 defeat at the hands of Rennes as they face a Toulouse side sitting one place above them in the Ligue 1 table
Sunday: AFC Bournemouth vs Manchester City (Premier League)