The league season in Europe is still young but this weekend is already bringing compelling televised match-ups between league leaders and their closest pursuers in England, Spain and Italy.
EPL: Two of the three remaining unbeaten teams in England meet Saturday when Chelsea plays host to Liverpool at Stamford Bridge (NBCSN, 9:30 a.m. PDT). The game will also match two of the league’s top scorers in Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, who has five goals in six games, and Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, who has four. Liverpool has lost just one of its last 14 EPL games and that loss came away to Chelsea, which is unbeaten in its last four meetings with the Reds.
La Liga: Barcelona’s loss to Leganes on Wednesday means there are no unbeaten teams left in Spain. But that does little to dampen expectations for Saturday’s meeting between two of the top three teams in the table, once-beaten inter-city rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid (BeIN Sports, 11:35 a.m. PDT). Although Real has won the last three Champions League titles, it hasn’t beaten Atletico in the teams’ last three games. Also on Saturday, Barcelona, which leads the league on goal differential, plays host to Athletic Club (BeIN Sports, 7 a.m. PDT). Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is second in the league with five goals in six games.
Serie A: Missing from the Real-Atletico showdown will be former Real Madrid talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, now playing in Italy with Juventus. He’s playing well, with three goals in the last three games for the unbeaten league leaders. He’ll lead his new team into a crucial early season game Saturday against second-place Napoli (ESPN+, 9 a.m. PDT). Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne is second in the scoring race with five goals in six games.