Europe’s 5 major leagues will be in full force this weekend. The Bundesliga kicks off with a clash between Bayern Leverkusen and RB Leipzig. Meanwhile, the Premier League has two major fixtures in store. Tottenham host Manchester United and Newcastle travel to the Citizens.
Tottenham – Manchester United: duel of the underdogs
It’s one of the big games in England this weekend. Spurs, who were held to a 2-2 draw by Brentford on Matchday 1, welcome the Red Devils, who beat Wolverhampton 1-0 on Saturday August 18 at 16:30 GMT. The match pits two giants of English soccer against each other, as well as two direct competitors for the Big 4 and, by extension, the title. Ange Postecoglou, who took over as Tottenham manager in the summer, is aiming for victory against United, but is also hoping to see his team improve. “My objective is to win. That’s the only thing I’m concentrating on, but as I’ve said before, the way we play is important for that. Tomorrow, it’s about putting in a good performance, improving on last week against a very good opponent and hoping that gives us the momentum to keep going,” said the new Spurs boss.
He will be facing a Manchester United team with high ambitions this season. Having qualified for the Champions League this season, the Red Devils have strengthened their squad and are hoping to go one better than last season. To do so, they are aiming to improve their ratio of away wins.“That’s one of the objectives we’ve set ourselves for this season: we need to improve in away games to get more points and reach a higher level, because that’s the basis for getting more points. So it’s often a question of personality. That’s why I’m asking the players to show more personality on the pitch in order to win these matches and pick up more points away from home,” the Dutch coach told a press conference. In their last 5 league games, Manchester United have won 4 and drawn one. The Red Devils start with a psychological advantage.
Newcastle attack Manchester City
These are undoubtedly two of the most formidable teams in the Premier League today Saturday and they showed it on the opening day. Newcastle beat Aston Villa by a wide margin (5-1), while City eased past newly-promoted Burnley (0-3). Last season’s surprise top-four finishers, the Saints have made no secret of their ambitions. They’re here to establish themselves over the long term. “We see this match as an opportunity to give our best. I want our players and supporters to adopt a positive frame of mind. That goes hand in hand with being a team that hopes to win every game, and that’s a message I’m trying to get across,” Eddie Howe told a press conference. The English coach is, however, aware of the challenge that awaits his team against the Citizens. Newcastle have not won at the Ettihad Stadium since 2006. With last year’s historic treble and Supercup win over Sevilla (1-1, 5-4 TAB), Manchester City are no longer a team to be sneezed at. Pep Guardiola’s men have the same ambitions. They could, however, be a little limited with the absences of Kevin De Bruyne, Jonh Stones and certainly Bernardo Silva.The match will be played on Saturday August 18 at 7pm GMT.
Leverkusen – Leipzig: Germans return to action
As the German league resumes, soccer fans will be treated to a mouth-watering Bayern Leverkusen – RB Leipzig clash. Respectively 6th and 3rd last season, the two teams will be keen to improve on their performances. Leipzig have already won the German Supercup against Bayern Munich (0-3). Good motivation for the season ahead. The club has also strengthened its squad with the signing of Loïs Openda, Xavi Simple, Castello Junior Lukeba and others. Leverkusen, for their part, have been in fine form since the arrival of Xabi Alonso.The Spanish coach has taken the club from 13th to 6th place. They have also strengthened their squad with Granit Xhaka, Victor Bonifac, Jonash Hoffmann and Alejandro Grimaldo. Both teams are direct competitors for a place in the Champions League. The visitors have won 3 of their last 5 matches. Leverkusen won the other two matches.
— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04fussball) August 18, 2023