There’s plenty of European football to look forward to this weekend, so here’s a selection of games not to be missed from La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and more.
After all three were victorious by one-goal margins in the Champions League this week, La Liga’s three-way title race continues.
Real Madrid are up first, welcoming Osasuna to the Bernabéu for, what could be, a potentially tricky game.
Los Blancos are short of defenders, David Alaba and Éder Militão are injured while Nacho is suspended, but we still expect Carlo Ancelotti’s team to get the job done, priced at 3/10.
On Sunday, the headline fixture of the weekend sees Real Sociedad travel to Cívitas Metropolitano where they’ll take on Atlético Madrid.
The pair start the weekend in fourth and fifth, with Atleti targeting a fifth victory in a row, while Real Sociedad are buoyant, having won last weekend’s Basque derby and then claimed victory in Salzburg on Tuesday.
La Real haven’t beaten Atleti away for a decade, with Imanol Alguacil’s team a long-shot 7/2 to change that.
Champions Barcelona go last on Sunday night, visiting Los Cármenes to take on second-bottom Granada.
Amazingly, Barça are actually winless in three meetings with el Graná, but surely that streak will come to an end, priced at 2/5 to claim victory.
Lastly, a word on the team who are actually third in La Liga right now Girona, who had enjoyed six successive victories, prior to last weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Real Madrid at Montilivi, so has that burst their bubble?
Blanquivermells visit Cádiz in Saturday’s early kick off and, given that their hosts are winless in four, this is a great opportunity for Girona to get back to winning ways.
The red-letter fixture in Serie A this weekend is the Derby della Mole, or Turin derby if you prefer, with Torino visiting Allianz Stadium on Saturday early-evening.
Juventus, who aren’t involved in UEFA competition of course, have only won one of their last three, smashed 3-1 at Sassuolo a fortnight ago, before last weekend’s drab goalless draw with Atalanta.
At home, la Vecchia Signora have enjoyed back-to-back wins, beating Lazio and Lecce, so Massimiliano Allegri’s team sit fourth, and are odds-on favourites to win this derby at 5/6.
Torino meantime are down in tenth and, having already lost at San Siro and Stadio Olimpico so far, we do not expect Il Toro to enjoy their first derby victory away from home since 1995.
Earlier on Saturday, league-leaders Internazionale go in search of another victory, although it won’t be straight-forward, given that visitors Bologna are unbeaten since the opening weekend.
If Inter slip-up, fierce rivals A.C. Milan will be aiming to reclaim top spot on Saturday night, as I Rossoneri visit Genoa, with the away side a generous 19/20 to leave Stadio Luigi Ferraris victorious.
Sunday two features two tasty games, with struggling Lazio hosting Atalanta in the afternoon, before champions Napoli take-on in form Fiorentina in the late kick off.
Rock bottom Cagliari have just two points to their name, so can they add to that tally when Roma, who are enduring a classic miserable third-Mourinho season right now, visit Sardinia, priced at 7/2 to cause a big upset?
Two of last season’s top four go head-to-head on Saturday, with Union Berlin the visitors to Westfalenstadion.
Hosts Borussia Dortmund are still unbeaten in the Bundesliga, winning each of their last three, although they are now bottom of their Champions League group, following Wednesday’s goalless draw with A.C. Milan.
24 hours earlier, Union Berlin made their home-Champions League debut, racing into a 2-0 lead at Olympiastadion, only for Braga to fight back and snatch a 95th minute victory in the 95th minute.
Die Eisernen have now lost six in a row in all competitions, their most-recent victory coming on 26 August, form that leaves Urs Fischer’s side down in 11th.
Dortmund have won all four Bundesliga home matches against Union, and we expect them to maintain that record, priced at 4/7.
Elsewhere on Saturday, RB Leipzig are likely to swat winless VfL Bochum aside, while second-placed Stuttgart, who very nearly went down last season, will aim to continue their incredible start against Wolfsburg.
Sunday also features some very tasty games, including current league-leaders Bayer Leverkusen up against Rhine-Ruhr rivals Köln.
Having won five out of six, their sole draw coming away to Bayern, Xabi Alonso’s side lead the way, set to win again, given that their visitors die Geißböcke are second bottom with just a solitary point on the board.
Later on Sunday, Bayern Munich host Freiburg, having fought back from 2-0 down to draw with RB Leipzig last weekend, a result that saw the eleven-in-a-row champions slip to third.
Christian Streich’s side were victorious when they last visited Allianz Arena in April, but are a huge 16/1 to repeat that feat.
It’s already been a terrible week for Paris Saint-Germain, but will it get even worse in Brittany?
Les Parisiens were held to a goalless draw by Clermont last weekend, before being smashed 4-1 by Newcastle in the Champions League on Wednesday, conceding 4+ in Europe the first time since that remontada.
In Ligue 1, having won only three of seven so far, PSG have made their worst start to a campaign in the Qatari era, with Luis Enrique’s side languishing down in fifth place.
It could be about to get worse because, on Sunday night, they’ll be at Roazhon Park, having lost their last two visits to that venue, so unbeaten Rennes will fancy their chances of another famous win, priced at 5/2.
Before that on Sunday, it is the always feisty Derby du Nord, as Lens and Lille lock horns at Stade Bollaert-Delelis.
RC Lens will be buoyant, following their famous win over Arsenal on Tuesday, so have to be favourites to pick up three points, priced at 5/4, despite actually being eight places worse off than fierce rivals Lille.
We’ve all heard the cliché ‘too good to go down’, well whatever the French equivalent is certainly being said about Olympique Lyonnais right now.
The side who won seven successive league titles in the early 2000s are currently bottom of the table yet to win a game, beaten 2-0 by Reims in Fabio Grosso’s first match in charge last Sunday.
This weekend presents Lyon with a golden chance to claim that illusive first victory, hosting third-bottom Lorient, although, concerningly, OL did fail to win both meetings with les Merlus last season.
Lastly, Saturday night’s offering sees first take on third, with Stade Reims hosting Monaco, in which in-form USMNT striker Folarin Balogun will seek to score against his former club, 8/5 to net anytime.
What else is going on?
Eredivisie: Will Ajax lose again?
Expect this any other business section to feature Ajax on a regular basis this season given that, in short, the Amsterdam giants are a shambles, currently 15th in the Eredivisie, winless since the opening weekend.
Their last two games, against Feyenoord and RKC Waalwijk, have both been abandoned, while this is Ajax’s worst start to a league season since 1964, narrowly avoiding relegation back then.
Thursday’s Europa League draw with AEK Athens has done little to quell the scrutiny on manager Maurice Steijn, so a visit from in-form AZ, who kick off in second place, is just what they don’t need.
The Cheeseheads are unbeaten in three visits to Johan Cruijff Arena, winning two of them, so we think 19/10 is an unbelievable price at which to back AZ to pick up three points.