MATCHDAY: Man United looks to avoid successive league losses

A look at what’s happening around European soccer on Saturday:

ENGLAND

Manchester United is at Brighton looking to avoiding back-to-back losses at the start of the Premier League. Losing to Crystal Palace last weekend highlighted United’s need for reinforcements to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad, with Donny van de Beek the only arrival of the summer transfer window. Fresh from winning at Old Trafford, Crystal Palace hosts Carlo Ancelotti’s new-look Everton. New Chelsea signing Edouard Mendy is not ready to make his debut against West Bromwich Albion so manager Frank Lampard has to decide whether to stick with Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal or replace him with Willy Caballero after recent errors. Southampton plays Burnley after losing all three matches so far — two in the Premier League, including a 5-2 defeat to Tottenham and an early League Cup exit to second-division Brentford.

SPAIN

Real Madrid visits a Real Betis side that has made a good start under former Madrid boss Manuel Pellegrini. The Seville-based Betis won its first two matches without conceding a goal. Madrid was held in its first match at Real Sociedad to 0-0 last weekend after its first round match was postponed. Coach Zinedine Zidane does not know if Eden Hazard will be ready to play after recovering from a long injury layoff. Also, promoted Elche hosts Sociedad without Argentine coach Jorge Almirón, who has yet to get his coaching credentials sorted. Valencia faces Huesca seeking a second win at home, and Alavés welcomes Getafe after losing its first two games.

GERMANY

Borussia Dortmund brings its young attacking stars to Augsburg, where coach Lucien Favre hopes Gio Reyna and Jude Bellingham, both 17, and Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland, both 20, can shine again after their prominent roles in the 3-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach. Gladbach hosts Union Berlin, another side hoping to bounce back after an opening defeat. Bayer Leverkusen welcomes Leipzig, and promoted Stuttgart and Arminia Bielefeld face Mainz and Cologne, respectively. Schalke hopes to end its 17-game without a win when it hosts Werder Bremen. It remains to be seen if any fans will be allowed to attend due to a high number of coronavirus infections in the local area.

ITALY

Arturo Vidal could make his debut for Inter Milan as the Nerazzurri kick off their season at home to fierce rivals Fiorentina. The former Juventus midfielder joined from Barcelona last week. Inter is one of the few teams still to start its season after its first scheduled match last week was postponed due to it finishing the season so late because of European involvement. Title rivals Atalanta and Lazio also play their first matches on Saturday when they visit Torino and Cagliari respectively. Newly promoted Benevento plays at Sampdoria.

FRANCE

Saint-Étienne looks to continue its revival under coach Claude Puel when it faces Rennes at home in a game pitting two unbeaten sides, and where a win guarantees top spot. Puel is rebuilding his reputation, after a tricky spell coaching Premier League side Leicester ended with a sacking, and a tough time with Saint-Étienne last season sparked fallouts with senior players. His counterpart Julien Stephan is the rising star of French coaching and has fashioned a youthful Rennes packed with speed and flair. In the only other game, Marseille could hand a debut to 18-year-old Brazilian forward Luis Henrique against struggling Metz. Coach André Villas-Boas excitingly describes him as “a pure talent.”

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