The domestic competitions of Europe resumes after the long 2 week international break. As the top players of Europe return back to their respective clubs, this gameweek has in store for us some highly anticipated matches.
Beginning with England, the important matches scheduled on Saturday and Sunday are-
Manchester United versus Liverpool-
United might be visiting Anfield sitting atop the premier league standing, but manager Sir Alex Ferguson will be knowing the fact that defeating Liverpool at their home won’t be an easy task. United have lost in their last three visits to Anfield and as captain Steven Gerrard will look to get his first start since march, Man U will have their task cut out against Liverpool. Manchester United have not lost a single game yet in this campaign as they sit on top of the premier league standing, ahead of Manchester City on goal difference. The fact that the last 13 encounters between the teams have ended with a result makes things even more interesting.
Manchester city versus Aston Villa-
Second placed Manchester City entertain Aston Villa at home on Saturday. Regardless of the fact that City have dropped only 2 points so far this season, defeating Aston Villa will not be a walk in the park as Aston Villa remain unbeaten so far in the league. Villa have drawn five out of seven games so far under their new manager Alex Mcleish. Things look bright for City, as they have not lost a single match in their last 13 outings in front of their home crowd, while at the same time, records don’t speak pretty for Aston Villa as they walk into the field having lost in their last five visits to the Etihad Stadium.
Chelsea versus Everton-
Chelsea FC plays host to Everton at Stamford Bridge with hopes of maintaining the pressure right up at the top of the table. Everton have lost their last two matches in the premier league and as they face Chelsea, who have won all their home games so far, it will need substantial effort on the pitch to avoid the third successive defeat. Another interesting fact says that Everton’s last five visits to the Bridge have ended in draws and last season both the clubs met four times, out of which three ended square. Chelsea will look to improve on that record and push for a win with all their new-found flair this season. With Torres missing out due to the red card and 3 match ban he picked up, Drogba might start the match alongside Daniel Sturridge or Nicolas Anelka.
Arsenal versus Sunderland-
Arsenal will look to end the horrible beginning to the season by defeating Sunderland at home. Sunderland’s beginning hasn’t been very rosy either, as they lie just a point above the relegation zone at 15th spot. Sunderland have never won against Arsenal in the premier league and the fact will surely lit up Arsene Wenger’s side. With Bacary Sagna out for at least 6 weeks more due to a broken leg incurred during the match against Tottenham, Carl Jenkinson will start as the right back. Danish International Nicklas Bendtner is ineligible to play because of a loan agreement with his former club, who happen to be the opposition i.e, Arsenal.
Other Matches in the league-
Norwich vs Swansea
QPR vs Blackburn
Stoke vs Fulham
Wigan vs Bolton
West Brom vs Wolves
Newcastle vs Spurs
Moving our focus to the Italian SerieA, the important matches scheduled are-
AC Milan versus Palermo-
Currently in the midst of a worst start to SerieA since the year 2001, AC Milan’s coach Massimiliano Allegri will have to start against Palermo without the services of Gennaro Gattuso, Alexandre Pato, Ignazio Abate and Massimo Ambrosini, all due to injury while Kevin Prince-Boateng is suspended. Philippe Mexes has recovered from a long-term knee injury and could make his Milan debut at San Siro. Robinho has returned from a muscle problem and should slot directly into the starting line-up. Milan will look to find strength from their adversity and the past success against Palermo will lift their spirits. Milan has won three out of their last 4 matches against Palermo at San Siro. Palermo’s interim boss Devis Mangia has the luxury of choosing from basically a fully-fit squad as Luca Di Matteo is the only injured player, however, Fedrico Balzaretti will miss the match due to his suspension.
Catania versus Inter Milan-
Catania play hosts to Inter Milan as they look to extend their unbeaten home run in the campaign to four games in a row. But their task will be cut out as Inter Milan have emerged victorious in ten out of their last eleven meeting with Catania. Catania coach Vincenzo Montella will be without the services of David Suazo, Marco Biagianti, Alessandro Potenza, Pablo Alvarez and Cristian Llama who are all injured. Wesley Sneijder returned to training but is very unlikely to feature while Diego Forlan will miss the match due to the leg injury picked up on international duty with Uruguay. With Claudio Ranieri’s one-match ban overturned, the 59-year-old will be on the touchline at the Stadio Angelo Massimino on Saturday.
Other games in the league-
Napoli vs Parma
Cesena vs Fiorentina
Atlanta vs Udinese
Cagliari vs Siena
Chievo vs Juventus
Genoa vs Leece
Lazio vs Roma