MATCHDAY: Arsenal looks to extend perfect start to season
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Wednesday:
Arsenal is the only team with a 100% record after four rounds of the Premier League heading into a home match against Aston Villa. While Arsenal is flying under Mikel Arteta, Villa is flagging under Steven Gerrard after three losses so far in the former Liverpool star’s first full season in charge. Manchester City and Tottenham are on 10 points, two behind Arsenal, going into games against Nottingham Forest and West Ham, respectively. Liverpool is looking to back up its 9-0 win over Bournemouth when Newcastle visits Anfield. Also, Bournemouth, which fired Scott Parker as manager on Tuesday after three straight losses, hosts Wolverhampton.
Napoli hosts Serie B champion Lecce looking to extend its unbeaten start and bounce back from a weekend draw. Juventus, which is coming off two draws, hosts Spezia. Napoli and Juventus — both Serie A contenders — will be under pressure to come away with a full three points. Lazio, which is also unbeaten through three rounds, visits a Sampdoria team with only one point. Also, Empoli plays Hellas Verona and Udinese meets unbeaten Fiorentina.
Bayern Munich visits third-division club Viktoria Cologne for their postponed German Cup first-round game. The match is being played nearly a month late due to Bayern’s participation in the German Super Cup against Leipzig. That particular match usually takes place before the German Cup begins, but the schedule this season has faced massive upheaval due to the World Cup being held in Qatar in November and December. Perhaps ominously for Viktoria, Bayern will be looking for goals after seeing its winning start to the Bundesliga halted by Borussia Mönchengladbach with a 1-1 draw on Saturday. Bayern previously scored 15 goals and conceded just one in three games for the league’s best-ever start.
All 20 teams are in action in the French league. Paris Saint-Germain — the leader on goal difference — is averaging three goals per game heading into its match at Toulouse. Second-place Marseille hosts Clermont and third-place Lens, the other team on 10 points from a possible 12 after four games, hosts Lorient.
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