A look at what’s happening around European soccer on Sunday:
Ronald Koeman coaches his first competitive match for Barcelona as they host Villarreal amid a club crisis and open conflict between Lionel Messi and the club leadership. Messi is angry with the club after it sold friend and teammate Luis Suárez to rival Atlético Madrid. Koeman, however, has lauded how Messi has trained for him after the club rejected his plan to leave this summer following Barcelona’s devastating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich. Villarreal is a tough debut for Koeman after hiring coach Unai Emery and ex-Valencia midfielder Dani Parejo this offseason. Atlético also opens its season hosting Granada, when Suárez could debut after joining his new teammates on Friday. Sevilla likewise opens its Spanish league campaign at Cádiz after losing the European Super Cup to Bayern Munich. Celta Vigo is at Valladolid.
Manchester City looks for a second straight victory to open the Premier League when it hosts a Leicester team that has won its first two games. City beat Wolverhampton 3-1 in impressive style on Monday despite a truncated preseason and an injury list that got worse this week when Gabriel Jesus was ruled out. After back-to-back defeats each, Sheffield United and West Ham bid to secure their first points of the season when they host Leeds and Wolves, respectively. Tottenham is at home to Newcastle in the other game as a busy start to the season continues for Jose Mourinho’s team.
Bayern Munich’s busy schedule continues with a trip to Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga. Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was forced to show his prowess in the UEFA Super Cup win against Sevilla on Thursday, and coach Hansi Flick will be hoping his attack recaptures attention after opening the league with an 8-0 rout of Schalke last weekend. Flick will almost certainly rotate the side against Hoffenheim, mindful of the five substitutions allowed. “You can also produce top performances when you’re tired, even if it’s only for 60 minutes,” Flick said. Freiburg hosts Wolfsburg in the last game of the second round.
Juventus will be looking to make it two wins out of two when it visits Roma in Serie A. Cristiano Ronaldo scored as Juventus began its bid for a record-extending 10th successive league title with a 3-0 win over Sampdoria last week. Napoli’s match at home to Genoa has been delayed a few hours after Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin tested positive for coronavirus, delaying the team’s trip to Naples. AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimović also has the virus and will be missing from his side’s trip to newly promoted Crotone. Also it’s: Spezia vs. Sassuolo and Hellas Verona vs. Udinese.
Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain travels to Reims on Sunday without the suspended Ángel Di María. He received a four-game ban for spitting toward Marseille defender Álvaro González during PSG’s heated encounter on Sept. 13. Also, Lorient faces Lyon and Monaco hosts Strasbourg.
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