Europe’s top-five leagues return to action this weekend with a set of cracking fixtures, including three mouth-watering derbies.
Let’s have a quick preview.
Bundesliga – RB Leipzig vs Borussia Dortmund
RB Leipzig might be one of the newest Bundesliga editions, but Die Roten Bullen have taken Germany’s top-flight by storm since earning promotion in 2016/17.
Leipzig haven’t taken any prisoners en route to establishing themselves as a permanent top-four fixture in the Bundesliga. However, one of the sides that have often thrown a spanner in the works are Borussia Dortmund.
Indeed, the Saxons have lost six of their ten league matches against Die Borussen. Only against Bayern Munich have they lost as many Bundesliga games so far.
It will be up to under-pressure manager Jesse Marsch to improve that record and get his tenure back on the rails following a mixed start.
And while Marsch has yet to find his feet in Saxony, his Dortmund counterpart Marco Rose has got his managerial career in North Rhine-Westphalia off to a flying start.
The ex-Borussia Monchengladbach strategist has guided his new employers to eight wins from ten Bundesliga matches, with only Bayern (25) accruing more points than Dortmund (24) to date.
Premier League – Manchester derby
Saturday’s Premier League action gets underway at Old Trafford with a blockbuster showdown between Manchester United and Manchester City.
The Red Devils are leading the all-time H2H record in the Premier League (W24, D9, L15), and despite his recent struggle, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserves some credit.
Since losing his first-ever derby showpiece in charge in April 2019, Solskjaer has navigated Man United to four straight Premier League duels with Man City without a defeat (W3, D1).
While they’ve not kept a single clean sheet across their last 13 league matches at Old Trafford, the three-time European champions have registered three consecutive shutouts against bitter rivals in the competition.
Solskjaer led his side to an all-important 3-0 win over Tottenham last time out, but he hasn’t weathered the storm yet, as this might prove a decisive encounter for his future in Manchester.
Though Man City remain one of the most formidable challenges in the Premier League, Pep Guardiola’s men have experienced an underwhelming start to the season by their standards.
A dismal 2-0 home loss to Crystal Palace last weekend indicates Guardiola may rue his inability to land an out-and-out striker in the summer.
With pacesetters Chelsea already five points in front, the Citizens can ill-afford to lose more ground if they are to retain the Premier League crown this term.
Therefore, buckle up and brace yourself for a spectacle.
Serie A – Derby della Madonnina
Often considered one of the most entertaining events in European football, the famed Derby della Madonnina will steal the spotlight in Serie A this weekend.
High-flying AC Milan will be looking to close the distance in the overall H2H record against Inter Milan in Serie A (W52, D55, L67) when the two sides lock horns at the San Siro.
The H2H stakes might not be on their side, but Stefano Pioli’s men can fall back on their imperial start to this domestic campaign.
Alongside Napoli, the Rossoneri are the only Serie A team to have won ten out of the opening 11 top-flight fixtures this season (D1), which should be a massive confidence booster going into this clash.
Meanwhile, the Nerazzurri have blown hot and cold under new boss Simone Inzaghi and are already lagging seven points behind current front-runners.
With Inter’s hopes of winning back-to-back Serie A titles for the first time in over a decade already hanging by a thread, the defending champions could well go for broke here.