Preview: ‘Klassiker’ in Germany as Bayern visits Dortmund, Newcastle vs. Arsenal in Premier League

AP , Saturday 4 Nov 2023

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

Bayern
Bayern Munich s French midfielder #10 Leroy Sane (R) and Darmstadt s Austrian defender #19 Emir Karic (L) vie for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match between FC Bayern Munich and SV Darmstadt 98 in Munich, southern Germany on October 28, 2023. AFP

ENGLAND

Arsenal’s trip to Newcastle in the Premier League should give an indication of which team has taken the biggest step forward since both exceeded expectations last season.

Arsenal is back in second place — where it finished the previous campaign — and can provisionally climb above leader Tottenham with a win at St. James’ Park, while Newcastle is already six points outside the top four and can’t afford to lose much more ground.

But the teams had contrasting fortunes in the League Cup this week, as Newcastle knocked out Manchester United 3-0 and Arsenal lost 3-1 at West Ham.

Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta is hoping captain Martin Odegaard is fully fit again after struggling with a hip problem. Man United tries to turn around its troubling form when it visits Fulham in the early kickoff, while defending champion Manchester City hosts Bournemouth in one of five 3 p.m. games. United will be without influential midfielder Casemiro, who has been ruled out for several weeks with a hamstring strain.

GERMANY

It’s the first “Klassiker” of the season in the Bundesliga as Bayern Munich visits Borussia Dortmund. It’ll be the first time England captain Harry Kane has played in the German league’s biggest game since he signed for Bayern.

A shock cup exit for Bayern on Wednesday against a third-division team has made for turmoil, and there’s a hole in the defense after Matthijs de Ligt injured his knee. That could boost Dortmund’s chances of taking its first win over Bayern since 2019.

Also Saturday, league leader Bayer Leverkusen looks to stay top with a win at Hoffenheim to continue its rise under coach Xabi Alonso. Leipzig visits last-place Mainz, which is under new coach Jan Siewert after Bo Svensson quit Thursday.

Union Berlin, which is aiming to end an 11-game losing streak in all competitions, plays Eintracht Frankfurt, Cologne hosts Augsburg and Borussia Moenchengladbach visits Freiburg.

SPAIN

Barcelona will have Spain midfielder Pedri available for its trip to Real Sociedad in the Spanish league. The 20-year-old playmaker only made two appearances at the start of the season before injuring his hamstring in his right leg in August. That sidelined him for 12 games for his club and for four European Championship qualifiers for Spain.

Pedri returns to a team that needs to bounce back from its loss to leader Real Madrid in the last round. Sociedad is playing well thanks to forwards Brais Méndez and Takefusa Kubo. Barcelona is in forth place with Sociedad in fifth but five points behind. Second-place Girona visits Osasuna aiming to move back ahead of Madrid.

Nabil Fekir could play his first minutes for Real Betis against Mallorca after recovering from a ligament tear in his left knee last season. Celta Vigo hosts Sevilla with Rafa Benítez under pressure to get a win.

ITALY

AC Milan will be looking to get back on track when it hosts Udinese in Serie A, three days before a crucial match in the Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain.

Milan started October top of Serie A but has now slipped to third place. It struggled to a narrow 1-0 win at promoted Genoa, lost at home to Juventus and then gave up a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Napoli. The Rossoneri should find it easier against Udinese, which is one of only two teams yet to win a match in Serie A this season.

Despite its poor run, Milan is only three points behind league leader Inter Milan, which faces a tricky match at fourth-place Atalanta. Defending champion Napoli is a point below Atalanta — and seven below Inter — and visits bottom club Salernitana.

FRANCE

A week after a violent attack on buses carrying the Lyon soccer team and fans, Marseille hosts Lille at the Velodrome stadium. The game against Lyon last week was postponed because of the violence, meaning Marseille has not played since a Europa League win against AEK Athens on Oct. 26.

Marseille has lost three of its last four league games and lags six points behind fourth-place Lille in the standings, having played one game less. Lorient hosts last season’s runner-up Lens in Saturday’s other match. After a poor start, Lens has rediscovered its attacking form and is unbeaten in its past five league games.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link: