MATCHDAY: Man City goes for 3rd win; Barcelona at Sociedad
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Sunday:
Manchester City aims to match Arsenal in opening the season with three straight wins in the Premier League. City, the defending champion, heads to Newcastle for a match against a Saudi-funded team which could within a few years be a serious title contender because of the wealth of its owners. City has already beaten West Ham and Bournemouth, scoring six goals and keeping two clean sheets. Newcastle has beaten Nottingham Forest and drawn at Brighton, and also hasn’t conceded. Chelsea heads to Leeds looking to maintain its unbeaten start, as does Brighton when it travels to play West Ham.
Barcelona will try to rebound from a disappointing opening draw against Rayo Vallecano at the Camp Nou when it visits Real Sociedad in the Spanish league. Coach Xavi Hernández will not be able to count on veteran midfielder Sergio Busquets who was sent off in stoppage time in the 0-0 draw against Rayo. Atlético Madrid hosts Villarreal after beating Getafe 3-0 in its opener, with Álvaro Morata scoring twice in his first match since returning to Atlético from a two-year stint on loan at Juventus. Gennaro Gattuso’s Valencia will also go for two straight victories when it visits Ernesto Valverde’s Athletic Bilbao, which opened with a draw at home.
There will be scrutiny on the interaction between Kylian Mbappe and Neymar when defending champion Paris Saint-Germain visits Lille in the French league. After Mbappe missed a penalty in the 5-2 win over Montpellier last weekend, Neymar took over spotkick duties and converted one. Neymar has already hit top form with three goals and three assists from two league games while Mbappe has notched one goal after missing the start of the season because of a groin injury. Probable contenders for European spots, Rennes and Nice are still chasing their first win of the season. Rennes will miss goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and Croatia midfielder Lovro Majer when it hosts promoted Ajaccio. Nice travels to Clermont.
Bayern Munich remains the only team in the Bundesliga with a 100% record and it’s seeking revenge at Bochum, which was responsible for one of its five league defeats last season. Bochum won 4-2 in February. Bayern routed Bochum 7-0 in their previous meeting. Bochum, which has lost both of its games so far this season, is very much the underdog. Bayern has eight goals from its two games so far and the Bavarian powerhouse has scored in each of its last 83 league games. Also Sunday, Eintracht Frankfurt hopes to end its 10-game run without a league win when unbeaten Cologne visits.
Defending champion AC Milan plays at Atalanta in the Italian league with both teams looking to preserve their winning starts. Milan defeated Udinese 4-2 and Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta enjoyed a 2-0 win at Sampdoria last weekend. Milan won the sides’ previous three Serie A meetings. Bologna hosts Verona with one of the sides at least guaranteed to get their first points of the season. Napoli, which scored five goals in its opening win at Verona, welcomes Monza. Also, Empoli hosts Fiorentina.
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