Preview: Chelsea hosts Arsenal in Premier League; Bayern visits Mainz

AP , Saturday 21 Oct 2023

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

Arsenal
Arsenal s Martin Odegaard runs with the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates stadium in London, England, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023. (AP)

ENGLAND

Arsenal takes a formidable record to London rival Chelsea in one of eight Premier League games. Mikel Arteta’s team has yet to concede a goal in its three league away games — all wins.

The Gunners are unbeaten overall atop the league with co-leader Tottenham, which plays Monday. Defending champion Manchester City has lost its past two league games and hosts Brighton.

In the early game, Everton makes the short trek to Liverpool for the latest Merseyside derby.

Newcastle hosts Crystal Palace, Burnley visits Brentford, winless Bournemouth hosts Wolverhampton, and Luton travels to Nottingham Forest. In the nightcap, Manchester United visits last-place Sheffield United, which has one point after eight games. Erik ten Hag’s mid-table team is still looking for consistency.

SPAIN

Real Madrid visits Sevilla to face former defensive ace Sergio Ramos for the first time since he left the powerhouse two years ago. The 37-year-old Ramos helped Madrid win four Champions League titles in his 16 seasons in the capital. He returned to Sevilla, his boyhood club, last month.

Uruguayan coach Diego Alonso will make his debut for Sevilla, which is struggling and only two points from the drop zone. Madrid leads the league with Jude Bellingham scoring a competition-high eight goals. Pressure is on Rafa Benítez to get a win with Celta Vigo when it hosts fourth-placed Atletico Madrid.

Celta had close games against Madrid and Barcelona before losing to both and is in the relegation zone after winning just once in nine rounds this season. Real Sociedad is in sixth place before visiting Mallorca with Japan forward Takefusa Kubo leading the Basque team with five league goals. Real Betis is also at Getafe.

GERMANY

Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel has several injury-worries ahead of his team’s Bundesliga game in Mainz. Serge Gnabry, Raphaël Guerreiro, Dayot Upamecano and Noussair Mazraoui are all ruled out and Tuchel wasn’t certain whether midfielders Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka could get over injuries picked up on international duty with Germany. Bayern is unbeaten so far in the league, while Mainz is still waiting for its first win.

Also Saturday, struggling Union Berlin hosts in-form Stuttgart as the teams’ roles are switched from last season. Union has lost its last seven games across competitions, while Stuttgart has won five straight, helped in part by league top-scorer Serhou Guirassy, who has 13 goals in seven games so far.

Early league leader Bayer Leverkusen visits Wolfsburg, Eintracht Frankfurt visits Hoffenheim, Darmstadt hosts Leipzig and Freiburg welcomes Bochum.

ITALY

With only four wins in the opening eight rounds, new Napoli coach Rudi Garcia is under pressure ahead of a visit to Hellas Verona. And Napoli is without center forward Victor Osimhen, who injured his right thigh while with Nigeria’s national team. Second-place Inter Milan can leapfrog Serie A leader AC Milan with a win at Torino – with Milan due to host third-place Juventus on Sunday. Also, Sassuolo hosts Lazio.

FRANCE

Second-place Nice can provisionally move above Ligue 1 leader Monaco with a home win over Marseille. Nice is the only unbeaten team remaining in the French league, but is one point behind Monaco, which hosts Metz on Sunday. If Nice slips up, Paris Saint-Germain can move top by beating Strasbourg, which lost its last two league games.

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

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