Liverpool vs Arsenal and six other games you should see this weekend

Liverpool’s Senegalese midfielder Sadio Mane (L) celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on August 19, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF /

League football returns to Europe and Nigeria this weekend with some high-profile games to be played. Here are seven of the matches we think you should see:

Liverpool vs Arsenal
Arsenal’s loss to Stoke City last weekend was in keeping with the gunners’ early season blip. Arsenal lost 4-3 in the opening weekend of last season but it was 4-1 at some point during that game. Now they get to face a blistering Liverpool side coming off a blip of their own. The return of Laurent Koscielny ensures that at least a centre back will be played in the Arsenal backline rather than the cringe worthy sight of left fullbacks filling in the centre of the defence. Alexis Sanchez’s possible return also adds an extra layer of excitement to the game, the Chilean could line up for his first game of the season in this fixture. Phillipe Coutinho, still linked with Barcelona, has got a virus this time but the African duo of Sadio Mane and Mo Salah might make sure of it that the Brazilian is not missed.
For neutrals, a high scoring game will just be perfect.

Manchester United vs Leicester City
Can Manchester United make it a hat-trick of 4 – 0? Romelu Lukaku certainly didn’t leave his scoring boots at Everton, the Belgian has taken to life at the Old Trafford as duck to water while Nemanja Matic has been both solid and effective. Paul Pogba looks uncaged, Henrikh Mkhitaryan is having a stroll providing assists and Anthony Martial is proving an overly effective option from the bench. It’s all coming together perfectly for Jose Mourinho and Manchester United further bolstered their forward options with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. If United were title contenders before his signing, now they are firm title favourites with his signing.
Manchester United’s first real test is this weekend. Could Leicester take the wind out of their sails?

Roma vs Inter
It’s the return of Luciano Spalletti to the Stadio Olimpico. The manager who led Roma to their record points and goals last season now is with the Nerazzurri. While Roma brought in an impressive manager in Eusebio Di Francesco, Inter will feel they got the better pick and a better chance at the Scudetto. Inter blew Fiorentina out of the water in their 3-0 victory with Mauro Icardi bagging a brace and the team looking devilishly impressive. Roma, though looked less assured, still needs a replacement for Mo Salah as the team lacked invention and verticality in their play. The lone goal scored in the victory was from Aleksandar Kolarov’s brilliant low free kick beneath the wall.
Both teams are contenders for the Serie A title and this weekend might just reveal who’s more likely to give Juventus a very hard push for the Scudetto.

Enyimba vs Wikki Tourists
Yaay! The NPFL is on TV for a second week running and we are getting two games (!) this weekend. Akwa United vs Lobi Stars started off the TV matches and we hope it is a pre-cursor to more excitement in Enyimba vs Wikki Tourists. The maddening chase for continental spot makes things more interesting. Akwa United have gone on ahead with their victory over Lobi Stars, now the onus lies on the People’s Elephant to replicate their rivals’ victory if they still hold out hope for the continent. Wikki Tourists also need points to stave off relegation. Expect a huge fight from both Elephants.

Monaco vs Marseille
Monaco have not fielded teenage superstar Kylian Mbappe for the three games they have played this season and they have been fine. They won all three games, maybe without all of the swashbuckling blitz of last season but it’s 9 points out of 9. Mbappe will not feature in this encounter (again) and sadly for Marseille, Dmitri Payet and Clinton Njie (with three goals already this season) are unavailable.
It is Valere Germain’s return to the Stade Louis II that excites and the possibility of Radamel Falcao continuing his fine goal scoring form. The Colombian has five Ligue 1 goals already and will be raring to go. Rudi Garcia’s men were held to a draw by Angers last weekend but were exciting with Florian Thauvin and Germain running riot in their Europa League qualifier on Thursday.

Chelsea vs Everton
Chelsea’s victory over Tottenham at the Wembley doused growing tensions at the Cobham. The result at least served as a diversion from whatever internal strife is happening at the club. It could all get frosty again if results go awry, and Antonio Conte is not handed an easy task facing an upbeat Everton side. Everton, slightly jaded, almost got a win against Manchester City on Monday, drew against Hajduk Split on Thursday and have a sequence to complete on Sunday. Oh, and Wayne Rooney with two goals this season, would love to score against Chelsea.

Real Madrid vs Valencia
Watching Real Madrid in their splendour even if without Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos is always something to look out for. Former Villareal coach, Marcelino Garcia Toral started his time at the helm with a 1-0 victory over Las Palmas and will hope to return Valencia to their place as part of the top Spanish sides. A top performance against Real Madrid makes a resounding statement of intent for the side that just got Geoffrey Kondogbia and Jeison Murillo to bolster their squad options.

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