Things to look out for in European football: September 14-15


League football in Europe is back following another captivating international break. Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Napoli are looking to bounce back, while Barcelona are seeking to end a poor run against Valencia. Here are some of the things to look out for in European football this coming weekend. Bet on European football here. 

Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Napoli to get back to winning ways

Los Blancos have made a slow start to this season’s La Liga. After three games, they sit fifth in the table with a win and two draws. They host Levante at home in an early Saturday kick-off as they seek to get back to winning ways. Playing at the Santiago Bernabéu gives them advantage unless Levante produce an unlikely upset. Dortmund suffered an embarrassing loss last weekend to newly-promoted Union Berlin who registered their first-ever win in the Bundesliga in the process. This weekend, they host Bayer Leverkusen, a team they’ve beaten the last three encounters. Therefore, they should be comfortable. Napoli produced a magnificent comeback in their last Serie A match against Juventus. They were 3-0 down after the hour but clawed their way back into the game only for defender Kalidou Koulibaly to score an unfortunate own goal. However, they should get back to winning ways against Sampdoria on Saturday.

Will Barcelona’s poor run against Valencia continue?  

Valencia were a thorn to Barcelona last season. In three matches they played against each other last season, Barca failed to win any of them. In fact, Marcelino’s men defeated them in the Copa del Rey final to lift their first trophy since 2008. The reigning champions haven’t started this season well. They have four points and sit eighth in the table after three matches. Valencia have the same record as their hosts. In the Copa del Rey final last season, Valencia had only 23% of the ball but won through sheer defensive solidity. Barca will be without Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez on Saturday night. Can Antoine Griezmann and company finally end this poor run?

More gloom for Monaco?

Monaco are still winless in Ligue 1 after four matches. Their poor season last year has poured into this campaign. Two wins and two losses has left them second from bottom in Ligue 1 and things could get ugly for them this weekend. They face Olympique Marseille, a team they have failed to beat in their last three meetings. Leonardo Jardim’s side are a shadow of a team that won the Ligue title two seasons ago. This season’s start is similar to last and they have to start winning soon or be condemned to another campaign of playing catch up.

Clash of Bundesliga’s top two

RB Leipzig have made a terrific start to this season’s Bundesliga with three wins out of three. They sit top of the table and meet second-placed and reigning champions Bayern Munich in Saturday’s late kick-off. Leipzig’s newly appointed coach Julian Nagelsmann has made them a dangerous-looking team and some have tipped them for this year’s Bundesliga title. Bayern haven’t made a perfect start and they sit just two points behind Leipzig. Nagelsmann’s Hoffenheim beat Bayern twice in 2017 and since he has a much better squad, this tie will be interesting.

Will super-sub Vitolo finally start for Atletico?

Atletico Madrid maintained their perfect start in La Liga following a stunning 3-2 comeback win over Eibar in the last weekend before the international break. In their last two matches, Vitolo has been crucial coming off the bench. He got Atletico’s winner against Leganes where he played 30 minutes. The Spaniard also inspired the 3-2 fightback against Eibar. However, can Diego Simeone finally hand him the starting berth? Simeone has preferred a front two of Joao Felix alongside either Alvaro Morata or Diego Costa. Does he need to prove himself more?