Weekend Boxset: Anything but the Ryder Cup

Derbies in South Yorkshire, Madrid and Hamburg are only eclipsed by two giants of the Premier League locking horns - well, not eclipsed for everyone.

Seven (or eight) great matches to take you from Friday to Sunday. It's the Sound of Football Weekend Boxset.

All times are BST


Friday



Championship: Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds United


19.45 on Sky Sports Football & Main Event


"It is a high price to pay for a tactical mistake." said Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa after the 2-1 defeat to Birmingham last week, their first of the season. The veteran Argentine coach made the headlines by taking responsibility for the result. Bielsa is well known for being something of a maverick and his eccentricities have caused him problems with his previous employers in the past.  However, these aspects of his character are as much a part of the Bielsa narrative as his tactics. His frank admission of his own failings is an example. Personally I think he is well suited to the highly strung Leeds United and hope he succeeds. His problem is the ridiculously intense football his team plays versus the large number of fixtures in the Championship. Will Leeds stay the course? Wednesday were the other team in the Aston Villa game that had that superb John McGinn volley. The Sheffield club's performance may not have gone viral on Social Media but they won't mind because they won. Jos Luhukay's team are just four points away from the top two in what is a pretty congested top half of the table. TD



Saturday



Premier League: West Ham United v Manchester United


12.30 on BT Sport 1


And speaking of Social Media, another viral video doing the rounds this week was one of a supposed training ground "bust-up" between Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho. Footage like that is manna for the football gossip columns and for the millions who seemingly love football as a soap opera. Panto season comes early to the London Stadium and what will happen in this game is anyone's guess - which is why it will make compelling viewing. That doesn't necessarily mean it will be great football but it will be compelling nonetheless. GS
 



Premier League: Chelsea v Liverpool


17.30 on Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event


The sides meet for the second time in just a few days after their midweek Caraboa Cup 3rd round tie at Anfield. A typically barnstorming winning goal five minutes from time from substitute Eden Hazard was the difference on the night. Hazard will start this game along with a fair number of others from both sides who were benched or rested for the warm-up match. A good performance from Chelsea will do much to dispel the mutterings around their title credentials; mutterings that have become more audible since they failed to beat West Ham last weekend. Sarri's side won their only match so far against a top six side when they beat Arsenal 3-2 in his second match in charge. A win is, of course, a win but if Arsenal had shown some composure in front of goal the scoreline would have been a humiliating home defeat. If Salah, Sane and Firmino are presented with the types of openings the Gunners spurned, it could be a long day for Chelsea. GS 

Alternative viewing: instead of watching two title contenders in the Premier League face off, Terry imagines that you might prefer to watch a game between two teams that will finish 30 and 20 points behind Bayern respectively. Bayer Leverkusen v Borussia Dortmund is on BT Sport 2 from 17.30. He's even written an explanation of why you should watch watch it...

A week is a long time in football. Last Thursday, Bayer coach Heiko Herrlich was a man under pressure after three straight league defeats and whispers of dressing room discord. Sporting Director Rudi Voller had to front up to the media and insist that the coach was staying. 7 days, one Europa League win and two Bundesliga victories later and all is right with the world. Critics may say that the opposition, in the shape of Freiburg and Fortuna Dusseldorf was easier but you can only beat or be beaten by what's in front of you. Current star man, in attack for Die Werkself, is Kai Havertz. The 19 year old attacking midfielder scored a brace against Ludogorets in Europe and the decisive goal against Mainz on Saturday. However, in the shape of Julian Brandt, Leon Bailey, Kevin Volland and Lucas Alario there is plenty of options against a Dortmund side that, its 7-0 drubbing against a clueless Nurnberg aside, has erred on the side of defence so far this season. If you're Pulisic curious then know that he played blinder on Wednesday. Look out also for Jacob Bruun Larsen. The 20 year old Dane scored his first goal for Borussia. Jadon Sancho is still being used as an impact player from the bench as is new signing Paco Alcacer. TD

 



La Liga: Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid


19.45 on Eleven Sports 1


Sick of the same two teams always winning in Spain? Well set aside that metaphorical barf bag because its all change in La Liga. Last weekend Barcelona only drew with Girona and on Wednesday they lost to bottom club Leganes. Real meanwhile were comprehensively beaten by three first half goals to nil at Sevilla. The European Champions don’t have a great record at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stadium but the manner in which they were swept aside will worry their coach Julen Lopetegui. You’ll recall that the Real coach joined the club in controversial fashion just prior to the World Cup. After this result he'll fully understand what it’s like in the hot seat. Of course this is only the first defeat of the season ans against a decent side to boot. However,  the tactics analysts are already savaging Real's defensive set up and if you've seen their earlier games this season you could have seen a result like this coming. This sets the scene for a full blooded city derby against Atletico whose coach Diego Simeone will relish the prospect of unleashing Griezmann, Lemar and Costa at that Real back line. Prepare to be emotional. TD
 





Sunday



Bundesliga 2: Hamburg v St Pauli


12.30 on BT Sport 2


Real Madrid's problems pale into insignificance by comparison to those at HSV. In broad terms, Hamburg are doing OK in their first ever season in the second division. However, they have been hit with two big losses at home: 3-0 to Holstein Kiel on the opening day and 5 (FUNF) - 0 to Jahn Regensburg last weekend. They managed to recover some dignity with a 0-0 draw at Greuther Fürth last night but coach Christian Titz needs to address the collective brain farts that result in these disastrous score lines and hilarious performances. They welcome their great city rivals and counter-cultural icons, St Pauli. If you’re not aware, the club based in the Reeperbahn district of the city identify themselves as a left wing club representing the working class of the city. All clubs play a role in their community but few take their social responsibility, especially with respect to the district’s poor and disaffected, more seriously than the Millentor club. They have their critics but to me they are definitely the good guys. Der Kiezkicker took a bit of a hammering a couple of weeks back, at home to FC Koln but after a rough couple of seasons at the wrong end of the table, look set for a decent if not spectacular campaign. There is certainly enough about them to stick one up their bigger, more illustrious rivals and should they beat the home side, the fall-out in the stadium should be worth bearing witness. TD
 



Serie A: Sassuolo v Milan


19.30 on Eleven Sports 1


Pressure grows on Gennaro Gattuso with his Milan side in 14th place in the table with just one win from their opening five games. In those five games, mostly against very beatable sides, his team have dropped seven points from winning positions. Sassuolo on the other hand are enjoying a great start to the season, sitting happily in third place and are out-scoring everyone else in Serie A. One of Sassuolo's stand out players this season has been Kevin Prince Boateng (remember him?) a summer signing from Frankfurt. The 31 year old former Spurs and Portsmouth midfielder played over 100 games in two spells at Milan, either side of his time at Schalke. He has scored in four of the six games he's played for Sassuolo so far. GS
 



MLS: Sporting Kansas City v Real Salt Lake


22.00 on Sky Sports Football


The leaves starting to turn is usually a signal that football is just getting started. Over the Atlantic however it signifies that "squeaky-bum time" is upon us. Having looked favourites to take the Western Conference, Sporting will now be more concerned with holding on to their top two position for the play-offs. Sporting's recent defeats to other play-off contenders Seattle and Philadelphia should encourage Salt Lake who themselves probably just need two wins to secure their post-season place. GS
 



Whatever you watch, have a great weekend.



Terry (@terryduffelen) & Graham (@grahamsibley)



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