After a couple of decisive rounds of fixtures in the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign, international football will take a back seat until spring 2022.
Club football will take centre stage this weekend, as all of Europe’s most prominent leagues return to action after going dormant for a fortnight. For those looking to catch live football on tv today or over the weekend, these the games to watch.
Let’s have a quick look at the five most exciting match-ups to watch out for in the next few days.
Bundesliga – Borussia Dortmund vs Stuttgart
Signal Iduna Park is the venue as Borussia Dortmund and Stuttgart go head-to-head in an intriguing Bundesliga encounter.
Going into this matchday, Dortmund are the only side yet to draw a Bundesliga match this season, having won eight of their 11 league games while losing the other three.
While Marco Rose’s men trail league pacesetters Bayern Munich by only four points, visiting Stuttgart are hovering one point above the relegation play-off spot.
Winless in their last four Bundesliga outings, Die Schwaben look highly unlikely to post back-to-back top-flight wins at the Signal Iduna Park for the first time since 2005.
However, it’s worth noting that Stuttgart pulled off a resounding 5-1 victory in this exact fixture last season, which should serve as a confidence booster heading into this trip.
La Liga – Barcelona vs Espanyol
Barcelona welcome cross-town rivals Espanyol to Camp Nou for the first Derbi Barceloni of the season, with club legend Xavi Hernandez set to make his managerial debut.
After enjoying well-documented success as a player, Xavi is now tasked with getting his beloved Barca back on track after the Blaugrana endured their second-lowest 12-match La Liga points tally in the 21st century.
There’s no better place to start for the former midfielder than in front of attending home fans against city rivals Barcelona have not lost to in any of their last 22 top-flight meetings.
Looking to turn Camp Nou into a fortress again, as was the case during his playing career, Xavi will be aiming to guide his side to a 12th consecutive league win over Espanyol at home.
But after beating Barcelona’s bitter rivals Real Madrid back in October, the newly-promoted Espanyol will fancy their chances against another La Liga powerhouse.
Ligue 1 – Lyon vs Marseille
Lyon and Marseille are set to square off at the Groupama Stadium in the latest installment of a long-standing rivalry known as the ‘Olimpico.’
Notably, Lyon have avoided defeat in their last 15 top-flight clashes against Marseille on home soil since falling to a 2-1 reverse in November 2017.
Hence, despite experiencing a topsy-turvy beginning of the new Ligue 1 season, Les Gones will be confident of making the most out of the showdown.
That could be easier said than done, given that Jorge Sampaoli’s men head into proceedings amid a five-game unbeaten league run, keeping three clean sheets in their last four Ligue 1 outings.
With both last season’s league meetings between these two sides yielding the identical 1-1 scoreline, a tight, eagerly-contested affair could be on the card.
Premier League – Liverpool vs Arsenal
The most highly anticipated fixture on this weekend’s Premier League schedule pits Liverpool against a resurgent Arsenal side at Anfield.
Liverpool’s eye-catching 20-game unbeaten league run was brought to a halt at the hands of Arsenal’s fellow London rivals West Ham on the eve of the international break.
It means that all of the Reds’ last three Premier League losses have come to the capital-based sides, which should be an added incentive for Jurgen Klopp’s men to pursue the three points here.
Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta has gone from one of the most under-pressure Premier League managers to an unexpected Arsenal hero in what’s been a rollercoaster start to the season for the Gunners.
Though the Spaniard managed to turn his side’s three-game losing start to the new league campaign into an eight-match undefeated streak, a trip to Anfield is a different kind of challenge.
Arsenal have lost their last five Premier League visits to the Liverpool playing ground by an aggregate score of 18-4, conceding 3+ goals on each occasion.
Serie A – Inter Milan vs Napoli
A mammoth Serie A match-up at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza sees defending champions Inter Milan take on current table-toppers Napoli.
With seven points separating the sides ahead of the kick-off, the Nerazzurri can ill-afford to drop points here if they are to avoid falling out of the early title pace.
Luckily for Simone Inzaghi, Inter have the recent H2H stakes at this venue firmly on their side, as they’ve beaten Napoli in their last three Serie A encounters here without conceding a single goal.
Seeking their first league triumph at Meazza since April 2017, the Partenopei will dwell on their impeccable start to the season under Luciano Spalletti.
Napoli have opened the new Serie A campaign with 12 unbeaten games on the trot for the second time in five years, which makes them one of the fiercest Italian sides at the moment.