Early test for Newcastle at Man City, Mbappe available for PSG

Erling Halaand of Manchester City reacts after a past match.[Twitter]

ENGLAND

Newcastle faces an early season test when it plays at defending champion Manchester City in one of five Premier League games.

Newcastle thumped Aston Villa 5-1 in its season opener and will play a City squad that traveled to Athens midweek for the UEFA Super Cup.

City beat Sevilla in a penalty shootout to earn its 15th trophy under Pep Guardiola. Fulham hosts Brentford in a west London derby.

Bournemouth visits Liverpool, and Wolverhampton hosts Brighton. Tottenham plays its first post-Harry Kane home game when Manchester United visits north London for an early evening match. City-Newcastle is last on.

FRANCE

Kylian Mbappe will be available again when Paris Saint-Germain chases its first win of the season against Toulouse in the league.

Mbappe has been ostracized by PSG this summer because of a contract standoff. But the club’s hard stance didn’t last long. Mbappe was allowed to train with the first team again just a day after PSG started its campaign by drawing with Lorient 0-0.

The defending champion depends even more on Mbappe for goals now that Lionel Messi and Neymar are gone. New signing Ousmane Dembele could make his PSG debut. The match between Lyon and Montpellier has been put back by two hours because of a regional heatwave.

SPAIN

Real Madrid visits Almeria seeking a second straight win to start La Liga. Carlo Ancelotti’s side will be without starting center back Éder Militão after he tore a ligament in his left knee during its 2-0 win at Athletic Bilbao in round one.

Ancelotti says Andriy Lunin will start in goal, after Kepa Arrizabalaga arrived on loan from Chelsea to help replace the injured Thibaut Courtois.

Almeria lost its opener. Celta Vigo visits Real Sociedad searching for its first win under Rafa Benítez. Athletic Bilbao is at Osasuna in a clash between teams from northern Spain.

ITALY

Rudi Garcia will make his debut as Napoli coach when the Serie A champion kicks off its title defense at newly promoted Frosinone.

Garcia replaced Luciano Spalletti, who left after steering Napoli to its first Serie A title in 33 years, saying he was taking a sabbatical year — then was appointed as Italy coach on Friday following Roberto Mancini’s shock resignation.

Frosinone also has a new coach in Eusebio Di Francesco after he took over from Fabio Grosso, who left the team after leading it to its first-ever Serie B title.

Another promoted side is also in action: Serie B runner-up Genoa hosts Fiorentina in its first match back in the top-flight.

Inter Milan, which finished third last season and also reached the Champions League final, starts its campaign against Monza. Hellas Verona, which escaped relegation following a playoff last season, visits Empoli.

GERMANY

Bayer Leverkusen and Leipzig clash in an early duel between teams that could challenge Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga dominance.

Leipzig already showed its ambition with a 3-0 win over Bayern in the German Super Cup and both teams have reinforced in the offseason.

 “Marco Rose has built a top, top team,” Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso said of his counterpart.

Borussia Dortmund starts its league campaign at home to Cologne in the late game. Also, promoted Heidenheim makes its Bundesliga debut at Wolfsburg, Freiburg visits Hoffenheim, Stuttgart hosts Bochum and Borussia Mönchengladbach visits Augsburg.

By Sammy Mose 7 days ago
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