A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Saturday:
It’s Wolverhampton’s turn to figure out how to stop Erling Haaland. Manchester City and its prolific new striker visit Molineux in one of just three Premier League games. Haaland has 10 goals in six league games and City trails first-placed Arsenal by one point. The good news for Wolves? They’ve allowed the fewest goals — four — through six rounds. Bruno Lage’s problem, though, is his team has scored only three times — tied for least in the league. The manager might have to turn to new arrival Diego Costa to provide some punch because forward Raul Jimenez was ruled out and new striker Saša Kalajdžić had knee surgery. Tottenham also trails Arsenal by one point and hosts winless Leicester City. Brendan Rodgers’ team has lost five straight league games after an opening-day draw. Newcastle hosts Bournemouth in the other game.
Barcelona hosts struggling Elche while aiming to bounce back from its first loss of the season in any competition at Bayern Munich in the Champions League. A fifth straight victory in the Liga for Xavi Hernández’s team will lift it ahead of leader Real Madrid before it plays a derby at Atlético Madrid on Sunday. Elche is winless after five rounds. All eyes will be on how Xavi uses young forward Ansu Fati after he was dropped by Spain coach Luis Enrique for the Nations League due to his lack of starts with Barcelona, with the World Cup just around the corner. Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski leads the league in scoring with six. He is closely followed by striker Iago Aspas (5) whose Celta Vigo is at Valencia. Athletic Bilbao hosts Rayo Vallecano seeking another win that could lift it into the top four, while promoted Almería travels to Mallorca.
Thiago Motta makes his debut as Bologna coach against a winless Empoli side in Serie A. Motta replaces the fired Sinisa Mihajlovic after youth squad coach Luca Vigiani directed Bologna to its first win of the season over Fiorentina last weekend. Another matchup of squads near the bottom of the table involves 16th-place Spezia against 19th-place Sampdoria. Torino coach Ivan Juric returns after missing two matches with pneumonia as his squad hosts Sassuolo.
Bayern Munich rarely needs to make amends but it feels that way for its Bavarian derby against Augsburg after three consecutive Bundesliga draws. Julian Nagelsmann’s team was also fortunate to beat Barcelona in their Champions League game on Wednesday, so the pressure is on the visitors to produce a much-improved performance in Augsburg. Another draw is unlikely – Augsburg hasn’t drawn any of its last 16 games. Borussia Dortmund also needs to make amends after losing at Leipzig 3-0 last weekend. Edin Terzić’s team welcomes promoted Schalke for the return of the Ruhr derby. The was no derby last season with Schalke in the second division. Leipzig travels to Borussia Mönchengladbach where coach Marco Rose is sure to be given a heated reception on his return to his former club. Bayer Leverkusen will hope to build on its Champions League win over Atlético Madrid with another victory over visiting Werder Bremen, and Eintracht Frankfurt visits Stuttgart.
Lille has been struggling for consistency, posting just three wins from its opening seven matches. The 2021 champion hosts promoted Auxerre with its forwards stock weakened by injuries. Coach Paulo Fonseca says Edon Zhegrova, Remy Cabella and Timothy Weah will all miss the game as they recover. At the back, Tiago Djalo is suspended. Lille has lost its previous couple of matches at home against Paris Saint-Germain and Nice, but has won eight of its last 10 home games against Toulouse, producing seven clean sheets on the way. Montpellier hosts Strasbourg in the other game.
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