The International break featured some lows and highs. 90% of the players that ply their trade in the major leagues were on break and they did all they could for their national sides. Two weeks brought in some spectacular games and has undoubtedly given some teams bold steps towards qualifying for FIFA World Cup Russia 2018. On the other hand, it is not looking good for the likes of Argentina and on the African continent a major powerhouse like Ghana but the break has ended and now the focus is on the European leagues. How do the players transform their energies from the international stage onto the club stage?
The English Premier League features some great matches this weekend with Chelsea playing hosts to defending champions Leicester City and Manchester United playing on the road at Liverpool.
Jose Mourinho has not had the best of days and collected just four points after the first international break in September and would be looking forward to get one over his old rival in the UEFA Champions League, Jurgen Klopp.
Klopp has perfected Liverpool’s game with the team lying fourth on the log and within touching distance of leaders Manchester City who face Everton at the weekend, a win would undoubtedly change the course of the top four sides and something Klopp and Liverpool would relish.
Conte and Chelsea are back at the Bridge playing Leicester City. Claudio Ranieri and his side would be facing N’Golo Kante; the man who won all the midfield battles for the team that cemented the team’s unpredicted Premiership title.
Conte needs a win to keep Chelsea up in the race for the title whiles Leicester City urgently needs a win to take the team out of the second half of the Premiership table.
Teams that Needs a Comeback after the International Break
In La Liga, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona looks set to end their miseries this season as Lionel Messi is set for a return from injury and Cristiano Ronaldo has found his goal scoring touch amid his four goal haul against Andorra. Atletico Madrid play Granada at the Vicente Calderon knowing that a win would keep them on the league log after such a disastrous start and that is what Diego Simeone’s soldiers would be aiming for.
In the German Bundesliga, Dortmund host Hertha at Westfalenstadion in a match that determines if Hertha would stay second or Dortmund would move them out of that position on match day seven. Thomas Tuchel nearly gave up many points against Leverkusen which was pardonable but against Leipzig not so pardonable. Tuchel and Dortmund desperately need a win to keep Bayern on its toes.
Bayern plays on the road against Frankfurt and Carlo Ancelotti knows what’s at stake as teams keep piling pressure and changing managers in the early stages of the season.
It seems the fixtures were made to bring more misery to Hamburg as it faces Borussia Monchengladbach. Bruno Labbadia left with Markus Gisdol taken his place but nothing seems to be going right for the German outfit but staying on the positives Germany’s 3-0 win over Czech at the Volksparkstadion might see the team win at home in the coming weeks.
The Italian Serie A has returned with AC Milan playing on the road to Chievo. Milan seems to have found a new rhythm under coach Montella and even came back to win 4-3 against Sassuolo, can Milan sail on?
Napoli hosts AS Roma at the Stadio San Paulo to determine the team that would be holding second spot after match day eight. Napoli has done well under the sale of Gonzalo Higuain but can the team sail on and achieve great success this season?
Frank De Boer and Internazionale Milano has had an on and off time at the Giuseppe Meazza this season. Inter Milan barely plays to win and their wins has come as a luck but the break has finally come and with Internazionale seeking results De Boer must find his rhythm sooner rather than later to be able to hold onto his job.
In the French Ligue Un, the big match features Nice and Lyon and Nice would be looking forward to maintain their one point lead against Monaco on the log.
It has been two difficult weeks for football fans and the world welcomes the teams back from the break.