Weekend Boxset:

October starts and already some clubs are seeing their fortunes change. Some good, some bad while some are still waiting. The games this week have them all. 

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

All times are BST


Friday



Premier League: Brighton & Hove Albion v West Ham United


19.45 on Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event


A few weeks ago Albion boss Chris Hughton would have been forgiven for identifying this match as a winnable fixture. Since then however, the Hammers have found their rhythm and we are beginning to see the virtue in the appointment Manuel Pellegrini as manager. Atter three games unbeaten against quality opposition, the Stratford club’s prospects are being reassessed quicker than it takes to put Marko Arnautovic back in your fantasy team. Both clubs enjoyed the prestige of beating Manchester United this season but in Albion’s case that was a bright light on an otherwise gloomy landscape. The Falmer club only have that result against United in the win column and have spurned opportunities against Fulham and Southampton to convert three points from one. West Ham have the momentum and I wouldn’t bet against them having the points, as well. TD
 



Saturday



FFA Cup: Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney


10.30 on BT Sport 3


Sydney based football scribe and author of the fantastic football newsletter Can We Read You Every Week , Gary Andrews, was kind enough share his thoughts on this big city derby.

Interesting times this weekend as it comes against a backdrop of political upheaval with the Australian FA, so it’s good to have some actual football to focus on. The league season itself doesn’t kick off until the end of October, but this FFA Cup should really whet the appetite. The cup competition has been a huge success since it was founded four years ago as the Australian version of the FA Cup, and it provides a way for state league teams to compete against A-League teams. There’s already been a couple of shocks with Sydney side APIA Leichhardt knocking out Melbourne Victory while Wellington Phoenix were dispatched of by semi-finalists Bentleigh Greens. The Sydney derby should be a cracking game as both sides won’t be up to full fitness. Defending champions Sydney have stuttered in the Cup and have either had to come from behind or needed extra time to knock out state teams. Wanderers have been quietly efficient without standing out. Both sides go into the season with new managers. Steve Corica has been promoted internally by the Sky Blues to replace Graham Arnold, who has moved onto the national team job, while former German international Markus Babbel has taken over from Josep Gombau’s underachievers. There’s been plenty of personnel changes, including the arrival of Adam Le Fondre and Siem De Jong at Sydney. Add into the mix that this is being played in Penrith, rather than the usual surroundings of the Olympic Stadium or the Allianz, and you’ve got all the ingredients for a fantastic atmosphere and a match that could go either way. GA
 



Championship : Leeds United  v Brentford


12.30 on Sky Sports Football & Main Event


Brentford have had a good start to the season with Neal Maupay, their 22 year old French attacker, scoring nine goals in nine appearances. That’s the sort of form could see a desperate Premier League side make an over-inflated bid for him in the January window. Leeds are top of the table but of course, this is Leeds so you know if they are going to be promoted this season it’s going to be far from straightforward. Any Leeds fan will know that the rollercoaster is still just ratcheting up the first climb, with all the spectacular drops, twists and loops just around the next bend. If you haven’t already, get on board the Leeds rollercoaster, it’s going to be a wild ride. GS
 



Premier League : Manchester United v Newcastle United 


17.30 on BT Sport 1


And in the spirit of schadenfreude we come to this game. It's always a fiery affair when Mourinho and Benitez share a touchline but this time neither can really afford the luxury of playing to the gallery by taking snipes at each other. It's almost two months since Jose's side got a victory at Old Trafford in what is as bad a start to a season to that of David Moyes' short time in charge. Newcastle are still looking for their first win of the season. If it was to come here the post-match press conferences could get very lively. GS
 





Sunday



Premier League : Fulham v Arsenal 


12.00 on BT Sport 1


A run of eight straight wins in all competitions is the Gunners best run of results since 2015 and given Fulham's slow start to their return to the top flight, Emery's side will be favourites to extend their winning run. Fulham were one of the most entertaining attacking sides in the Championship last season but Slavisa Jokanovic's side have found opportunities much harder to come by in their games so far this season. Part of that is the step up in quality of opposition but they're also assimilating quality additions to their team like Premier League old hand Andre Schurrle and the impressive Jean Michael Seri. Arsenal's assimilation to Emery appears to have been more rapid and now clean sheets are being added to wins. Summer signing Bernd Leno should make his first Premier League start with regular goalkeeper Petr Cech out for a month with the hamstring injury he picked up in the home win over Watford. GS
 



Premier League: Liverpool v Manchester City


16.30 on Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event


A top of the table clash in October, just as the season is getting settled in, between to top draw teams. It’s is possible that, Jürgen Klopp will be able to call upon the influential midfielder Naby Keita despite being carried off in the 1-0 Champions League defeat at Napoli, their first loss of the season. The German may feel aggrieved to have conceded that late loser in Naples but in view of the high number of chances the home team created he can have no complaints, particularly considering that his own players couldn't muster a single shot on target. It goes without saying that they’ll need a lot more of a cutting edge if they want something against City. Pep’s players passed a stern test against Hoffenheim on Tuesday but unlike their opponents, have not had the arduous task of playing Chelsea twice in their previous two matches. Dare I say it but this is possibly City’s first game against a top four contender since Arsenal on the first day so we’ll know more about their appetite for defending their title after this game. Liverpool fans will be hoping that this is the day that Mohamed Salah springs into life. TD
 



La Liga: Valencia v Barcelona


19.45 on Eleven Sports 1


Here’s a blistering take for you: Lio Messi is the best player in the world. His two goals and overall performance at Wembley against Tottenham Hotspur was one for his personal highlight reel, an achievement in itself. Barcelona have scored eight goals in two Champions League games already and the Catalans are clearly sparing their best performances to the European stage. I say this because the Spanish champions are winless in three games: beaten by bottom club Leganes and two draws against (my) Girona and Athletic Club. There’s even been talk of replacing the coach Ernesto Valverde with either Arsene Wenger (which would be amazing) or Jose Mourinho (which would also be amazing albeit for different reasons).  The Special One’s current team, Manchester United were the last opponents of Valencia on Tuesday. Marcelino’s team have not exactly got off to a flyer, perhaps weighed down by the added burden of European football or perhaps because the guaranteed goal machine that is Michy Batshuayi has only scored one this season. If the former Chelsea and Dortmund player can dust off his shooting boots then we will have quite the game to round off our football weekend. TD



Whatever you watch, have a great weekend.



Terry (@terryduffelen) & Graham (@grahamsibley)



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