Weekly football conversation since 2009, with Graham Sibley, Jan Bilton and Terry Duffelen. Listen on Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or your podcatcher of choice.

Weekend Boxset: Three from three

Coming back from the international break with a bang this weekend with the top two sides in both Germany and Italy facing each other with their 100% records on the line.

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

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All times are UK


Bundesliga: Bayern Munich v Bayer Leverkusen
19.30 on Sky Sports Mix
The Bundesliga resumes after an emotional international break for German football. When we last covered Leverkusen on the Boxset, we spoke of the high expectations of the team. After three games, the pre-season hype looks justified. B04 have already beaten and potential title rival, Leipzig, to the sword and easily despite local rival ‘Gladbach and then newly promoted Darmstadt. New signings Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) plus Jonas Hofmann (‘Gladbach) and Victor Boniface (Saint Gilloise) have settled. And they did some Deadline Day business with the signing of Stevenage’s finest, Nathan Tella who joined from Southampton. The striker enjoyed a successful last season in the Championship with Burnley and has the chance to make a mark at the highest level. Of course, Tella won’t be the only English striker on the pitch should he play in this match. Harry Kane, barring any fitness issues from the international break, will be looking to add to the three goals he scored for Bayern this season. Coach Thomas Tuchel will be hoping Kane’s dressing room influence will lift his deflated German national team players as they return from the break. Joshua Kimmich, Leroy Sane, and Serge Gnabry will need to attack this game if they are to get anything from it and Bayern need a statement win to gain a psychological advantage over a Leverkusen team who in turn will see this game as a chance to blossom. TD


Premier League: Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool
12.30 on TNT Sports 1 & Ultimate
This week’s dismissal of Hansi Flick as head coach of the German national team immediately led to speculation that he could be replaced by Jurgen Klopp. For now though, that appears to have been dismissed by a not entirely unambiguous statement from his agent declaring that Liverpool’s manager was “not available” to lead his country into next summer’s Euros, of which they are hosts. Had this happened back in February then maybe the choice might have been tougher. That was the last time Liverpool were at Molineux, where they ended up on the wrong of 3-0. That of course was when Julen Lopetegui was in charge of Wolves, but his successor Gary O’Neil also has a win at home against Klopp, when his Bournemouth took a 1-0 win just days after the German's career repairing 7-0 over Manchester United. Early form suggests that Liverpool this season are a more settled outfit. The one fly in the ointment has been the ongoing speculation about whether Mo Salah would head to Saudi Arabia. £150 million for a 31 year old would have been very tempting but with new strikers still finding their feet at the club you wouldn’t want to rely on the wonderful chaos that is Darwin Nunez for your goals. Wolves have obviously taken a punt on O’Neil but having kept Bournemouth up as a rookie head coach he probably deserved another crack in the top league. GS

Serie A: Inter v Milan
17.00 on TNT Sports 2
The personnel may change but there’s always something special about a Milan derby. It might not have Lukaku v Zlatan but most of the pre-derby chat will still be about the lead strikers for either side: both of which have scored in every game. Last season Inter’s Lautaro Martinez finished five goals shy of Victor Osimehn in the race for Serie A top scorer, but with five goals already, the Argentine is in the form of his career to be Capocannoniere this campaign. In comparison, Olivier Giroud, who turns 37 at the end of the month, just seems to be loving life, with four goals himself. An ankle injury picked up while still turning out for international duty for France might prevent him from taken part in this one. Focus instead could be drawn towards one of the other former Chelsea misfits Milan have accumulated. This summer Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic joined Fikayo Tomori in swapping London for Milan. Hopefully they too can be back enjoying their game in the near future. Both teams enjoy 100% records after three games so there’s an added bit of spice to this one. GS

Championship: Cardiff City v Swansea City
19.45 on Sky Sports Football, Main Event & Ultra
The later Saturday evening slot is still an unfamiliar (and unpopular) one for match-going and home audiences alike. This always hotly-contested derby has been moved so that it doesn't conflict with the Wales v Portugal Rugby World Cup match earlier in the evening. I&esquo;m sure the South Wales police know what they’re doing, giving their blessing to the new time. Both sides are looking for a start under new managers. Swansea are still looking for their first win under Michael Duff, who took over from Russell Martin in the summer. After taking Barnsley to the League One play-off final last season, the former Northern Ireland international looks like a sensible choice but could take a while to settle in after the distinct style of Martin. Having skirted dangerously close to relegation last season, Cardiff made a far more left-field choice to replace Sabri Lamouchi with Erol Bulut. Born and raised in Germany, Bulut was an U21 international for Turkey, and split his early playing career between those two countries. His coaching career has been entirely in Turkey, with six season in charge of four Super Lig clubs, including Fenerbahce. Their only win so far has been against a worryingly poor Sheffield Wednesday so it’s possible this match will be more conservative than derbies of the recent past. This will be only the second South Wales derby for Aaron Ramsey, the first being in 2011 when he was on loan from Arsenal recovering from the double fracture of his leg. The Bluebirds won that 1-0 but have found wins hard to come by since, losing seven of ten. GS


