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There’s some fantastic football to be enjoyed this week with several Europa League playoff games set to be played out on Thursday night. Everton travel to Croatian side Hajduk Split with a 2-0 advantage thanks to unlikely heroes Michael Keane and Idrissa Gueye, and no doubt Ronald Koeman will be looking for some extra security in the form of some away goals. Big-spending Italian outfit AC Milan host Macedonian minnows Shkendija in what should be a comfortable match for the fallen giants, and fans will be hopeful that the recent takeover by Chinese investors will put them back on the path to greatness. Last season’s beaten finalists Ajax travel to Norwegian team Rosenborg with a 1-0 deficit to overturn in order to qualify. After their impressive 2016-17 season, Everton were quick to secure the services of Davy Klaassen in the transfer window, whilst Spurs and Crystal Palace have since snapped up defenders Davinson Sanchez and Jairo Riedewald respectively.
Later in the week there’s a host of great matches to choose from some of Europe’s top domestic leagues, including Bayern Munich’s visit to the Weser-Stadion to face Werder Bremen and more than likely take all three points. League success has often been the bare minimum expected of the Bavarian outfit, and this season will be no different, with Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti facing increasing pressure to deliver results in European competition.
In Spain, Barcelona continue to court controversy in the wake of Brazilian star Neymar leaving them for Paris St Germain earlier in the summer, and the latest instalment to the saga reveals Barcelona will be attempting to sue the Brazilian for breach of contract in the latest of a series of childish attempts to save face. Set against Neymar’s €222m departure from the Catalan giants, their trip to Alaves should prove a much easier situation to deal with, and a comfortable win will be expected and much needed to appease the fans. Meanwhile Zinedine Zidane’s all-conquering Real Madrid side will host Valencia without star player Ronaldo, after the Portuguese forward received a five game ban for pushing a referee in the Spanish Super Cup. In spite of this, nobody will be betting against the French manager, who has won as many trophies as he has lost games during his tenure at Los Blancos.
Some key highlights for this week are outlined below:
|24/08/2017||18:00||Soccer||UEFA Europa League||FC Red Bull Salzburg (AUT) v FC Viitorul (ROU)|
|24/08/2017||19:45||Soccer||UEFA Europa League||KF Shkendija (MKD) v AC Milan (ITA)|
|24/08/2017||19:45||Soccer||UEFA Europa League||Rosenborg BK (NOR) v Ajax Amsterdam (NLD)|
|24/08/2017||20:00||Soccer||UEFA Europa League||HNK Hajduk Split (HRV) v Everton FC (GBR)|
|26/08/2017||14:30||Soccer||GER German Bundesliga||SV Werder Bremen (DEU) v FC Bayern Munchen (DEU)|
|26/08/2017||17:00||Soccer||Italian Serie A||Genoa v Juventus|
|26/08/2017||17:15||Soccer||Primera División (Spain)||Deportivo Alavés v Barcelona|
|26/08/2017||17:30||Soccer||GER German Bundesliga||Borussia Dortmund (DEU) v Hertha BSC Berlin (DEU)|
|26/08/2017||21:15||Soccer||Primera División (Spain)||Las Palmas v Atlético Madrid|
|27/08/2017||19:45||Soccer||Italian Serie A||AC Milan v Cagliari|
|27/08/2017||21:15||Soccer||Primera División (Spain)||Real Madrid v Valencia|