The battle of the Premier League heavyweights Chelsea and Manchester City is the stand-out fixture in Saturday's football action across Europe's five top leagues.
Chelsea host Manchester City, who look like their biggest rivals for the title after opening with four wins and a draw and only conceding one goal. Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel concedes it is an early season "six-pointer" with his side perhaps holding the psychological advantage, having won their last three meetings, most recently the Champions League final in May. City are three points behind Chelsea after losing to Tottenham and drawing at home to Southampton last weekend. Manchester United and Liverpool are tied on points with Chelsea heading into matches against Aston Villa at home and Brentford away, respectively.
Spanish league leaders Real Madrid take on Villarreal and will try to extend their five-game winning streak in all competitions. Carlo Ancelotti's squad have the league's best attack with 21 goals from six matches, with Karim Benzema at the top of the scoring charts with eight goals. Unai Emery's Villarreal ended their winless streak in the previous round after starting with six consecutive draws in all competitions. Madrid hold a two-point lead over defending champions Atletico Madrid, who visit bottom side Alaves earlier on Saturday. Valencia, coming off two straight losses, host Athletic Bilbao, while Sevilla host Espanyol.
Defending champions Inter Milan could be tested when Atalanta visit the San Siro. While Atalanta have led the league in scoring the last three seasons, Inter - by a large margin - have the early lead in that department this season with 18 goals in five matches. Even more significant is that 11 different players have scored for them this season - more than at any other Serie A club. AC Milan visit Spezia, who lost 3-2 to Juventus in midweek. Genoa host Hellas Verona in their first game since being sold to new American owners.
Borussia Dortmund coach Marco Rose is in for a hostile reception when he returns to former club Borussia Monchengladbach for the first time since his acrimonious switch between the teams. Gladbach fans were dreaming of a bright future with Rose at the helm as the team looked set for Champions League qualification, but there was a dramatic slump after he said he was joining Dortmund at the end of the season and Gladbach missed out on European qualification altogether. Rose's successor Adi Hutter is finding it difficult to repair the damage as Gladbach have only one win from five Bundesliga games this season. Dortmund are flying thanks to their fearsome attack but there are worries in defence. Hertha Berlin visit Leipzig, Frankfurt welcome Cologne, Bayer Leverkusen host Mainz, Wolfsburg visit Hoffenheim and Union Berlin host Arminia Bielefeld.
League leaders Paris St Germain go for their eighth straight win when they host midtable Montpellier but they'll again be without superstar Lionel Messi, who took a blow to the knee last weekend and missed the midweek game against Metz. Messi has resumed training but is not match fit yet. Elsewhere, defending champions Lille look for their third win of the season at in-form Strasbourg while Lyon host Lorient with both sides pushing to get into the top three.
Australian Associated Press