Tottenham Hotspur host West Ham in England, Villarreal host Valencia in derby in LaLiga

Around European football on Sunday, Gareth Bale would be hopeful of featuring against West Ham in his return to Tottenham. In Spain, Valencia play Villarreal in derby.

The Associated Press October 18, 2020 16:33:01 IST
Tottenham Hotspur host West Ham in England, Villarreal host Valencia in derby in LaLiga

Gareth Bale would be hoping to feature for Spurs against West Ham. AP File photo

A look at what's happening around European football on Sunday:

ENGLAND

Gareth Bale could make his first Premier League appearance in seven years in Tottenham's home game against in-form West Ham in the Premier League. Bale, on loan at his former club from Real Madrid, has been in full training with Spurs during the international break and could make up an exciting-looking forward line with Son Heung-min and Harry Kane.

Leicester host Aston Villa in a match between teams who have started the season strongly, while both Sheffield United and Fulham go looking for first points of the season when they meet at Bramall Lane. Also, Brighton travel to fierce rival Crystal Palace.

ITALY

High-flying Sassuolo will hope to maintain their unbeaten start to the season at Bologna. Sassuolo is one of three unbeaten teams in Serie A and can move into a surprise second spot, two points below early leaders AC Milan, with a win. They have won two of their three opening matches, scoring nine goals and conceding three.

At the other end of the table, Udinese and Torino are still looking for their first points and they host Parma and Cagliari respectively. Also, Roma welcome Benevento and Fiorentina visit Spezia.

SPAIN

Unai Emery's Villarreal host Valencia in a regional derby featuring several old Valencia players who now wear bright yellow. Emery coached Valencia for four seasons before holding jobs at Paris Saint-Germain, Sevilla, and Arsenal prior to his return to Spain this season.

Villarreal signed long-time Valencia team leader Dani Parejo this summer, along with Valencia midfielder Francis Coquelin. Villarreal striker Paco Alcácer also came up through Valencia's youth squads. Valencia is mired in a club crisis after selling several of their top players and not replacing them.

Elsewhere, Manuel Pellegrini's Real Betis host Real Sociedad with both teams looking to continue their promising start to the season. Athletic Bilbao host Levante in need of a win after losing three of four games so far. Elche are at Alavés with both on the edge of the relegation zone, and last-place Valladolid seeks their first victory at Huesca.

GERMANY

Schalke bid to end a club record 19-game run without a win and climb off the bottom of the Bundesliga with a victory over Union Berlin. The Gelsenkirchen-based club fired David Wagner and hired Manuel Baum as coach in his place but Baum's first game ended in a 4-0 defeat at Leipzig. The international break came at the right time to take stock, but Union are a tough side and will present a stern challenge.

"Defensively they are one of the nastiest teams in the league," Baum said of his first home game in charge. "They'll probably come with a back five, but they're very flexible. And of course they're very good at set plays, and when they close from the wings."

Union defeated Mainz 4-0 for their biggest Bundesliga win before the break. But Urs Fischer's side are just concentrating on avoiding relegation in their second season in the top flight. Like Schalke, Cologne have also lost their first three games of the season and are aiming for their first points against visiting Eintracht Frankfurt.

FRANCE

Lille and surprise frontrunner Lens contest first place when the northern sides meet in their local derby. A win for either will move them above Paris Saint-Germain at the top. Lille are the only side still unbeaten in the French league alongwith Rennes, while promoted Lens have lost only once and beat PSG early in the season.

Elsewhere, Montpellier travel to play Monaco after 10 of their 12 positive COVD-19 tests among staff and players turned out to be negative following a retest on Friday.

Also, Memphis Depay gets back to the business of helping Lyon climb back up the table after the Dutch striker's dream move to Spanish giants Barcelona fell through. Struggling Strasbourg host a Lyon side which reached the Champions League semi-finals last season, but is languishing in 14th place after winning one and drawing four of their opening six matches.

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