Another weekend, another stacked lineup of soccer action. Will Chelsea be able to get a league win or will speculation about Jose Mourinho’s future continue? Who will win the North London Derby? Will Barcelona keep rolling against Villarreal? Here are a few of the games that you should keep an extra eye on this weekend.
West Ham – Everton (Premier League Matchday 12):
Two teams filled with confidence will meet up on Saturday at the Boleyn Ground, as West Ham hosts Everton. Both teams have several attacking players in fine form. The Hammers sit in sixth place, but a win could take them as high as third if other results go their way. Dimitri Payet has been one of the best summer additions, and the Frenchman has scored five goals in 11 matches.
Everton sits in ninth with 16 points, four behind West Ham, but after last week’s thrashing of Sunderland (6-2) the team will be confident on the road. Romelu Lukaku leads the team in scoring with six goals on the season. Everton also has Arouna Kone with five goals, along with Ross Barkley and Steven Naismith with three.
Stoke City – Chelsea (Premier League Matchday 12):
Usually a game between the 14th- and 15th-placed teams in the league doesn’t get much attention, but when the 15th-placed team is reigning champions Chelsea it will get some headlines. The struggles for Jose Mourinho as his team this season has been well documented.
Chelsea is coming off midweek win over Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League, a game that put some of the rumors to bed regarding Mourinho’s future. But the way the team has been underperforming in the league is surely a cause for concern. Stoke did beat Chelsea in the Capital One Cup about two weeks ago in a shootout.
Borussia Dortmund – Schalke 04 (Bundesliga Matchday 12):
Borussia Dortmund is desperately trying to keep up with Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga. Dortmund sits in second place, five points back of the leaders. Sunday’s game will be a tough test as 5th place Schalke comes to town.
Last season the teams split the two league meetings, with the home team winning each game. Dortmund is coming off a midweek win over FK Gabala in the Europa League, a win that extended their current win streak to six games. Schalke has had it a bit rougher, coming off a 1-1 draw against Sparta Prague in the Europa League. The team has five straight games without a win.
Barcelona – Villarreal (La Liga Matchday 11):
Barcelona are without injured Lionel Messi, but the team is keeping pace with Real Madrid at the top of La Liga. The Catalans are tied on points (24) with the Merengues, as Neymar is leading the way with nine goals in nine league games. Luis Suarez has also opened the season strong with eight league goals in nine games.
Villarreal sits in fifth, four points behind Barcelona and Madrid, and the Yellow Submarines always puts up a fight. They are solid defensively and Neymar and Suarez will have their work cut out for them on Sunday. Cedric Bakambu leads Villarreal in scoring with four goals in seven games.
Arsenal – Tottenham (Premier League Matchday 12):
The North London Derby is the biggest game of the weekend, as Arsenal welcomes rivals Tottenham to the Emirates Stadium. This is not only a game for bragging rights, as both teams will want those three points and the opportunity to climb in the standings.
Arsenal sits in second place with 25 points and are level on points with leaders Manchester City. Tottenham sits in fifth, five points behind Arsenal and City. Arsenal suffered a heavy 5-1 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday, but manager Arsene Wenger is confident that his team can bounce back and come out on top if they shore things up defensively.
Harry Kane has started scoring again to the delight of the Spurs faithful. The 22-year-old English international has five goals in the last three games, including a hat trick against Bournemouth two weeks ago.