Weekend Wanderings: will the pressure continue to build for Mourinho, can Ipswich climb up from the bottom of the table and who will come out on top in the first Old Firm Derby?

Following a week packed full of Carabao Cup and European action the weekend is quickly upon us.

There are no shortages in interesting match-ups this weekend with some already under mounting pressure as well as potential anniversary celebrations on the cards.

Alasdair Hooper has everything you need to know ahead of this weekend’s football action.

1) Can Manchester City celebrate their special anniversary with another Magpies dismantling?

This weekend represents a very special anniversary for Manchester City as Saturday marks 10 years since the takeover by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

On September 1, 2008, the deal was signed off between the Sheikh and former owner Thaksin Shinawatra that saw the foundation of the City Football Group.

The rest is history as they say.

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On Saturday Pep Guardiola’s champions can celebrate that anniversary in style with a win against Newcastle United and judging on recent form between the two, it looks rather ominous for the Magpies.

In their last three visits to City, Newcastle have conceded 14 goals and scored just one.

Of those 14 goals Sergio Aguero was responsible for scoring nine and the Argentinian will be keen to add more to his phenomenal goal tally.

Fantasy football players should probably take note.

2) Is there set to be more doom and gloom for Mourinho at United?

Manchester United’s performance on Monday night against Tottenham was not one that deserved to be on the wrong end of a 3-0 defeat.

Nevertheless, that was the score on the night and, following United’s defeat to Brighton the week before, Jose Mourinho is under pressure already.

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While this season hasn’t descended into the farce that was Chelsea’s 2015-16 season, in which Mourinho was sacked in December with his team 15th, there are some worrying parallels.

Tensions behind the scenes are starting to come into public view (Pogba and Martial are just two examples) and the United manager has started dishing out snipes to the media in press conferences.

This Sunday the Red Devils travel the short distance to Burnley who have also been in poor form by their standards this season.

What with their European commitments, and uncharacteristic leaky defence, if United don’t pick up a win here you can only expect the pressure to build at the Old Trafford offices.

3) Is Brendan Rodgers in trouble ahead of the first Old Firm Derby?

Everything was going so well for Brendan Rodgers north of the border, but the start of this season could have gone so much more smoothly for the Northern Irishman.

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The ex-Liverpool boss has had to preside over the debacle that is Dedryk Boyata and his attempts to leave the club, an early exit from the Champions League and a shock defeat to Hearts within the first few weeks.

Additionally, star striker Moussa Dembele has been heavily linked with a move away from Glasgow to join Lyon – not the news you want to hear just before the first derby of the season.

Over at Ibrox, however, Steven Gerrard’s side have an air of excitement and positivity about them, despite the fact they have drawn two of their opening three league fixtures.

Considering how well both Gerrard and Rodgers know each other from their time at Liverpool together there are all manner of intriguing narratives to this first Old Firm clash of the season.

All eyes will be tuned in on Celtic Park on Sunday afternoon as the two giants do battle once again.

4) Will Ipswich claw their way off the bottom of the table?

From the Old Firm to the Old Farm Derby – Ipswich Town and Norwich City go head to head at Portman Road this Sunday.

Following the departure of Mick McCarthy at Ipswich after all these years there was plenty of optimism at the club for this upcoming season.

The hiring of Paul Hurst from Shrewsbury was considered a positive mood but so far after five games the club find themselves bottom with just two points to their name.

Meanwhile Norwich and Head Coach Daniel Farke find themselves in 18th with four points.

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On paper the Canaries boast a talented squad in most areas – except defence.

While the team has scored eight times they have conceded 11 in just five games – the second highest in the division – with the likes of goalkeeper Tim Krul looking a shadow of his former self.

5) Which of the two French giants can get their seasons up and running?

The standout fixture in Ligue 1 this weekend is the matchup between Monaco and Marseille – two giants who find themselves mid table at this early stage.

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Both sides have had one win, a loss and a draw in their three games this season and, considering the talent each squad possesses, they will aim to be looking up the table.

With Paris Saint-Germain the dominant force in the league, both teams have to get their form going quickly if there is to be any kind of a title challenge this year.

However, what fans can expect is an exciting match with plenty of attacking talent on show.

You can follow Alasdair on Twitter @adjhooper1992


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