Thank god, we survived the International Break. We get four weeks of hot Domestic and Champion’s League action before the cruel mistress that is World Cup qualifying takes away our early morning soccer.
We didn’t highlight any specific matches, but let’s talk about some highlights. A bunch of teams are now officially eliminated from the World Cup, so sound the cannon for: Luxembourg, Belarus, Hungary, Faroe Islands, Andorra, Latvia, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Norway, San Marino, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Malta, Israel, Macedonia, Liechtenstein, Estonia, Gibraltar, Finland and Kosovo. We hardly knew ye.
The only team that has officially qualified for Russia 2018 out of Europe right now is Belgium.
In slightly weird news, the English Premier League has voted to close their Transfer Window before the EPL season starts. Now, this actually makes a ton of sense, but without the rest of the big European leagues following suit this is a slightly dodgy move for the EPL. Perhaps they follow suit, perhaps they don’t. I’ve heard arguments that this is both good and bad for English teams and for continental teams so who the fuck knows?
What’s on Tap?
Hamburg v RB Leipzig (1:30pm) – Leipzig lost to Schalke to start the season, and Hamburg has six out of six points and welcome back Bobby Wood who scored in their last match and got the equalizer against Honduras on Tuesday. Welcome back, European domestic leagues!
Manchester City v Liverpool (6:30am) – It’s the at least semi-annual Zellburg Derby. This time we get it at 6:30 in the morning (Full Disclosure: My wife is a Man City fan and Manchester City has never beaten Liverpool in the league since we started dating). The last League win for Man City was in 2014 at home and this match will be at the Etihad. Although Klopp seems to have figured out Pep Guardiola, this Man City team has a lot of firepower. I predict a lot of ridiculous gloating by my wife on Saturday (She pouts and doesn’t talk to me when Man City inevitably loses).
Everton v Tottenham (9:00am) – Everton and Gylfi Sigurdsson welcome his former club Tottenham to the blue side of Merseyside. Gylfi would have been a good addition for the Spurs who have Harry Kane, who has still never scored a goal in August (God I hope this is true). Luckily it’s now September, so Kane should put on his goal scoring boots.
Nice v Monaco (10:00am) – We don’t often feature Ligue Un here at The Daves I Know, but we do make an exception for the Derby de la Côte d’Azur. Monaco have lost Mbappe but they did manage to get a decent Champions League draw. Nice knocked Ajax out of Champions League but then got worked by Napoli and were knocked down to Europa League. Monaco has had Nice’s number in recent years but last year at home around this time Nice rolled Monaco 4-0.
Hoffenheim v Bayern Munich (11:30am) – Hoffenheim welcome (why do we still use this when clearly these teams hate each other) Bayern Munich after Bayern raided the Hoffenheim team for Niklas Süle and Sebastian Rudy, both of whom contributed to Bayern’s first goal of the season. Munich might be looking ahead to their Champions League match on Tuesday and Hoffenheim don’t have to worry about that after getting knocked out by Liverpool a couple weeks ago.
Barcelona v Espanyol (1:45pm) – The Derbi barcelonés ends our European Saturday. Barcelona are a team in turmoil with their club President under fire, Messi maybe (definitely) leaving (to Manchester City?) for free at the end of the year, unable to wrest Coutinho from Liverpool. On the other hand, Espanyol hasn’t won this match in over eight years.
Lazio v AC Milan (8:00am) – Milan and Lazio both failed to qualify for Champions League and Milan decided to spend a stupid amount of money chasing their former glory. In addition to the shit tons of money they gave an 18 year old, they bought Lazio’s captain, Lucas Biglia, a midfielder. Milan is 2-2-0 in their last four league matches against Lazio. I also just want to point out that Serie A is dumb.
This is actually a pretty damn good weekend of soccer, so make sure you activate your Saturday alarms and have your beer chilled for that early-ass morning match and just buckle in for some great soccer action.