Another weekend, another stacked lineup of soccer action. There are several high-profile games during the weekend. Can Inter Milan keep Fiorentina at bay and stay atop Serie A? How will the Diego Costa suspension affect Chelsea against Newcastle? Here are a few of the games that you should keep an extra eye on this weekend.
Leicester City – Arsenal (Premier League Matchday 7):
The Foxes have surprised everyone at the start of the Premier League season. Manager Claudio Ranieri and his men are still undefeated and sits in fourth place with 12 points, three points behind leaders Manchester City. Leicester is coming off a 2-2 draw to Stoke City. They host Arsenal at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, a team that sits right behind them in fifth place.
Arsenal is coming off a controversial 2-0 loss to Chelsea. The London derby was painted up as the game of the weekend by a lot of people, yours truly included, but the aftermath was all about the scuffle between Diego Costa and Gabriel.
Costa ended up getting suspended after the fact by the FA for violent conduct, and Gabriel’s red card was rescinded, but he will miss the Leicester game as he’s suspended one game for improper conduct for failing to leave the pitch in the proper manner after his sending off.
Newcastle United – Chelsea (Premier League Matchday 7):
Newcastle has had anything but a good start to the season, despite heavy spending in the offseason. The Magpies sits second to last in the standings, with only two points in six games. Manager Steve McClaren has urged the fans to have faith and that they will turn things around. They have a tough test ahead of them as reigning league champions Chelsea comes to town on Saturday.
After a somewhat shaky start, Chelsea has three straight wins with wins over Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Champions League, Arsenal in the league and Walsall in the Capital One Cup. They will be without striker Diego Costa as he’s serving a three-game suspension for violent conduct. Loic Remy or Falcao will replace Costa in the lineup.
Napoli – Juventus (Serie A Matchday 6):
Two struggling sides will meet up at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples on Saturday as Napoli hosts defending champions Juventus in the Serie A. Both these teams were supposed to be at the top of the table, but instead we find Napoli in 12th with six points, and Juventus in 13th with five points.
A draw would do neither of them any good as they need to start getting a string of wins together to catch up to Inter Milan at the top of the table. Napoli is coming off a scoreless draw against Carpi mid-week. Juve is also coming of a mid-week draw as they played a 1-1 game against Frosinone. Juventus won both meetings against Napoli last season 3-1.
Borussia Dortmund – SV Darmstadt 98 (Bundesliga Matchday 7):
Borussia Dortmund is trying their best to keep pace with Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga. Dortmund has won five of the first six games, with a mid-week 1-1 draw to Hoffenheim being the only blip on the schedule so far. They will host newcomers SV Darmstadt 98 on Sunday at the Signal Iduna Park.
Darmstadt has had a good start to the season for being a newcomer, sitting in 10th place with nine points. The Lilies are coming off a 2-1 mid-week win over Werder Bremen, and even a point on the road against Dortmund would be a huge result.
Inter Milan – Fiorentina (Serie A Matchday 6):
Inter Milan has soared up to the top of the Serie A, winning the first five games of the season. The Nerazzurri has been a defensive juggernaut, only allowing a single goal in those five games. The offense hasn’t been firing on all cylinders, but they have been able to keep winning after four 1-0 games and one 2-1 game. You can read more about Inter’s start to the season right here.
On Sunday, they will go up against second-placed Fiorentina at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium in Milan. Fiorentina sits three points back, and they’re coming off a 2-0 mid-week win over Bologna. Fiorentina has also been strong defensively, having only conceded goals in one game, which was a 3-1 loss to Torino.