A look at what’s going on in European football on Saturday:
Ronald Koeman could face his last game in charge of Barcelona as he faces a difficult trip with defending champions Atlético Madrid. The Dutch manager is under extreme pressure after Barcelona have followed an embarrassing string of Champions League defeats, and the Spanish sports press are humming rumors he could be sacked regardless of the outcome. Koeman won’t be in the dugout as he serves the second of a two-game suspension for protesting. This match will be striker Antoine Griezmann’s first since loaning cash-strapped FC Barcelona to return to Atlético. Radamel Falcao aims to maintain his superb start with Rayo Vallecano by scoring in a fourth consecutive game at Osasuna. Cadiz welcome Valencia after their coach publicly criticized some players who went out to party at a club without their permission following a loss. Mallorca host Levante, with both teams missing several injured players, including Mallorca striker Take Kubo.
For the third time this season, Manchester United take part in the Saturday lunchtime game as Everton heads to Old Trafford. It’s another quick turnaround for United, who were in action in the Champions League on Wednesday when Cristiano Ronaldo’s late goal won a 2-1 win over Villareal. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side lost last weekend in the league in a weak performance against Aston Villa. It will be a tough test against Rafa Benitez’s side, who could overtake United with a win. Five teams are winless after six appearances for the first time in the English Premier League since 1964: Newcastle, Leeds, Southampton, Burnley and Norwich. There is a meeting at Turf Moor between Burnley and Norwich, which is on zero. Southampton go to Chelsea, one point behind leaders Liverpool. Leeds welcomes Watford and Newcastle travels to Wolverhampton. Brighton got off to a surprisingly strong start, however, moving to Arsenal late in the game after taking 13 of the 18 available so far.
Struggling in Serie A, Juventus face Turin in a derby seeking to build on their Champions League victory over Chelsea. Returning Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri had been slow to make Federico Chiesa the center of his attack, but the Italy international was given the default job against Chelsea following the injuries of Paulo Dybala and by Alvaro Morata. Chiesa responded by scoring against Chelsea in an outstanding performance and he is expected to play a major role again against Turin. “This game will be more difficult than the Chelsea game,” said Allegri. In addition, defending champions Inter Milan can extend their unbeaten run against a talented Sassuolo side. And Genoa visits Salernitana, last place.
Borussia Dortmund are again without injured striker Erling Haaland as they host Augsburg in the Bundesliga eighth round. The Norwegian striker’s side have been sorely missed by the Norwegian striker in the two games he has been absent from: a 1-0 loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach last weekend, followed by an unimpressive 1-0 victory over Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League on Tuesday. Dortmund clearly struggled without Haaland’s towering presence. Wolfsburg hosts Borussia Mönchengladbach in an intriguing clash, Stuttgart hosts Hoffenheim and Freiburg visits Hertha Berlin before hosts Leipzig promote Bochum late in the game.
Amine Gouiri is making a name for himself with Nice as the co-leader of the league scorers classification. The skillful and mobile Gouiri has five goals and two assists before the home game against Brest. While Nice occupies fourth place, Brest is barely in 19th place and is one of the only two teams to have won yet. Another good news for Gouiri and his attacking partner Kasper Dolberg is that the Brest defense has allowed 16 goals in eight games. In the other match, Montpellier welcomes Strasbourg with the two around the intermediate table. They score goals but concede too many.
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