Weekend Boxset: VAR from perfect

Having been frustrated by VAR in their game against United, can Liverpool get back on track against a Spurs side that seems to have remembered how to score.

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

Friday and Saturday times are BST (GMT+1), Sunday times are GMT


Friday



Premier League: Southampton v Leicester City


20.00 on Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event


Last time these sides met at St Mary's it was Harry Maguire's injury time 30 yard daisy-cutter that snatched all three points for the visitors. A lot has changed since then; both of the manager's that day Mark Hughes and Claude Puel have been replaced and Maguire himself is now at United in what must look like at best a sideways step right now. The man filling his position for the Foxes is the young Turk Caglar Soyuncu a £19 million punt from Freiburg at the beginning of last season. That piece of business has allowed Leicester to spend their money much more shrewdly than United have. Sat in third place now, Brendan Rodgers' side look not only able to break into the top six, but perfectly capable of taking a Champions League spot. For Southampton though, only goal difference is keeping them above Newcastle and the relegation zone with just one point from their last four. True, none of those games were easy but with game and away trips to City and Arsenal coming up in November, Ralph Hasenhuttl could see things getting much worse before they get any better. If they get any better. GS
 



Saturday



Bundesliga 2: Hamburg v Stuttgart


12.00 on BT Sport 2


Silas Wamangituka is exactly the kind of player Stuttgart need if they hope to match the ambitions of this former Bundesliga winning club. The fact that the 20 year old striker chose to move from Paris FC to south Germany instead of a Bundesliga club is a measure of the confidence the relegated VfB have engendered under CEO Thomas Hitzlsperger, returning Sporting Director Sven Mislintat and new.coach Tim Walter. Even before they went down, the club were making changes and the result is a tidy, watchable team with only HSV above then. Speaking of, the one time dinosaur of the top flight finally made a sensible decision and hired a capable if unfashionable coach in Dieter Hecking. The former Mōnchengladbach boss may not have the chops to manage a top four Bundesliga team but is easily up to the challenge of turning the rabble that is Hamburger Sport Verein into a team that can achieve what should have been accomplished last season and that is a swift return to the top flight. TD
 



Premier League: Burnley v Chelsea


17.30 on Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event


Sean Dyche has confirmed he still believes in VAR despite his side being the victims of it in their defeat to Leicester last weekend. After similar infringements to the one that saw Chris Wood's late equaliser chalked off, went unpunished in other games over the weekend, it would have been easy to rage against the machine but like many supporters of the system, Dyche believes that everyone is getting used to it and soon everything will be fine and consistent. He's most certainly mistaken but he's entitled to have his opinion. Wednesday's win over Ajax in Amsterdam was Chelsea's sixth consecutive in all competitions. They're also banging in the goals away from Stamford Bridge: 12 in their three away games since that 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford. Yeah, that result barely seems imaginable now, doesn't it. But it really did happen. GS
 



La Liga: Atletico Madrid v Athletic Bilbao


20.00 on Premier 1


To be brutally honest, this may not be an easy watch. Since their defeat to Real Sociedad in mid-September and the 2-2 draw against Juventus that followed, Atleti have conceded just one goal in seven games. The only problem is they aren't scoring many themselves. Having almost completely overhauled his side in the summer there was always likely to be problems for Diego Simone in maintaining his challenge to the two giants of La Liga. Having won his first three games of the season, that blip in September looks to have made him go back to his first principles, which isn't very pretty right now. Add to that, an ankle injury to wonderkid Joao Felix has removed a lot of what attacking flair his side did have. Not that they should need much to get the better of Bilboa. They too had a promising start to the season but have failed to win any of their last four games - all against teams below them in the table - and are struggling for goals. If you like cagey encounters that may be decided by a solitary goal, this one's for you. GS
 





Sunday



FA Women's Super League: Arsenal v Manchester City


14.30 on BT Sport 2


With WSL teams playing just 22 games in a season, crunch ties like this can decide where the title will be going, even this early in the season,. These sides along with Chelsea have made up the top three for the past four seasons and are setting the pace again this time around.  After defeat to Chelsea earlier in the month, Arsenal could drop six points behind City if they lose here. Key contest on the pitch will be the England captain and former Arsenal player Steph Houghton against last season's top scorer in the league Vivianne Miedema. The Dutch striker was this week named in the Ballon D'or shortlist, but won't be holding her breath having missed out on a place in the FIFPRO World XI for what she believes is her lack of social media presence. GS
 



Premier League: Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur


16.30 on Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event


All the talk down our way is that Spurs have turned a corner in their season. The five-goal thrashing of Red Star Belgrade midweek seems enough for some to declare the slump all but over and the good times now very much back in North London.  Well, one swallow does not a summer make, and with Liverpool away next on the agenda, I’d suggest that any new found optimism is a best premature, and at worst foolish. There are plenty of stats for you stats fans to pore over as to why Spurs find themselves so short of expectation currently.  For non-stats fans, a brief summary is that everything is going backwards. There are big players winding down their contracts, a lack of investment in the squad and even rumours of a little hanky, and indeed, panky going on. Whatever the cause, Liverpool will be in no mood for anything short of victory to build on their own European success midweek and to vanquish the stain of their disappointing performance against Man United. With Salah back in league action completing their devastating trident, I can’t see past Liverpool in this one. JB
 



Ligue 1: Paris Saint Germain v Marseille


20.00 on BT Sport 1


Second half substitute Killian Mbappe scored an 18 minute hat-trick in PSG's midweek Champions League demolition of Club Brugge; bringing the number of goals they've scored in their last three games to 13. It's fair to say that PSG are hitting their straps after a shaky (for them) start. Having already lost twice in the league this season they looked vulnerable to challenge but no one seems willing to step up to the plate. The lack of challengers is apparent when you see Marseille rising to fourth spot without even trying. Andre Villas Boas' side did enough to beat now bottom-placed Strasbourg last week but should be stronger this week with Dimitri Payet returning to the side having completed a four match ban for insulting a referee. For PSG, Tuchel is still without Neymar but with Icardi also in the goals they still have plenty of firepower. GS
 



Whatever you watch, have a great weekend.



Terry (@terryduffelen), Graham (@grahamsibley) and Jan (@janbilton)



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