Premier League: Bournemouth v Chelsea
14.00 on Sky Sports Premier League, Main Event & Ultra
A late Bryan Mbeumo strike for Brentford prevented Bournemouth from claiming their first three points of the season two weekends ago. New coach Andoni Iraola acknowledged after the game that his players tired towards the end. Had they held firm, the win would have put a different complexion on the Cherries start to the season. As it is, the south coast club have just two points from four games, leaving doubts about the impact they will make this season. The selection of Iraola as coach is interesting. The Spaniard did a great job with Rayo Vallecano in La Liga and was fancied to stay in Spain and moved to a bigger club. Instead, he opted to take on the Bournemouth project. It won’t be easy as, despite the ambitions of their wealthy owners, the club still has one of the lower playing budgets in the Premier League. This contrasts with their opponents who could probably fund the UK’s entire wind farm programme with the money they are spending on players. The most eye-watering signing was defensive midfielder Moises Caicedo, from Brighton for £115 million. The Ecuadorian has not had the best start at his new club, his misplaced pass led to the only goal in their 1-0 defeat at home to Forest last time out. The result may have been different had another new signing; striker Nicolas Jackson not squandered an easy chance to score later in the game. It’s early days but Poch has some work still to do. TD

Premier League: Everton v Arsenal
16.30 on Sky Sports Premier League, Main Event & Ultra
Given how hopeless they’ve been in recent times, it seems hard to believe that Everton have beaten Arsenal at home in each of their last three seasons. And that includes one under Frank Lampard. Last season’s win was Sean Dyche's first match in charge for the club. Any thoughts that the club’s direction on the pitch would be turned around under the former Burnley boss were short-lived, even when they escaped a fully deserved relegation. There may not be any such escape this time around. Charges of FFP breaches still hang over the club and when they face an independent panel next month, most observers expect them to suffer a hefty points deduction. None of which be any comfort for Leicester who ended the season two points behind the Toffees and were relegated, or any of the sides who went down after Everton took points off them. The financial situation doesn’t look to be getting any better either. Going down to the Championship with a brand new stadium still to be completed could put them in a hole they might never get out. It’s all shaping up for comfortable home win this weekend. GS

La Liga: Real Madrid v Real Sociedad
20.00 on LaLigaTV and Viaplay Sports
The first three games of the season were quite ordinary for Real Sociedad. Three draws and an xG that did not creep over the one mark. To be fair, Girona and Celta (two of the three opponents) are decent early-season outfits. However, it was an underwhelming start to the season until last week when theyt ran rampant over Granada with a 5-3 win. This breaking of the goalscoring seal, so to speak, is timely in view of their upcoming fixtures. Next week they play their first-ever Champions League game at home to last season’s finalist, Inter. But first, they travel to Madrid and the newly refurbished Bernabeu. Real played their first game of the season in their now fully operational stadium just before the international break and they squeaked a win against their city rivals Getafe. The game was a typically bruising encounter, and the winner came in the 95th minute with the game level at 1-1. Who scored? Who else but Jobe Bellingham’s older brother. At the final whistle, the Madrid public rose as one to hail their new hero, serenading him with a rendition of “Hey Jude” which the young Englishman accepted with characteristic modesty. The question is how long can this goal-scoring streak (five goals in four games) continue? Jude is the complete midfielder, but it seems unlikely that his goalscoring form will continue. The injury to Vinicius Jnr plus the failure to replace Benzema/sign M’Bappe still leaves Real short of attacking options. As stated in a prior Boxset, Joselu, is a stopgap and not a world-class number 9. So, the Madrid club are short-staffed this season and right now the best way to stop them is to stop Jude. How? Don’t ask Scotland lol. TD

Whatever you watch, have a great weekend.

Terry and Graham

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