Weekend Boxset: Rivalries old and new

This weekend sees Mourinho pitted against Chelsea, the Milan Derby and the return of the A League.

Seven 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 Middlesbrough


19.45 on Sky Sports Football & Main Event


Defeat to Forest last time out has seen Tony Pulis's Boro side lose top spot in the table to Sheffield United but having conceded just six so far this season they still have the meanest defence in the division. Like their table topping city-rivals, Sheffield Wednesday's season got off to a poor start but just one defeat in their last nine (also to Forest) has seen them close the gap with Boro to just three points. That run has seen them contain high-flyers Leeds and West Brom at Hillsbrough but Jos Luhukay's side have yet to keep a clean sheet this season. GS
 



Saturday



Premier League: Chelsea v Manchester United


12.30 on Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event


Only Theresa May can be having a tougher time at work than Jose Mourinho right now. United's comeback against Newcastle was impressive but if they start this match the way they started that one, Mourinho might be sacked before the second half even begins. It's almost two years to the day since Jose's United were humbled 4-0 at Stamford Bridge and it's hard to see beyond a similar outcome here despite some star performances from his attacking players in the Nations League. Paul Scholes went on record to say that United won't win a title with Lukaku up front but while the powerhouse striker has not not scored in six for United he's scored four in Belgium's last two Nations League matches. Mourinho has never faced Sarri so viewers might be treated to the start of a whole new meaningless feud. GS
 



Bundesliga: Schalke v Werder Bremen


17.30 on BT Sport Extra 2


Schalke’s hilarious disastrous start to the season seems to be behind them. Impressive wins against Freiburg, Mainz and Fortuna Dusseldorf without conceding a goal suggests that Domenico Todesco has got passed the mini crisis that threatened to undermine all the great work he and his team did last season in finishing runners up in the Bundesliga. However, in Werder Bremen they face the toughest of their most recent opponents. After a run of consecutive seasons in the lower reaches of the table, Werder are good value for their fourth place. Max Kruse up front is in great form, as is Davy Klassen who seems renewed after his unproductive spell on Merseyside next year. Keep an eye on the brothers Eggestein, Max (21) is a rapidly improving midfielder and striker Johannes (20) scored his first goal in the last round against Wolfsburg. US viewers will take an interest in Weston McKennie for Schalke and it’s possible that Josh Sargent may make an appearance. The 18 year old has been promoted to the first team from the Under 23s. TD
 



La Liga: Barcelona v Sevilla


19.45 on Eleven Sports 1


A top of the table clash that’s not involving a club from Madrid. What a time to be alive! The last time we previewed Sevilla we suggested that new coach Pablo Machin had a little more work to do. His team lost to Getafe 2-0 but since then it’s been gravy all the way. Four straight wins, including a superb 3-0 victory over Real Madrid put them top of the table. Ever Banega and Pablo Sarabia in Midfield plus Andre Silva and Wissam Ben Yedder are banging in the goals and the team has retaken the thunder stolen from them by their city rival Betis who were the darlings of last season but are a tad more functional now. The difference makers so far seem to be goals from midfield. Despite the much discussed difficulties at the Camp Nou there will still be plenty of money on Barca to win this match. But irrespective, there is every reason to expect the visitors to give it a go. TD
 





Sunday



A-League: Brisbane Roar v Central Coast Mariners


07.00 on BT Sports 3


For the opening weekend of the A-League we bring back Sydney-based Gary Andrews, author of the Can We Read You Every Week newsletter to preview his pick of the weekend.

Anybody tuning in hoping to capture a glimpse of Usain Bolt will be sorely disappointed. The Olympic sprinter is only on trial with the Central Coast Mariners, although that won't stop plenty of commentators shoehorning in bad puns and unnecessary references to the Jamaican. Thankfully, that particular circus can be relegated behind actual football, which features a fascinating opening weekend A League fixture for the Gosford side. Since their glory days under new Socceroos boss Graham Arnold back in 2013, the Mariners have been perennial wooden spoon candidates, while Brisbane Roar have been the very model of inconsistency under boss John Aloisi and are still pining for their championship winning days under Mike Mulvey. Who just happens to be the Mariners new coach. Sub-plot ahoy! Neither side will be expected to challenge for the title but both have recruited sensibly over the summer and have realistic expectations of making the top six. Both teams have strengthened their attack with the Mariners bringing in Ross McCormack, former Gosford legend Matt Simon, and Jordan Murray, who makes the step up from state league team APIA Leichhardt, while Brisbane Roar have lured promising Socceroo Adam Taggart across from Perth and re-signed Frenchman Eric Bautheac. If there is a question over the Roar and the Mariners, it's with their respective defences, so this has the potential to be a goal fest. GA
 



Premier League: Everton v Crystal Palace


16.00 on Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event


Palace have not won a football match without Wilfried Zaha since September 2016. If, as is feared, the Cotes D’Ivoire international does not recover from the thigh injury sustained, last weekend then this game could be a foregone conclusion. To add to Roy Hodgson’s woes his main striker, Christian Benteke is still recovering from knee surgery. Palace have conceded the sixth fewest amount of goals so far this season which is good. But they’ve also scored the third fewest which helps explain all those narrow defeats. After this game the Eagles’ next four league fixtures are Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, and Manchester United. It’s very likely that the South London club will be in the bottom three by December. Everton are sat in mid-table but nicely poised with 12 points and have enough goals in them to win this match, despite the fact that £27 million striker Cenk Tosun has only scored once so far this season. Boss Marco Silva has confirmed that the Columbian Yerry Mina and Portuguese midfielder, Andre Gomes are recovered from their injuries and may feature for the first time since they both signed in August. TD
 



Serie A: Inter v Milan


19.30 on Eleven Sports 1


The 222nd Derby della Madonina should be an absolute cracker and is already being billed as the battle between the two star Argentinian strikers, Mauro Icardi and Gonzalo Higuain. Inter's home derby at the San Siro last season also came on match day 8 and was an absolute belter with Icardi sealing a hat-trick with a 90th minute winning goal - the sort of performance people looked back upon to wonder why the hell didn't Jorge Sampaoli include him in his World Cup squad. Milan have failed to finish in the top 4 of Serie A since 2013 and while they sit in mid-table now they are showing signs that the investment put into the side is starting to pay off. Inter are third but already 8 points behind Juventus so need the win to stop the Old Lady disappearing even further into the distance. If the action on the pitch doesn't live up to the hype, Spalletti and Gattuso on the touchline should provide plenty of entertainment. GS
 



Whatever you watch, have a great weekend.



Terry (@terryduffelen) & Graham (@grahamsibley)



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