One game to watch in each of Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues this weekend

After an eventful two weeks of international football that saw Hansi Flick become the first manager in Germany’s history to be sacked, Luciano Spalletti take charge of his first game of the Italian National team, and Barcelona’s 16-year-old sensation Lamine Yamal break multiple records for Spain- club football is now back.

With that being said, it may be difficult to choose which league or which games to watch to welcome you back from the international break, so we have picked out what we believe is the most exciting and interesting match in each of Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues that you should watch this weekend.

  • Bayern Munich Vs Bayer Leverkusen (Friday 15 September- Kick Off: 19:30 GMT)

The first game in our selection comes from Germany, and, although it’s early in the season, it could prove to be one of the deciding fixtures in the Bundesliga title race this season. With Leverkusen currently sitting top of the table just above Bayern on goal difference, this match-up will see least one of the two sides lose their flawless record so far this campaign. Expect to see the reigning champions attempt to dominate possession and overload attacking areas, whilst Xabi Alonso’s men look to utilize their flying wing-backs and free-flowing frontline to spring dangerous counter-attacks at pace.

Meanwhile, look out for the German wonderkid’s and new star striker’s in each sides respective line-up, with Bayern record signing Harry Kane linking up with Jamal Musiala at one end, as Florian Wirtz will be aiming to help Victor Boniface continue his unstoppable start to life in Germany- where the Nigerian international has already scored four goals and made two assists in three games.

  • Paris Saint-Germain vs OGC Nice (Friday 15 September- Kick Off: 20:00 GMT)

Next up, and whilst Rennes Vs Lille will offer an exciting battle, it’s hard to look beyond PSG vs Nice- where 34-year-old Francesco Farioli manager will be looking to prove himself against the highly decorated Luis Enrique at the Parc des Princes.

Whilst Farioli’s high-pressing and possession-based tactics have seen Nice maintain a solid defence so far (conceding the fewest goals in Ligue 1), they have struggled at the other end of the field, scoring just four from an Expected Goals of 7.1. Meanwhile, although PSG have found it difficult to play out of the back at times this season, Nice’s aggressive man-to-man press may be outplayed by Le Parisien’s world-class quality in all areas of the field- as they finally looked to have clicked under their new head coach after an underwhelming two games- as they come off the back of 3-1 and 4-1 victories against Lens and Lyon respectively.  

  • Inter Milan vs AC Milan (Saturday 16 September- Kick Off: 17:00 GMT)

In Italy, the San Siro was the only place we could go to for this weekend’s fixture. The Derby della Madonnina looks set to be an enthralling spectacle yet again, with both sides aiming continue their excellent start of the season, as they sit joint top of the table in both points and goals scored- whilst Inter are still yet to concede.

However, with Rafael Leão, Olivier Giroud, and Cristian Pulisic spearheading the team and Theo Hernández, Tijjani Reijnders and Ruben Loftus-Cheek making surging runs forward from deep, Milan certainly have the capability to test Inter’s new shotstopper Yann Sommer. Meanwhile, the in-form new strike partnership of Marcus Thuram And Lautaro Martinez will be constantly targeting a possibility vulnerable Milan defence- who are without key centre-back Fikayo Tomori after his sending off against Roma two weeks ago.

  • Arsenal vs Everton (Sunday 17 September- Kick Off: 16:30 GMT

Arsenal vs Everton may look like a one-sided affair on paper, and, although The Gunners may dominate the share of possession, the Toffees’ intense home atmosphere and desire to secure their first win of the campaign may prove a tough hurdle for last years’ runners’ up to overcome- as has been the case in previous years, with Arsenal failing to win at Goodison Park since October 2017. 

However, Mikel Arteta’s side will be determined to put in a convincing performance to begin what is set to be a crucial week in their season, as they mark their return to Champions League football against PSV on Wednesday, before hosting Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham in the North London Derby next Sunday. 

Regardless of who comes out on top in this fixture it is bound to be a fast-paced, competitive, and entertaining affair worth watching. 

  • Real Madrid vs Real Sociedad (Sunday 17 September- Kick Off: 20:00 GMT)

The final game we suggest will be just the second to take place inside the revamped Santiago Bernabéu stadium.

Having won each of their first four games of the season, Real Madrid will face what is likely their toughest challenge yet against Imanol Alguacil’s Sociedad, who will be looking to make it three matches in a row unbeaten against Los Blancos, after drawing one and winning one against them last season.

Furthermore, this boasts perhaps the two stand-out performers of the La Liga campaign so far in Takefusa Kubo and Jude Bellingham. The Japanese right-winger will be looking to hurt his former side with his tremendous creativity and shooting when cutting inside on his stronger left-foot. Meanwhile, although he is likely to influence in all areas of the pitch, look out for Bellingham’s poacher-like instinct and intelligent movement in behind the opposition defence- traits which he has unexpectedly shown with his five goals already this season.

So, as club’s return to action this weekend, there is one game from each of Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues that you should watch this weekend, and that we believe will be the most interesting, entertaining, and high-quality match-ups across the entire continent.

Travis Levison | Get Football

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