What to watch in Europe’s top soccer leagues this weekend
What to watch in the leading soccer leagues in Europe this weekend:
Madrid enters Saturday’s match at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium one point in front of Granada, which has spent the last two years in the second tier. The club from southern Spain has won four of its first seven matches, with the only loss coming against Sevilla in the second round. One of its victories was against two-time defending champion Barcelona.
Real Madrid arrives under pressure after being held by Club Brugge to a 2-2 home draw in the Champions League on Tuesday. Madrid also drew against city rival Atlético Madrid in the Spanish league last weekend.
Atlético, which is one point behind Real Madrid in third place, visits Valladolid on Sunday. Fourth-place Barcelona hosts sixth-place Sevilla on Sunday.
Brendan Rodgers makes his first return to Anfield since being fired as Liverpool manager in 2015, looking to end his former club’s 16-match winning run.
Rodgers is now in charge of Leicester, which is in third place after seven games and living up to its billing as a top-four contender this season while some teams in the established “Big 6” — like Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea — encounter problems or go through a period of transition.
Liverpool, which leads defending champion Manchester City by five points, needs two more victories to tie City’s record winning run of 18 set in 2017.
City is at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday, when fourth-place Arsenal hosts Bournemouth, Chelsea visits Southampton and Man United is away to Newcastle. United, which is in 10th place, hasn’t won any of its last 10 games in all competitions.
It’s only the seventh round and already it might be one of the most decisive matches of the season.
Juventus is two points behind Inter but is finding its footing under new coach Maurizio Sarri; while Inter has quickly taken on the personality of its new manager — former Juventus coach Antonio Conte.
After taking the lead in the Bundesliga last weekend and beating Tottenham 7-2 in the Champions League on Tuesday, Bayern Munich is buoyant ahead of Hoffenheim’s visit on Saturday.
Hoffenheim is winless in four games.
Leipzig, whose unbeaten start to the season was ended last week by Schalke, faces a tricky match at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday. Both teams are among five just a point behind Bayern.
Freiburg hosts Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.