Barcelona s Polish forward Robert Lewandowski (L) celebrates with Barcelona s French forward Ousmane Dembele during the UEFA Champions League Group C first-leg football match between FC Barcelona and Viktoria Plzen, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 7, 2022. (AFP)
Barcelona visits last-place Cadiz seeking a fifth straight win before its highly anticipated trip to Bayern Munich in the Champions League next week. Former Bayern star Robert Lewandowski is enjoying a superb start at Barcelona with eight goals in his last four games, including a hat trick in Barcelona's Champions League opener. Cadiz, which has lost all four of its games without scoring, may also give Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez the opportunity to rest his top players for Bayern. Atletico Madrid hosts Celta Vigo with all eyes on whether coach Diego Simeone will finally use Antoine Griezmann as a starter instead of a late substitute as he has in every game. Sevilla visits Espanyol with pressure on coach Julen Lopetegui to get their first win of the season, while Valencia is at Rayo Vallecano with star signing Edinson Cavani yet to debut.
Marseille counts on Alexis Sanchez's return to bounce back after its first loss. The nine-time champion takes on Lille. Sanchez was suspended against Tottenham and the absence of the center forward was felt heavily as they lost to Tottenham 2-0 in the Champions League. Following the departure of Arkadiusz Milik, Marseille has not got many options up front. Colombian striker Luis Suarez, who joined this summer, was not a factor against Spurs. Sanchez has three goals, helping Marseille to second in the standings, level on points with leader Paris Saint-Germain after winning five of its six opening games. With its formidable trident of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe, PSG has no shortage of attacking talent ahead of the reception of Brest.
Borussia Dortmund faces a quick rendezvous with former coach Marco Rose at Leipzig in the Bundesliga. Dortmund dismissed Rose at the end of last season but the 47-year-old was appointed by Leipzig on Thursday to take over from the fired Domenico Tedesco. Tedesco paid the price for an underwhelming start to the season and Rose is tasked with ensuring a marked improvement. Dortmund will hope to claim its fourth straight win across all competitions to stay ahead of Bayern Munich, which hosts Stuttgart earlier. Bayern will be without the injured Kingsley Coman but will be counting on a win after two successive draws - especially with Barcelona up next in the Champions League on Tuesday. Also, Hertha Berlin hosts struggling Bayer Leverkusen, which needs to start winning games to ease the pressure on coach Gerardo Seoane. Eintracht Frankfurt hosts Wolfsburg, another team whose coach is facing an ex-club as Niko Kovac returns. Mainz visits Hoffenheim also.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia will be looking to continue his fantastic start to the season when Napoli hosts Spezia in Serie A. The 21-year-old Kvaratskhelia has four goals in five league matches and also starred in Napoli's impressive 4-1 defeat of Liverpool in the Champions League midweek. Napoli is among four unbeaten teams in Serie A, along with defending champion AC Milan, league leader Atalanta, and Juventus. Milan also plays and it heads to Sampdoria, which is still searching for its first win. Inter Milan has had a disheartening couple of weeks with two league losses, including the derby to Milan, and a 2-1 defeat at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. It has a tricky match against Torino, which has dropped points only against Lazio and Atalanta.
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