Weekend Wanderings – Premier League returns, Battles in Bundesliga

After a massive weekend for the WSL – and for women’s football – it’s time for other leagues to come back and join the party after the international break.

This weekend much of the focus is on games in Europe and a battle between two new managers in the Championship.

Alasdair Hooper pinpoints games to look forward to in this Weekend Wanderings.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea (Saturday, 3pm)

Two teams are without a win this season in the Premier League. One is Watford and the other is Wolves.

While Nuno’s side certainly have the excuse of the Europa League, that is something they will want to put right, despite the fact they do have three draws to their name.

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Arguably this Wolves side’s party piece is their ability to cause the so-called ‘Big Six’ problems.

One of those sides is Chelsea and things aren’t quite all plain sailing following the instalment of club legend Frank Lampard as manager.

Their last outing in particular, where they were held to a 2-2 draw by Sheffield United, means there are still major questions for this youthful and transitional Blues side.

Could this actually be a game where Wolves enter as marginal favourites?

Barcelona v Valencia (Saturday, 8pm)

Three games into the La Liga season and reigning champions Barcelona aren’t quite where they want to be.

They currently sit eighth in the table and a 2-2 draw against newly-promoted Osasuna displayed frailties in the team.

The Catalan club can ill afford more slip ups if Atletico Madrid, for example, keep up their winning ways.

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This Saturday they host Valencia in a fixture that always grabs attention, but this is a Valencia side that have just installed a new manager.

On Wednesday the club sacked manager Marcelino despite his achievements in winning the Copa Del Rey last year.

The club have now hired former Barcelona midfielder, and former Real Madrid assistant, Albert Celades as boss.

First tests don’t get much harder, but time will tell if Celades is the man for Valencia.

Borussia Dortmund v Bayer Leverkusen (Saturday, 2.30pm)

Borussia Dortmund were many people’s pre-season favourites for the Bundesliga title this year, but their faith may have been shaken somewhat after a shock defeat to Union Berlin.

Was that 3-1 loss a blip or did it display something more worrying?

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In the coming months we may have a more definitive answer, but Dortmund have a chance to get back on track when they come up against one of the league’s top sides in Leverkusen.

A win against the side that currently sit one place above them will help boost the confidence among this squad again, but all eyes will be on just how the group copes after that nasty shock.

RB Leipzig v Bayern Munich (Saturday, 5.30pm)

While Dortmund stuttered, RB Leipzig currently top the Bundesliga with a perfect three wins in three games.

Now headed by German managerial maestro Julian Nagelsmann there are big things expected from the club even if they have gone under the radar somewhat.

Keeping striker Timo Werner was a big part of that and there is also British interest with Ademola Lookman and Ethan Ampadu part of the squad.

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This weekend represents a massive test of their credentials as they host giants Bayern, who themselves sit just two points behind despite a sense of uncertainty over their manager.

The quality in the Bayern squad needs no introduction, you just need to look at the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Philippe Coutinho and Thiago to give a sense of what this team is capable of.

Should RB Leipzig apply themselves here not only will their football admirers increase, but the spotlight will well and truly be on Bayern.

Huddersfield Town v Sheffield Wednesday (Sunday, 12pm)

Somewhere in an alternate universe Danny and Nicky Cowley would be leading the Sheffield Wednesday team in a Sunday afternoon kick-off against Huddersfield Town.

But in our universe, Lincoln City manager Danny supposedly never had an offer from Wednesday despite the rumours.

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Instead he has opted to join second bottom Huddersfield Town, with brother Nicky serving as assistant once again.

Not too long ago Essex-born Danny was a PE teacher in Rayleigh combining his work with being manager of non-league sides Concord Rangers and then Braintree Town.

After the brothers’ remarkable season at Braintree – where they almost got the club promoted – the two were employed by Lincoln City in 2016, who were then in the National League.

The pair leave them with the club sitting fifth in League One – a truly incredible rise.

So what of Sheffield Wednesday after the departure of Steve Bruce? On September 6, the club hired former Swansea and Birmingham boss Garry Monk to take them forward.

Naturally, Monk’s first Wednesday game will be against the Cowleys’ new Huddersfield side.

Who will come out in the battle of the new managers?

Follow Alasdair on Twitter at @adjhooper1992

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