Matchday: Manchester City chases its first points, Serie A season begins

A look at what’s happening in European football on Saturday.

Published: 21st August 2021 01:38 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st August 2021 01:38 PM   |  A+A-

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

A look at what’s happening in European football on Saturday:


Manchester City looks for its first points of the new Premier League season in a home match against promoted Norwich. City opened its title defense with a 1-0 loss at Tottenham. Liverpool hosts Burnley in the early game as Juergen Klopp’s team goes for a second straight win to follow up a 3-0 victory at Norwich. Other teams looking to make it two wins from two are Brighton, Everton and Brentford, who play Watford, Leeds and Crystal Palace, respectively.


Barcelona seeks a second straight win in its post-Messi era when it visits Athletic Bilbao. Ronald Koeman’s team opened with a 4-2 victory over Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou in its first match without Lionel Messi. Now it travels to Bilbao to face the Basque side that is always a tough test at home. More than 10,000 fans will be allowed into San Mamés stadium for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Villarreal, last season's Europa League winner, visits promoted Espanyol after both sides were held to scoreless draws in their openers. Valencia tries for a second win when it visits Granada, while promoted Mallorca is at Alavés.


Inter Milan kicks off its title defense at home to Genoa in the first match of the Serie A season. It has been all change at Inter after financial constraints meant that the Nerazzurri had to sell two of their top players in Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi, while Simone Inzaghi replaced Antonio Conte as coach. It remains to be seen how much all that will affect Inter’s chances of retaining its Serie A title. Maurizio Sarri has replaced Inzaghi in the Lazio dugout and his first game is at newly promoted Empoli. After finishing third last season, Atalanta will be looking to take advantage of other teams’ disarray to again challenge for the title and travels to Torino.


Bayer Leverkusen welcomes Borussia Mönchengladbach for an intriguing Bundesliga match between two well-regarded teams with new coaches. Gerardo Seoane’s Leverkusen started the season with a draw at Union Berlin, and Adi Hütter’s Gladbach held defending champion Bayern Munich to a draw in the league’s opening game. Borussia Dortmund faces a tricky game at Freiburg, while Hertha Berlin welcomes Champions League qualifier Wolfsburg.


French champion Lille is still searching for its first win of the season as it visits Saint-Etienne. Lille’s title defense got off to a poor start after a 3-3 draw at Metz was followed by a 4-0 home loss to Nice last weekend. Coach Jocelyn Gourvennec clearly has defense issues to sort out against Saint-Etienne, which is coached by former Lille boss Claude Puel. Monaco hosts Lens in the early game. Both teams are looking for their first league win of the season.


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