Weekend Wanderings: Questions to answer for Spurs, Lyon and Dundee

With the European competitions back up and running, several top sides are having to juggle their squads to cope with the volume of fixtures.

For some teams the early season ‘crisis’ calls are already rearing their heads and managers will be looking around for reactions from their players.

Alasdair Hooper is here to advise you on the games you should be keeping an eye out for this weekend.

1) Are Tottenham in a ‘crisis’?

What a difference a matter of weeks makes. Less than a month after beating Manchester United 3-0, all fingers are now being pointed at Tottenham and manager Mauricio Pochettino following defeats to Watford, Liverpool and now Inter Milan.

Is it complacency, form or the lack of transfer activity? Or is Pochettino getting stale?

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Those questions could well be answered further down the line, but in the immediate future Spurs face a trip to Brighton on Saturday.

Will there be more questions to come Tottenham’s way? Or will Spurs go marching on?

2) Has Neil McCann reached journey’s end?

Five games played, five defeats – life is pretty bleak if you are a Dundee fan.

At the start of the season, fans were already fearful after it became clear that the squad lacked the ability to compete in the Premiership, and the league’s basement club haven’t done anything since to prove them wrong.

For manager Neil McCann, his position looks highly uncertain, with many people surprised he is still in a job after both Livingston and St Mirren pulled the trigger earlier this season.

The general consensus on Tayside is that McCann will be let go if Dundee lose to Hibernian this Saturday.

The odds are already stacked against him, as new signing Kenny Miller, who had started the season as Livingston’s player-manager, is suspended after getting sent off in his last outing.

Saturday could well be McCann’s last outing in the Dens Park dugout.

3) Will Schalke remain pointless?

The German Bundesliga has a rather unfamiliar look at the bottom of it as two teams sit pointless after three games.

Those two sides – Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen – are more commonly associated with the upper echelons of the table.

From Schalke’s perspective, a draw in the Champions League against Porto helped to alleviate some of the pressure, but Saturday’s visitors happen to be a certain Bayern Munich.

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Life under Niko Kovac has started smoothly for Bayern, with three league wins in three, and it is quite possible Schalke could still be utterly pointless at the end of match day four.

Considering the promise Domenico Tedesco and his side had shown last season, that will be a bitterly disappointing start.

4) Will Lyon use their Manchester City performance to right their domestic woes?

Lyon dished out one of the first shocks of the Champions League after beating Manchester City 2-1.

As impressive as their display was, life on the domestic stage – both on and off the pitch – has been far from smooth.

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In footballing terms, five league games have heralded two defeats, two wins and a draw to leave them seventh.

But, the most colourful of incidents happened last Sunday when manager Bruno Genesio was filmed on a night out getting into an altercation with a Lyon fan – hardly the PR ploy you want to send out if you’re a Lyon board member.

This Sunday, Lyon host Marseille, a team with plenty of talent and in form.

The question to be answered is whether Lyon can take their European form into Ligue 1.

5) Can Liverpool bounce back following their WSL disappointment?

Liverpool Women had a complete overhaul of their squad in the summer and their first WSL outing ended in a 5-0 defeat to Arsenal.

Life then turned even more tumultuous after manager Neil Redfearn handed in his resignation, which thrust goalkeeping coach Chris Kirkland into caretaker charge.

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Liverpool managed to avoid a third successive defeat by beating Durham on penalties in the Continental Cup, but all eyes now turn back to the league this Sunday.

Opponents Brighton have lost their opening two games in the league and Liverpool will sense this as a big opportunity to finally get their campaign up and running.

You can follow Alasdair on Twitter @adjhooper1992

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