A preview of what’s happening in European football on Sunday:
Manchester City are aiming to equal Arsenal by opening the season with three consecutive Premier League wins. City, the defending champions, travel to Newcastle for a game against a Saudi-funded side who could be serious title contenders within a few years due to their owners’ wealth. City have already beaten West Ham and Bournemouth, scoring six goals and keeping two clean sheets. Newcastle beat Nottingham Forest and drew at Brighton, and didn’t concede either. Chelsea travel to Leeds to maintain their unbeaten start, as does Brighton when traveling to play at West Ham.
Barcelona will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing draw against Rayo Vallecano at the Camp Nou during their visit to Real Sociedad in the Spanish league. Coach Xavi Hernández won’t be able to rely on veteran midfielder Sergio Busquets who was sent off in stoppage time in the 0-0 draw with Rayo. Atlético Madrid host Villarreal after beating Getafe 3-0 in their opener, with Álvaro Morata scoring twice in his first match since returning to Atlético after a two-year loan spell at Juventus. Gennaro Gattuso’s Valencia will also claim back-to-back wins when they visit Ernesto Valverde’s Athletic Bilbao, which started with a draw at home.
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There will be scrutiny of the interaction between Kylian Mbappe and Neymar when defending champions Paris Saint-Germain visit Lille in the French league. After Mbappe missed a penalty in the 5-2 win over Montpellier last weekend, Neymar took over spot-kick duties and converted one. Neymar has already reached the top of his game with three goals and three assists in two league appearances while Mbappe scored once after missing the start of the season with a groin injury. Probable contenders for European places, Rennes and Nice are still in pursuit of their first victory of the season. Rennes will miss goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and Croatian midfielder Lovro Majer when they host promoted Ajaccio. Have a good trip to Clermont.
Bayern Munich remain the only Bundesliga team with a 100 per cent record and they are looking for revenge against Bochum, responsible for one of their five league defeats last season. Bochum won 4-2 in February. Bayern routed Bochum 7-0 in their previous encounter. Bochum, who have lost their two games so far this season, are really the underdog. Bayern have scored eight goals in two matches so far and the Bavarian powerhouse have scored in each of their last 83 league appearances. Also on Sunday, Eintracht Frankfurt will be hoping to end their 10-game league winless streak as they visit unbeaten Cologne.
Reigning champions AC Milan play Atalanta in the Italian league, with both teams looking to preserve their winning starts. Milan beat Udinese 4-2 and Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta secured a 2-0 victory at Sampdoria last weekend. Milan have won the teams’ last three Serie A meetings. Bologna host Verona with one of the teams at least guaranteed to get their first points of the season. Napoli, who scored five goals in their first win at Verona, host Monza. Moreover, Empoli hosts Fiorentina.
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