The SportsGrape European Football Preview: Big Teams Look to Recover

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After another international break draws to a close, it is time to switch focus back to the domestic game for our European counterparts

Here, we take a look at the key fixtures happening this weekend, across the major European leagues.

Real Madrid and Barcelona look to put winless streaks to bed

The two Spanish titans, who have been so devastatingly ruthless in previous years, have looked toothless in recent weeks. Real Madrid currently find themselves on a winless run stretching back to a 1-0 victory over Espanyol, nearly a month ago. In the four games since, they have managed just the one draw and have failed to score a single goal. They take on Levante at the Bernabeu on Saturday lunchtime. This is a game which is a must win for Julen Lopetegui, particularly with El Clásico on the horizon.

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Barcelona are on an equally poor run domestically, with their last victory coming against Real Sociedad on 15th September. Since then they have drawn with Girona, Valencia and Athletic Bilbao, whilst losing to Leganes. As with Real, they will want to record a victory before their clash next weekend, but they face a stern test with the league leaders Sevilla visiting the Camp Nou.

All eyes on Strasbourg

Over in France there will be a spike in foreign interest on Saturday evening. This is because Thierry Henry will take his first steps in management, with struggling AS Monaco. Henry’s men travel to newly promoted Strasbourg. Their opponents currently sit ninth in Ligue 1, in what could be a tricky test for the former Arsenal man.

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At the top of the table, runaway leaders PSG will look to make it ten wins from ten when they take on Amiens at the Parc des Princes. Thomas Tuchel’s side have scored an emphatic 32 goals in their opening nine fixtures, 11 more than their closest competitors. Indeed, it seems almost inevitable they will add to their tally on Saturday.

Spotlight on Milan

Sunday evening sees one of the greatest derbies in the world take place, when Inter host AC Milan at the San Siro. Inter will be looking to extend their six-game winning streak in all competitions, but face a tough task, with AC not having lost since the 25th August.

In this fixture last season, Inter triumphed 3-2 and you have to go back to 2010 for the last time AC Milan won as the away side in the derby.

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Elsewhere, two new managers are on display with former Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura taking charge of Chievo, whilst Ivan Juric returns as manager of Genoa for the third time since 2016. He faces the daunting prospect of a trip to Juventus, who will be looking to maintain their 100 percent record so far this season.

Bayern attempt to stop the rot as free-scoring Dortmund look to maintain lead

Bayern will look to win their first match at the fifth time of asking when they take on Wolfsburg on Saturday afternoon. Nico Kovac’s men were embarrassed 3-0 at home to Borussia Monchengladbach in their last match and he will be looking get his side back to winning ways after being left to stew over the result, due to the international break.

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Englishman Sancho is currently leads the European assist charts.

 

In contrast, Dortmund look will look to continue their fine start to the season away at Stuttgart, who also have a new face in the dugout, with Markus Weinzierl taking charge of his side for the first time.

Be sure to check out the SportsGrape European Football Review on Monday for a roundup of all the key games across the major European leagues.

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