Weekend Boxset: Bug fix - penalty for handball



Well all those penalties have been fun but apparently they've fixed the bug that was causing it. Still, this week we have financial imbalance in the Championship, a managerial casualty already in Germany, and Jose returning to Old Trafford.

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

All times are BST

Friday

Championship: Coventry City v Bournemouth
19.45 on Sky Sports Football & Main Event
The fact that this is the first time these sides have met in the league outside of the third tier speaks of the changing fortunes of the clubs in recent years. The only time these sides have met in the league since 1964 was in the 2012/13 League One season when both Mark Robins and Eddie Howe were newly installed managers. Robins moved on to Huddersfield before the season had ended; an end that would see Coventry homeless while Howe was getting Bournemouth promoted to the Championship. Like Howe, Robins has returned to his club and delivered two promotions in the space of three seasons - having been rightly declared Champions of the truncated League One season. Playing at Birmingham City's St Andrew's until at least the end of this season, having left the Ricoh Arena for a second time in 2019, the future for Coventry City is still up the air - though plans have recently been announced for a new stadium development in partnership with the University of Warwick. Meanwhile there's a statue of Jimmy Hill outside a rugby ground. GS

Saturday

Championship: Norwich City v Derby County
12.30 on Sky Sports Football & Main Event
And talking of dodgy ground ownership issues, we come to Derby. Phillip Cocu's side have lost all three of their games so far, the most recent a 4-0 hammering at home to Blackburn. Financial worries could be the reason why Derby couldn't hold on to, or so far replace, the experience of both Tom Huddlestone and Chris Martin, which has left a hole in the Rams' spine. Coming in is Jordan Ibe, who at 24 must be looking to reignite his career at a club he was on loan at in 2014/15. He scored 5 goals in 24 appearances for the club in that spell before returning to Liverpool on a new five year deal. Bournemouth spent £15 million on him in 2016 but having spent four unremarkable seasons on the south coast he was released on a free in the summer. Norwich of course have the benefit of £40 million Premier League parachute payments to help cushion the implications of fanless football in the EFL. That figure could double with the addition of a handy £15 million from Newcastle for Jamal Lewis and a potential £25 million from Everton for Ben Godfrey. All of which makes it easier to hold on to players they want to keep, like Teemu Pukki, and also the luxury of two weeks before the window closes to find replacements. GS

Premier League: Everton v Brighton & Hove Albion
15.00 on BT Sport 1 & Extra
Gather round everyone, it's Carlo Ancelotti's Everton, the side everyone wants to see right now. The Toffees became a team you had to watch as soon as the Italian took charge last Christmas - for neutrals at least. The addition of James Rodriguez to the side has seemingly tranformed them from being a side that plays well but can crumble spectacularly to one that wins in style even against the most obdurate of opposition. This week it's the turn of Brighton to be the party spoilers but with Tariq Lamptey they have the kind of player that could fit in to any Ancelotti side. Indeed, it has been reported that one of Ancelotti's previous club's Bayern Munich have tabled a £25 million bid for the England U21 winger. Both sides felt the effects of the Great 2020 Handball Debacle last weekend with Everton benefiting to sneak the win against Palace, while Graham Potter's side lost out on a point against United when a penalty was awarded by VAR after the final whistle had blown. The Premier League held a meeting and now that problem's fixed, so everything's going to ok from now on. GS

Bundesliga: RB Leipzig v Schalke
17.30 on BT Sport 2
After a rudimentary 3-1 win over an imploding Mainz on Matchday 1, Leipzig found life tougher against Leverkusen last week. Timo Werner's gone and so far, no like-for-like replacement has been found. However, in Emil Forsberg, Tyler Adams, Dani Olmo, plus the evergreen Yossuf Poulsen, Julian Nagelsmann has plenty of attacking options. Indeed, across the two Bundesliga game so far, Leipzig have fashioned 16 goalscoring chances, which is more than most. Over the course of the season, we can expect a good portion of those opportunities to be taken. Schalke meanwhile made good on their promise to sack their coach David Wagner if they lost to Werder, which they did. His replacement is the unremarkable Manuel Baum who did OK at Augsburg before he was dismissed and has been keeping his nose clean coaching the German national team's Under 20 side. Speaking to the press for the first time since taking over, Baum was upbeat about the season ahead and was excited about its potential. Clearly he's changed his tune. It was only a few weeks ago when, as a pundit, he predicted that his new charges would finish just outside the bottom three. TD

Sunday

Premier League: Wolverhampton Wanderers v Fulham
14.00 on Sky Sports Premier League
Time is running out for Fulham. I mean, all promoted teams ship goals but if the Cottagers don't get their shit together soon then they're In for a season of Derby County 2007/08 proportions. After the Villa debacle (yes, I'm sorry but losing 3-1 to Villa is a debacle) Cottagers' co-owner and sporting director Tony Khan took to Twitter to apologise, saying that he really, really tried to sign some better defenders but couldn't close the deal. Quite what the existing defenders made of that I'm not sure but I think we can expect plenty of PR car crashes to compliment those on the field in the future. Meanwhile, in Wolverhampton, Nuno is stroking his beard contemplating a 4-0 defeat to (checks notes, rubs eyes, checks Snopes) West Ham! If memory serves, Wolves had a bit of a slow start to last season but did OK. I'd say that the players will be anxious to lay down a marker. All they need is a newly promoted underprepared club in which to dish out a mighty hammering and work out the kinks. TD

Premier League: Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur
16.30 on Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event
Both teams boast superb individual talent but are hampered by their coaches. Ole Gunnar Solskjær was outcoached by Palace's Hodgson and Brighton's Potter in their last two league games. He was well beaten in the first and bailed out in the second. Folk are saying the same about Mourinho who leaned heavily on Heung Min Son for the Southampton game, not to mention a suicidally high defensive line from their opponents. Even though Spurs were robbed of three points by VAR against Newcastle, complaints continue about Jose's tactics and man-management. Dele Alli seems to be persona non grata and there's talk of him moving on to PSG. The upshot is that this should be a laugh, with plenty goals. Expect lots of white circles around out of position defenders, drawn by befuddled pundits, after the game. TD

Serie A: Juventus v Napoli
19.45 on Premier Sports 1
Two early-season title favourites with new coaches have the opportunity to lay down an early marker. Napoli have made an impressive start to the campaign with a 2-0 win at Parma and a 6-0 drubbing of Genoa. Not only are they getting results but going about it the right way. Maurizio Sarri may be long gone but Sarriball was continued under his replacement Carlo Ancelotti and now Gennaro Gattuso. The next two games, against Juve and Atalanta, will prove a real test of the Neapolitan's mettle. Juventus are also under new management. Andrea Pirlo replaced the dismissed and aforementioned Sarri only nine days after having been made coach of the club's Under 23 team. Clearly the chairman Andrea Agnelli felt that the club legend had the right stuff and we shall see if Pirlo is given time to smooth out his edges. Results have been reasonable given that we're only two games in: A 3-0 win against a very poor Sampdoria side and a 2-2 draw against Roma. TD

Whatever you watch, have a great weekend.

Terry and Graham

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