Home SPORTS This Weekend: Club football returns |Sayari Media Sport

This Weekend: Club football returns |Sayari Media Sport

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🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 The Premier League hits the post-International Break ground running with eight games lined up for today. And for every heavyweight clash – Leicester vs. leaders Chelsea, or the day’s late kick-off Liverpool vs. Arsenal, there will be lots to look out for in the other fixtures.

Dean Smith takes charge of his first game for struggling Norwich City, against Southampton – the side he faced in his final match as manager of Aston Villa.

And Steven Gerrard, one of the most famous players of his generation makes his managerial debut in the league as his replacement in the Villa Park dugout, as they go up against Brighton.

 

 

🇪🇸 Today is Derby Day for Barcelona as Espanyol make their first trip across town since their rivals consigned them to relegation from La Liga with a 1-0 win at Camp Nou in 2020.

Famously, this is one of the most one-sided rivalries in world football (124 wins to 44) but following their promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking, Espanyol go in to the game level on points with Barcelona and optimistic of ending their 12-year wait for an away win in this fixture.

Earlier in the day, Sevilla could go top of the league with a win over Alavés whilst defending champions Atlético Madrid can close the gap on the top three by beating Osasuna at home.

🇮🇹 In Italy, Milan will test one of only two unbeaten records across Europe’s top five leagues when they visit Fiorentina.

And in the day’s biggest game, Juventus look to snap their three game winless run at high-scoring Lazio.

🇩🇪 For those of you who enjoy the cut and thrust of Derby Day, the Bundesliga fixtures include the battle between Union and Hertha Berlin. The first chance fans will have had to attend this game since before the start of the pandemic.

Borussia Dortmund are also in action, at home to Stuttgart and RB Leipzig face a road trip to mid-table Hoffenheim.

 

 

🏆 Two continental finals shape the next week in South American football and for the first time, all four finalists in today’s Copa Sudamericana and next weekend’s Copa Libertadores showpiece come from Brazil.

First up, in what is the equivalent of the Europa League, Athletico Paranaense who won this tournament as recently as 2018 face relative minnows, Red Bull Bragantino. This is the club’s biggest ever game, either in their previous guise or during their rapid rise to Brazil’s top table since the involvement of a certain energy drinks company.

🇺🇸 It’s also an important day in the US, with post-season now in full swing – not least for Washington Spirit and Chicago Red Stars, who meet to decide the 9th NWSL Championship.

The MLS play-offs begin with the tie between Philadelphia Union and NY Red Bulls and it is Conference Finals day in the second tier, USL Championship.

And finally, there’s also the Championship game in the third tier, USL League One – a game between Union Omaha and Greenville Triumph.

Sunday

🇮🇹 Tomorrow, Serie A leads the way in headline entertainment with the only other unbeaten record in Europe’s big five leagues on the line as Napoli go to defending champions Inter Milan.

Both sides went in to the international break having won three and drawn two of their last five games, across all competitions but with Inter perhaps having the tougher run having played both their major rivals – Milan and Juve during that time.

 

 

🇪🇸 Ahead of any changes caused by today’s results, Real Sociedad went in to the weekend top of La Liga, one point clear of Madrid having also played one game more. And tomorrow, we’ll see if either side can increase that slender gap.

Madrid visit Granada, who sit outside of the relegation zone on goal difference alone and Real Sociedad close the weekend action with an evening kick-off at home to Valencia.

 

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Two games wrap-up the full round in the Premier League as England’s top flight looks to give it’s sides as long as possible to recover going in a busy week of continental competition in the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League.

Tottenham Hotspur play host to Leeds United and Manchester City look to extend their 9-game unbeaten run against an Everton side who’ve not won a match in five attempts.

 

 

🇹🇷 Turkish football should provide tomorrow’s quota of big Derby action with Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe meeting in one of football’s more exotic sounding rivalries, the Intercontinental Derby – named as such due to the two sides being based and most widely supported on either side of the Bosphorus Straight in Istanbul.

So far this season, it’s the ‘Europeans’ of Galatasaray who have fared slightly better than ‘Asian’ side Fenerbahçe but both trail league leaders Trabzonspor by nine and ten points respectively.

 

 

🇺🇸 Lastly, two intriguing games in the MLS play-offs to look forward to. In the East, NYCFC and the league’s top regular season scorer Valentín Castellanos (19 goals) take on Atlanta United with the sides otherwise equally matched heading in to post-season having collected 51 points and finishing fourth and fifth in the table.

And in the West, Portland Timbers play Minnesota United. Again, these sides finished the regular season fourth and fifth in their conference, albeit with Minnesota only scrapping through to this stage thanks to avoiding defeat against LA Galaxy on the final day.

 

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