Last weekend was all about derbies, but this weekend, the matches that you must create time for are about rivalries that are defined by the managers. Top of the billing on Saturday afternoon is the confrontation between Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger at Stamford Bridge. Last season in this fixture, the two managers had to be restrained from fisticuffs.
Chelsea 12:45 Arsenal
Chelsea have already lost three matches this season in their five league matches – the same number they lost in the whole of their last campaign and this is because their star players have not just come back from the summer holidays literally. For Arsenal, it has been another season of Jekyll and Hyde behaviour – losing when they are hotly tipped to win. Though it is still early in the season, this encounter is already a six-pointer with the loser bound to be asked very harsh questions – so much more for Mourinho, who does not look happy at all at the moment.
What will happen…
Petr Cech is coming back to the Bridge after a summer move to Arsenal and will be keen to show that it was a mistake to let him go while Eden Hazard seriously needs to find his mojo.
Head to head
02/08/15 COS Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea
26/04/15 PRL Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea
05/10/14 PRL Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal
22/03/14 PRL Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal
23/12/13 PRL Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal
Borussia Dortmund 16:30 Bayer Leverkusen
A change of coach and Dortmund are flying high again – top of the Bundesliga table and yet to drop points either in the league or in Europe but against Leverkusen, who play with almost the same intensity and lateral press, it would be interesting which set of players will assert the greater authority. Dortmund will be missing Marco Reus but they should still have enough to get all three points in what could be a high scoring game.
Head to head
31/01/15 BUN Leverkusen 0-0 Dortmund
23/08/14 BUN Dortmund 0-2 Leverkusen
26/04/14 BUN Leverkusen 2-2 Dortmund
07/12/13 BUN Dortmund 0-1 Leverkusen
03/02/13 BUN Leverkusen 2-3 Dortmund
Prediction: Dortmund 4-2 Leverkusen
Napoli 19:45 Lazio
These two teams have not started the season like they would have wanted. Lazio were dumped out of the Champions League and Napoli are yet to win in the three weeks of the beginning of the Serie A season. But they seemed to have found their path to goal in the Europa League on Thursday when they thumped Anderlecht 5-0 while Lazio gave away a last second goal away to Dnipro, also on Thursday. Both coaches; Lazio’s Stefano Pioli and Maurizio Sarri believe in counter attacking football so there are hopes that there will be many goals in this one.
Head to head
31/05/15 SEA Napoli 2–4 Lazio
08/04/15 COI Napoli 0-1 Lazio
04/03/15 COI Lazio 1-1 Napoli
18/01/15 SEA Lazio 0-1 Napoli
13/04/14 SEA Napoli 4-2 Lazio
Prediction: Napoli 3-2 Lazio
Marseille 20:00 Lyon
Two supposed giants of the French game but that was seasons ago as there is a new sheriff in town called PSG. Truly the jostling is for second place behind the Qatari billions of PSG but Marseille are struggling to create a distinct identity after the departure of Marcelo Bielsa at the beginning of the season while Lyon are/will continue to struggle with the loss of the injured Nabil Fekir.
Head to head
15/03/15 LI1 Marseille 0-0 Lyon
26/10/14 LI1 Lyon 1-0 Marseille
04/05/14 LI1 Marseille 4–2 Lyon
15/01/14 CDL Lyon 2–1 Marseille
15/12/13 LI1 Lyon 2–2 Marseille
Prediction: Marseille 2-1 Lyon
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