Bundesliga Championship Ligue 1 Serie A Womens FA Cup

Saturday’s Key Games: 26th September

St Etienne v Rennes

Leaders St Etienne will host second placed Rennes. It is only the fifth game of the for both sides , but both sides will be looking to continue their good starts to the season which has seen three wins and a draw for both teams.

St Etienne may see Wesley Fofana come back into the side. Fofana had been thought to have been left out against Nantes due to links with a move away to Premier League side Leicester City, but it is believed the youngsters absence may have been due to fatigue. Yvan Neyou is a doubt, while Gabriel Silva will be out for an extended period through injury.

Rennes saw goalkeeper Edouard Mendy depart for Chelsea this week, so Romain Salin will continue between the sticks. Sacha Boey is back from suspension, but Faitout Maouassa is set to be out for a couple of months with an ankle injury.

St Etienne won the last competitive fixture between the sides in a Coupe De France tie back in March, they won the game 2-1, but Rennes won the last league fixture in December 2019, 2-1.

St Etienne have won their two home games this season beating Lorient and Strasbourg, but Rennes will be the toughest test they have had at home so far this season. St Etienne are still yet to concede a goal at home this season.

Rennes have drawn away this season to Lille, in a game that finished 1-1. They won their other away fixture 4-2, when they travelled to Nimes.

Both sides, will be keen to carry on their unbeaten start and will want to be at the top of the table come the end of the game week.

Watford v Luton Town

Watford will host Luton Town on Saturday in what is a local derby. 18-miles separate Watford’s home of Vicarage Road and Luton Town’s Kenilworth Road. The derby is known either as the ‘M1 derby’ or the ‘Beds-Herts Derby’. Sadly, the first competitive fixture between the two sides in fourteen years will be played with no fans in attendance, but that does not diminish from the importance of the game for both sets of fans.

Two players that have been linked with moves away are Ismaila Sarr and Troy Deeney, but both are available for selection for the first time this season. Gerard Deulofeu and Danny Welbeck will both miss the game through injury. Roberto Pereyra and Etienne Capoue have asked for moves away and will not be involved.

Luton made nine changes during the week for their cup tie against Manchester United and Nathan Jones will likely pick a similar team to those that played last weekend against Derby County. Dan Potts, Eunan O’Kane and Brendan Galloway are all out injured.

The two sides last met in a competitive fixture in 2006, which saw a 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road.

Both sides have played two league games this season, Watford won 1-0 against Middlesbrough at home in their first game of the season, but they drew last weekend 0-0 away to Sheffield Wednesday. They also went out of the League Cup during the week to Newport County.

Luton have won both their opening league games, they won 1-0 away to Barnsley in the first game of the season and won 2-1 last week against Derby County. They also lost in the League Cup during the week, as they lost 3-0 to Manchester United.

This is a big game for both teams and both teams will want to win the first derby in fourteen years, Luton Town will be confident of at least picking up a point, though Watford will be favourites and will feel they have the quality to win the game.

Arsenal Women v Tottenham Hotspur Women

Arsenal will face Tottenham in the Women’s FA Cup, in a competition that is in the quarter-finals stages of the 2019/2020 season, as it was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jill Roord is a doubt for the game after she came off with a knee injury after scoring the only goal in Netherlands 1-0 over Russia. Roord will be a miss, if she is unable to play as she scored consecutive hattricks in Arsenals opening Women’s Super League fixtures. Lydia Williams, who is still to make her Arsenal debut, will miss the game, but will be back in training in the next 10 days. Jen Beattie is also set to miss the game but will be back in full training the next three of four days.

Tottenham look set to give star signing Alex Morgan her debut. The two-time World Cup winner will be looking to hit the ground running for her new side after she joined Tottenham on loan from NWSL side Orlando Pride.

The last fixture between the two was in front of 38,262 people at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in November 2019. Arsenal won 2-0 courtesy of goals from Kim Little and Vivianne Miedema.

To reach the quarter finals, Arsenal have beat West Ham and Lewes both 2-0 to reach the quarter final stage. Arsenal are also in good form as the have started off the new WSL season with a 6-1 win over Reading and a 9-1 win over West Ham.

Tottenham beat Barnsley 5-0 and Coventry United 5-0 to reach the quarter-final stage of the competition. They have not had the best of starts to the new WSL season with a 1-1 draw against West Ham and a 1-0 loss to Everton.

Arsenal will be favourites for the game and will be looking to win the North London derby, but Tottenham will be hoping for an upset with the influence of their star signing, Alex Morgan.

Inter v Fiorentina

Inter will start their season against Fiorentina. Most of Serie A started last weekend, but due to being in last seasons Europa League final, Inter were given permission to start their season this week. Inter will be looking to challenge Juventus’ dominance of Serie A and mount a serious title challenge this season after the finished second in Serie A last season.

Milan Skriniar, Marcelo Brozovic, Andrea Ranocchia are all being linked with moves away and may not feature. Stefan De Vrij is suspended so new signing Aleksandar Kolarov may play in the back three. Christian Eriksen is likely to start, which could mean Alexis Sanchez has to settle for a place on the bench. Arturo Vidal looks set to start from the bench after joining from Barcelona and Ivan Perisic looks set to start after he returned from his loan at Bayern Munich.

Fiorentina won 1-0 in their opening Serie A game last week against Torino and have no new injury concerns. Borja Valero will want to play against his former side after he re-joined Fiorentina this summer after leaving Inter, but he may have to settle for a place on the bench.

This will be Inter’s first competitive fixture after the Europa League final defeat to Sevilla, whereas Fiorentina have already started their season and won against Torino last weekend.

The last meeting between the two took place in July, when the two sides played out a goalless draw at the San Siro.

Inter will be looking to start the season well and will hope they have the quality to win the game, though Fiorentina will be dangerous as they possess quality themselves in the likes of Franck Ribery and Federico Chiesa.

Arminia Bielefeld v FC Köln

Arminia Bielefeld returned to the Bundesliga after eleven years after they won promotion from Bundesliga 2. They played away last week against Eintracht Frankfurt, but this week will be their first home game since their return to the Bundesliga.

Their will be some fans who will be able to see their first home Bundesliga games in eleven years, as they are allowed 20% capacity of fans in the ground. Arminia Bielefeld were relegated in 2009 after five consecutive seasons in the topflight of German football. Since then they were relegated from Bundesliga 2 in 2011 and spent two seasons in the third tier, and they were promoted back to the second division in 2013. Sadly, they were relegated straight back to the third tier in 2014, though they did get promoted straight back in 2015. They have spent five consecutive seasons in the second tier since 2015, until they were promoted last season when they won the second division.

Arminia Bielefeld will be without Andreas Voglsammer, Nathan de Medina, and Sebastian Müller. Reinhold Yabo may return and Anderson-Lenda Lucoqui has a minor concussion so is a doubt for the game.

FC Köln may have Bennie Schmitz available, but they will be without Ismail Jacobs through injury. They will also have Florian Kainz and Anthony Modeste unavailable. There are doubts over Sebastian Andersson and Jorge Meré.

Arminia Bielefeld drew their opening league game against Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1, while FC Köln lost 3-2 to Hoffenheim.

The last fixture between the two sides took place in March 2019, when both sides were in the second division, on that occasion FC Köln won 5-1.

Arminia Bielefeld will be looking for a positive result in their first home Bundesliga game in eleven years, whereas FC Köln will be looking to spoil the party.

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