Weekend Wanderings – Arsenal travel to Chelsea, Bayern Munich look to get back on track

Alasdair Hooper takes a look at some of this weekend’s big talking points in football…

Urgency and the demand for success has never been higher – just ask Frank De Boer.

As the Premier League mourns its first managerial casualty the mayhem roles on into another weekend as teams domestically, and on the continent, go in search of some more valuable points.

So here are five of the big stories you should be keeping an eye on this Saturday and Sunday.

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Will Arsenal crumble against a big boy again?

There seems to be a repetitive theme with Arsenal in their crunch games against title rivals – they quickly unravel, concede bags of goals and a crisis promptly ensues.

Of course it wasn’t that long ago (August 27) when we witnessed the Gunners getting pummeled by Liverpool 4-0.

This Sunday Arsene Wenger takes his team to the dreaded Stamford Bridge – a ground where they have lost on their last five visits.

Meanwhile Antonio Conte’s Chelsea have rebounded impressively after their opening day wobbles and are starting look a serious threat once again.

Most people predict the Blues may have the better of the Gunners but everyone said the same thing prior to the 2017 FA Cup final as well.

Ice Ice Baby

Just moments after Frank de Boer had packed up his things, former England boss Roy Hodgson was soon walking in to settle himself at Crystal Palace – 51 years after he originally left.

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Photo courtesy @cpfc

The Croydon-born manager was a youth player with the Eagles and in many ways his appointment seems fitting as he prepares his new team for Saturday’s game against Southampton.

He performed admirably at Fulham and West Brom, in the recent past, but there is one looming question lingering over Hodgson’s head.

Is he still the same after his England experiences? Just don’t mention Iceland…

Glory, Glory Leeds United

After years of misery, chaos and lunatic owners things are suddenly looking mightily rosy at Leeds United.

New owner Andrea Radrizzani appears sensible, has bought back Elland Road and – perhaps most importantly – appears to have found a superb manager after Garry Monk’s sudden summer departure.

Thomas Christiansen’s team are earning rave reviews, as they sit top of the Championship, and are the only unbeaten team remaining in the division.

Even the loss of star striker Chris Wood to Burnley hasn’t dented their spirits.

Next up is a trip to Millwall on Saturday. If they can handle the pressure they could be serious promotion contenders by the end of the season.

The Real deal?

The last time Real Sociedad enjoyed a start as good as this they went on to win the LaLiga title – that was in 1982.

Along with Barcelona, the Basque club enjoy a 100 per cent record in the Spanish top tier with Asier Illarramendi and former Manchester United prodigy Adnan Januzaj starring.

This Sunday they can make a massive statement and prove they are the real deal.

Why? Because Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid are coming to town.

Is that your Ance-lotti?

Despite the huge amount of talent at Bayern Munich’s disposal, Carlo Ancelotti’s time as boss looks to be coming to a premature end.

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The reigning Bundesliga champions have struggled so far this season, by their standards, and fell to a shock 2-0 loss in the league last week to Hoffenheim.

Reports this week have suggested that a deal is already in place to see the former Chelsea manager leave the Allianz Arena with a certain Julian Nagelsmann – the 30-year-old managerial prodigy at Hoffenheim – set to take over.

Can the players put all the gossip to one side and focus on the job in hand?

We may get a better idea as Bayern host 13th-placed Mainz on Saturday.

Follow Alasdair on Twitter at @adjhooper1992

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