Weekend Wanderings: Liverpool take on Arsenal as Bolton face Ipswich and Fiorentina host Napoli

The euphoria and devastation of football is hard to match on a weekly basis.

For most of the year millions of fans regularly tune in to see their team or to look at what other exciting games are on.

That is, after all, why you are reading this latest Weekend Wanderings article.

But with another round of fixtures on the way let’s not forget that by the time Saturday arrives one club, with over a century of history, could be no more.

Bury fans haven’t been able to tune in and watch their team like the rest of us, as every game has been postponed. So, while we all settle down to watch more of this weekend’s action let’s remember that there is an entire fanbase who might just be about to lose their club just months after they gained promotion.


Liverpool v Arsenal (Saturday, 5.30pm)

The blockbuster fixture on this Weekend Wanderings list is Saturday evening’s clash between Liverpool and Arsenal.

This may have been a relatively straight forward match-up for Liverpool a few months ago but Arsenal’s summer strengthening has so far paid dividends.

Embed from Getty Images

However, while the Gunners have won their opening two league games for the first time in a decade this will be the first real test for their defence in the new campaign.

On the flip side Liverpool also have to kick into gear after having a tough time getting past Southampton last weekend.

Similarly it’s the defence where the question marks are as Adrian, despite his shot stopping capability, looks less than comfortable with the ball at his feet.

When you have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang running at you at pace then that’s not exactly going to settle the nerves.


Kilmarnock v Aberdeen (Saturday, 3pm)

If you need another example of how quickly things can change look at Kilmarnock.

At the end of last season, they were celebrating finishing third in the Scottish Premiership and qualified for Europe for the first time since 2001.

But shortly after that manager Steve Clarke became Scotland manager and the club were dumped out of the Europa League qualifiers by semi-professional Welsh side Connah’s Quay Nomads.

Embed from Getty Images

After two games of the season the club sit bottom of the table and there looks to be an unhappy marriage between the club and new manager Angelo Alessio – the man who was long-time assistant to Antonio Conte.

This Saturday they go up against an Aberdeen side who have also been off-form – they needed 120 minutes to get past Dundee in the Scottish Cup and they were also knocked out of the Europa League by HNK Rijeka.

Regardless of both team’s flaws, you sense that if things don’t start changing soon at Killie the writing will be on the wall for Alessio just over two months into his role.


Bolton Wanderers v Ipswich Town (Saturday, 3pm)

While things are desperate at Bury, the situation isn’t much better at Bolton who had to postpone their midweek game against Doncaster.

With the protracted takeover seemingly taking forever the one constant throughout the sorry financial saga was manager Phil Parkinson.

Embed from Getty Images

Until now. On Wednesday the Bolton boss handed in his resignation along with assistant Steve Parkin and suddenly things seem a whole lot worse.

This Saturday the team will take on Ipswich Town (remember this was a Championship fixture last year) but after the 5-0 thumping by Tranmere last weekend it’s doubtful whether the team will get anything from it.

Essentially it is still a team made of youth products and once again we are looking at a club in dire straits.


Schalke v Bayern Munich (Saturday, 5.30pm)

There’s an element of transition for Schalke in the Bundesliga this season after their disappointing 14th place finish last year.

The year before they were celebrating as runners-up and looked to have a good young head coach in the form of Domenico Tedesco.

He was sacked in March but this year it’s all change with former Huddersfield manager David Wagner at the helm.

Embed from Getty Images

Things could have started smoother however with club president Clemens Tonnies stepping down for three months following allegations of racism.

After an opening day draw Schalke face a challenging task this weekend against champions Bayern Munich, a team that is far from in the perfect situation themselves.

Manager Niko Kovac isn’t a strong position and, despite the club signing Philippe Coutinho, there are question marks over the side.

That was probably better shown on the pitch when the team drew their opening game against Hertha Berlin.

Which one of these sides can kick their season into action on Saturday?


Fiorentina v Napoli (Saturday, 7.45pm)

Speaking of Bayern Munich, a familiar face has arrived in Florence in the shape of Franck Ribery.

Kevin-Prince Boateng also arrived at Fiorentina in the summer and the side now has a touch more experience than it did during last year’s disappointing campaign.

In their opening Serie A fixture they host Napoli who have gone somewhat under the radar with Juventus and Inter making the major splashes in the transfer market.

Embed from Getty Images

However, this group’s talent is unquestionable and last year’s runners-up remain in a solid position under manager Carlo Ancelotti.

There is also a sense that it really is about time this team won something – that comes from both the management, the players and the fans.

This opening game will be a stern test but there is every chance Napoli could be something of an underdog in the title race.

You can follow Alasdair on Twitter @adjhooper1992

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: