European football matchday: Manchester City travel to Wolves; Ruhr derby returns to Germany

In other key game in the Premier League, Tottenham, who trail Arsenal by one point, host winless Leicester City.

The Associated Press September 17, 2022 15:59:52 IST
European football matchday: Manchester City travel to Wolves; Ruhr derby returns to Germany

Manchester City's Erling Haaland celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa and Manchester City at Villa Park in Birmingham, England, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

A look at what’s happening in European football on Saturday:

ENGLAND

It’s Wolverhampton’s turn to figure out how to stop Erling Haaland. Manchester City and their prolific new striker visit Molineux in one of just three Premier League games.

Haaland has 10 goals in six league games and City trail first-placed Arsenal by one point. The good news for Wolves? They’ve allowed the fewest goals — four — through six rounds. Bruno Lage’s problem, though, is his team has scored only three times — tied for least in the league. The manager might have to turn to new arrival Diego Costa to provide some punch because forward Raul Jimenez was ruled out and new striker Sasa Kalajdzic had knee surgery.

Tottenham also trail Arsenal by one point and host winless Leicester City. Brendan Rodgers’ team have lost five straight league games after an opening-day draw. Newcastle host Bournemouth in the other game.

SPAIN

Barcelona host struggling Elche while aiming to bounce back from their first loss of the season in any competition at Bayern Munich in the Champions League. A fifth straight victory in LaLiga for Xavi’s team will lift them ahead of leaders Real Madrid before they plays a derby at Atletico Madrid on Sunday. Elche are winless after five rounds.

All eyes will be on how Xavi uses young forward Ansu Fati after he was dropped by Spain coach Luis Enrique for the Nations League due to his lack of starts with Barcelona, with the World Cup just around the corner.

Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski leads the league in scoring with six. He is closely followed by striker Iago Aspas (5) whose Celta Vigo are at Valencia.

Athletic Bilbao host Rayo Vallecano seeking another win that could lift them into the top four, while promoted Almeria travel to Mallorca.

ITALY

Thiago Motta makes his debut as Bologna coach against a winless Empoli side in Serie A. Motta replaces the fired Sinisa Mihajlovic after youth squad coach Luca Vigiani directed Bologna to their first win of the season over Fiorentina last weekend.

Another matchup of squads near the bottom of the table involves 16th-place Spezia against 19th-place Sampdoria. Torino coach Ivan Juric returns after missing two matches with pneumonia as his squad host Sassuolo.

GERMANY

Bayern Munich rarely need to make amends but it feels that way for their Bavarian derby against Augsburg after three consecutive Bundesliga draws. Julian Nagelsmann’s team were also fortunate to beat Barcelona in their Champions League game on Wednesday, so the pressure is on the visitors to produce a much-improved performance in Augsburg. Another draw is unlikely – Augsburg haven’t drawn any of their last 16 games.

Borussia Dortmund also need to make amends after losing at Leipzig 3-0 last weekend. Edin Terzic’s team welcome promoted Schalke for the return of the Ruhr derby. The was no derby last season with Schalke in the second division.

Leipzig travel to Borussia Mönchengladbach where coach Marco Rose is sure to be given a heated reception on his return to his former club.

Bayer Leverkusen will hope to build on their Champions League win over Atletico Madrid with another victory over visiting Werder Bremen, and Eintracht Frankfurt visit Stuttgart.

FRANCE

Lille have been struggling for consistency, posting just three wins from their opening seven matches. The 2021 champions host promoted Auxerre with their forwards stock weakened by injuries. Coach Paulo Fonseca says Edon Zhegrova, Remy Cabella and Timothy Weah will all miss the game as they recover. At the back, Tiago Djalo is suspended.

Lille have lost their previous couple of matches at home against Paris Saint-Germain and Nice, but have won eight of their last 10 home games against Toulouse, producing seven clean sheets on the way.

Montpellier host Strasbourg in the other game.

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