The international break often feels like an eternity and a whole weekend away from club football is enough to break even the strongest fan. However, with England’s qualification to next year’s World Cup almost totally guaranteed, you can sit back and relax and switch the focus back to your favourite Premier League team.
Source: whufc.comAnd boy, do we have a treat for you. This coming Monday (11th September) signals the start of a mouth-watering 7 days of football right off the back of a Premier League crammed weekend. It may be a little overwhelming so we’ve prepared a preview of what you can expect next week.
Monday 11th September
Premier League – West Ham v Huddersfield (8:00pm)
West Ham are in trouble. Slaven Billic will be feeling the heat after a disastrous start to the season. In three games, The Hammers have scored just two goals and are without a win or draw since the start of the Premier League season. They will therefore be eager to gain their first points of the season.
Huddersfield, on the other hand, are flying. They remain undefeated this season earning two wins and a draw in three games. Despite drawing their last game to Southampton, the Terriers are currently third in the league and can cause serious damage to a West Ham team lacking in confidence.
Tuesday 12th September
Champions League – Matchday One (7:45pm)
It’s back! The UEFA Champions League returns for another year and with 5 English teams taking part, it’ll be as competitive as ever.
(Group B) Celtic vs PSG
Celtic welcome PSG to Glasgow and it’s set to be a cracker. With the likes of new signings Kylian Mbappe and £198m Neymar on show for the French giants, Celtic will be hoping to cause a massive upset.
The Parkhead side know all about Neymar as he made quite the impression this time last year when Celtic played his former employers Barcelona. Celtic will be quietly confident they can pull off a shock result with the electrifying atmosphere of Parkhead behind them.
How will Brendan Rogers’ side fair against Europe’s elite? Will PSG’s class shine through or can the Hoops manage an upset?
(Group C) Chelsea v Qarabag FK
Chelsea look to compete in one of the most exciting groups with Atletico Madrid, Roma and Qarabag FK all present.
Chelsea will know that with Roma and Atletico hot on their trail, their first match against FK Qarabag is a must win game. Chelsea are the last English club to win this competition, doing so in the 2011/12 season. Antonio Conte will be looking to impress in his first season in the competition with Chelsea.
FK Qarabag are the first Azerbaijani team to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage.
(Group A) Manchester United vs Basel
The Champions League does looks slighty odd without United in it, but the questions is now whether they can perform like they belong. Jose Mourinho has been careful to play down Man United’s start to the season, but their opening games will give Red’s fans hope.
Basel, under new management, will be looking to improve on last year’s European campaign that brought draws with Ludogrets and defeats to Arsenal and PSG. They will be looking to Ricky van Wolfswinkel to show his worth against United.
Wednesday 13th September
Champions League – Matchday Two (7:45pm)
(Group F) Feyenoord vs Manchester City
Manchester City begin their Champions League campaign with a tricky trip to face Feyenoord and will hope to avoid the same fate neighbours United suffered when visiting Rotterdam 12 months ago.
The Red Devils lost 1-0 here in the Europa League and City will be wary of the intense, white hot atmosphere of De Kuip. Feyenoord remained unbeaten at home all of last season but saw key defenders Terence Kongolo and Rick Karsdorp departing over the summer. Can the Blues be clinical in front of goal and take their chances?
(Group E) Liverpool v Sevilla
Liverpool were outplayed by Sevilla in the 2016 Europa League final but now look in better shape for when they first meet in this season’s Champions League groups stage.
Anfield will be rocking as the Reds go in search of a sixth outright success in Europe’s elite club competition, with Maribor and Spartak Moscow making up a very winnable pool. After defeating Hoffenheim over both legs in the qualifier they will feel they stand a good chance in their group.
(Group H) Tottenham Hotspur v Borussia Dortmund
Tottenham lost at home and away against Dortmund in the Europa League a couple of seasons ago and may find the German outfit formidable opponents again at their temporary home, Wembley.
Dortmund, who gave Bayern Munich such a good game in the 2013 final at this venue, reached the last eight of this competition last term and look in good shape to go well again. With Spurs having such a poor record at Wembley, this could be difficult for the The Lilywhites.
Thursday 14th September
Europa League – Matchday One
(Group E) Atalanta v Everton (6:00pm)
Between them, Atalanta and Everton have won just one major European trophy; the 1984/85 Cup Winners’ Cup won by Everton. This trophy no longer exists and Everton will be keen to add a current European trophy to their cabinet.
Atalanta’s impressive home form could cause serious problems for Everton who must be at the top of their game to break down the Italian side.
(Group H) Arsenal v Cologne (8:05pm)
While United returned to Europe’s top table, another English giant has dropped into the continent’s second tier competition. Arsenal fans will be preparing themselves for less glamorous trips to Belgrade and Belarus.
Cologne are back in Europe after 25 years and the excitement ahead of Friday’s Europa League draw knew no bounds as the city buzzed with anticipation. How will Podolski fare against his former team?
Friday 15th – Sunday 17th September
The weekend brings a whole host of important and exciting Premier League games.
Bournemouth v Brighton (8:00pm)
In the Friday game, Bournemouth and Brighton will both fight to gain their first 3 points of the new season. The two teams have struggled to find their footing and will both be eager to climb out the bottom three.
Crystal Palace v Southampton (12:30pm)
In Saturday’s early game mid-table Southampton travel to a Crystal Palace side that have lost their first three games of the season. Frank de Boer’s style of football hasn’t had the impact he would have hoped. With talks of De Boer already departing the club, something must be done and quickly to get Palace out of this slump.
Tottenham Hotspur v Swansea (5:30pm)
Saturday’s late game sees the Swans make the trip over from Wales to London as they visit the national stadium. Swansea have made some significant signings in the summer transfer window this season and will be hoping they have a major impact against a Spurs team struggling to adapt to their temporary home.
Chelsea v Arsenal (1:30pm)
A truly mouth-watering prospect as last year’s champions come up against the Europa League newbies. Arsenal recently faced a 4-0 hammering from the impressive looking Liverpool and will be praying for a better return against a Chelsea team who look to have found their form. Chelsea’s new signings seem to have settled in well and Alvaro Morata will send off warning signs to the Gunner’s lacklustre defence.
Manchester Untied v Everton (4:00pm)
Wayne Rooney returns to Old Trafford for the first time since leaving United to play a Red Devils team in scarily impressive form. Nonetheless, Jose Mourinho must be wary of an Everton side that has already managed to hold Manchester City to a 1-1 draw at the Etihad this season. Can United continue their run or can Everton disrupt the party?