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Sunday’s Key Games: Top 5

Valencia v Levante

The opening round of fixtures in La Liga will see the Valencian Derby take place. In Spain, the derby is called ‘Derby Del Turia’ due to the river that runs from Valencia. The game takes place at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium, which is a stadium that Levante have not won a competitive game in since 1937. The Derby has gained more steam since Levante have established themselves as a topflight team. They were promoted to La Liga in the 2003/04 season and they have spent 11 out of the last 15 seasons in La Liga.

The summer has seen numerous players leave Valencia. They have seen Ferran Torres leave to join Manchester City and Leeds United have signed Rodrygo. They have also seen Captain Dani Parejo leave to join Villareal and Francis Coquelin has also left to join Parejo at Villareal. Valencia fans have grown tired with owner Peter Lim and have protested what they see as a lack of investment. During the summer they did appoint former Watford manager Javi Gracia as manager.

Valencia have doubts over the fitness of goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen and Kevin Gameiro. Levante also have their own injury concerns with Roger Marti, Ruben Rochina and Cheick Doukoure all injured and Ruben Vezo is also a doubt for the game.

Levante will be confident of at least picking up a point against the team in turmoil, though Maxi Gomez will be a threat for Valencia. It will likely be a close game, with Levante setting up defensively and looking to counter.

Eintracht Norderstedt v Bayer Leverkusen

The first round of the DFB Pokal sees Bayer Leverkusen travel to Norderstedt. Norderstedt play in the fourth tier of German football in the Regionalliga Nord. The game will be played at BayArena.

Bayer Leverkusen lost the 2019-20 DFB Pokal final 4-2 to Bayern Munich.

Norderstedt lost their opening game of the Regionalliga Nord season as they lost 3-1 away to Weiche Flensburg.

For Leverkusen, the game will be their first competitive fixture of the 2020/21 season as the Bundesliga season does not start for Leverkusen until the 20th September where they will be away to Wolfsburg. Bayer Leverkusen have seen key players Kai Havertz leave for Chelsea and Kevin Volland join Monaco, though the loss of their key players should not be a problem for this game. Patrick Schick is available after signing from Roma.

The game will also not be a behind closed doors fixture as 300 fans are going to be allowed to attend the game.

CSKA Moscow v Spartak Moscow

The Moscow derby will take place this Sunday. The game will take place at Arena CSKA. This will be the 7th match of each of the team’s season. CSKA Moscow are 5th with 10 points having won three of their first six games of the season, whereas Spartak Moscow are 2nd and are unbeaten and have won 4 of their first 6 games.  

The last derby was played in June where CSKA Moscow won 2-0. CSKA will be without some players this time around with Kirill Nabakin, Ilzhat Akhemtov and Bruno Fuchs all out of the fixture. Igor Diveev and Alan Dzagoev are nearly recovered from injury, but they may not be risked yet.

Spartak Moscow are without Alexander Selikhov and Maksim Glushenkov, but Aleksandr Kokorin and Ezequiel Ponce are both available for selection.

The season has seen CSKA Moscow win 1 of their 2 homes games, they won against Tambov 2-1, and lost the other one 2-1 to Rubin Kazan. Spartak Moscow have won 1 game away and drew the other, they beat Rotor Volvograd and drew against Ufa.

The game will be an opportunity for CSKA Moscow to make ground on their opponents in the table, but Spartak will want to extend the points difference between the two sides.

PSG v Marseille

PSG host Marseille and will be looking to recover from a 1-0 defeat to RC Lens on Thursday. Marseille won away at Brest in their only game of the season 3-2.

PSG will be without key players, who were also absent against Lens. Julian Draxler is injured but seven other players miss due to testing positive for coronavirus. Those players are Neymar, Angel Di Maria, Kylian Mbappe, Leandro Paredes, Mauro Icardi, Keylor Navas and Marquinhos. They still have key players like Veratti, although the forward options look weak with Sarabia set to play with academy players Arnaud Kalimuendo and Kays Ruiz-Atil.

Marseille have most of their squad available and will be looking to take advantage of PSG lacking their key players. Dimitri Payet and Florian Thauvin will be looking to cause problems for the PSG defence.

Marseille have not won in the last 16 Ligue 1 matches against PSG, with only two draws. They will see this as a great opportunity to beat the French champions.

Tottenham v Everton

The opening round of the Premier League season sees Tottenham host Everton. Over the summer Tottenham have signed Matt Doherty from Wolves and Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg from Southampton. Goalkeeper Joe Hart has also joined on a free transfer.

Everton have had a busy summer with Allan joining from Napoli. They have bought Abdoulaye Doucouré from Watford and James Rodríguez signed from Real Madrid.

Giovani Lo Celso may be miss out as he has missed most of pre-season. There may be competitive debuts for Doherty and Höjbjerg.

Mason Holgate will miss the game for Everton with a toe injury. Yerry Mina should be fit to partner Michael Keane in defence. Fabian Delph could also miss out.

Tottenham won the last fixture between the two, 1-0 in July, and it will be interesting to see how the new signings settle in for both sides in this game.

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