The Evolution of the Manchester City Jersey

The Manchester City Football Club was formed in 1880. They were first dubbed St. Mark’s, which later changed to Gorton FC and then Ardwick AFC before settling on the name Manchester City in 1894. Since those long gone days, the club’s kits have changed significantly from the original black and white colorway to their current modern blues.

Let’s take a look back to see how the kits have changed over the years.

Manchester City History

Manchester City may have experienced financial troubles that led to their restructuring, but their new digs were, fortunately, more spacious and ultimately more popular. They were promoted to the First Division in 1899 and won their first trophy in 1904 at the FA Cup. They relocated yet again in 1923 and won their second FA Cup in 1934, but became plagued with three decades of slower times and only a third FA Cup to show for it.

In the 1960s, the club picked up the pace and won a slew of trophies, including a First Division title, both English Cups, and a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. After that, successes for Manchester plummeted, but they managed to replicate their former glory in the late 1990s, working their way up to the Premier League and relocating, yet again, to the newly built City of Manchester Stadium (also known as Etihad Stadium) in 2003.

In 2008, ownership of the Manchester City Football Club transferred over to the hands of the Abu Dhabi United Group. The club is now considered one of the wealthiest franchises to date. With the ownership change, the club’s funders have dug deeper into their wallets, allowing for the signing of star players, which has catapulted the squad into winning more titles: two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, and one League Cup.

Transformation of the Manchester City Kit

Manchester City sustained their signature blue and white kit for the majority of their century-long history. After the first kit had been retired (black and white featuring a St. George cross) in 1894, Manchester City settled on blue tops with white bottoms, paired with dark blue socks.

The Evolution of the Manchester City Kits

1904: In 1904, the club has a similar look, only adding two white stripes along the tops of the socks.

The Evolution of the Manchester City Kits

1965: In 1965, the team replaces the standard collar with a crew neck, and reverts the color of their socks back to a solid, light blue.
The Evolution of the Manchester City Kits

1969–1970: In 1970, maroon makes its mark striping the sides of the shorts and the tops of the socks.

The Evolution of the Manchester City Kits

1974: During the span of 1972 to 1974, bright red replaces maroon, and white stripes top the darker blue socks. For the first time, a crest adorns the jersey.

The Evolution of the Manchester City Kits

1984–1985: The mid-1980s go all blue and nuts with the stripes! Dark blue vertical stripes adorn the jersey, and are paired with blue shorts.

The Evolution of the Manchester City Kits

1997–1998: In 1997, a bold change takes place, with both the main jersey and socks now a darker color. A recurring dark Kappa design extends across the arms and sides of the shorts.

The Evolution of the Manchester City Kits

2008–2009: In 2008, the light blue returns in a brighter hue. The kit also features a white stripe across and down the side of the left part of the chest, with a thinner, dark blue stripe running down the opposite direction.  

The Evolution of the Manchester City Kits

2011–2012: In 2011, the kits return to their iconic blue color, and the socks feature thick horizontal white stripes.

The Evolution of the Manchester City Kits

2016–2017: In 2016, the jersey remains blue, but has darker sleeves, which transition into stripes along the shoulder segments. The socks maintain their all-white color underneath a Nike swoosh and “City” logo.

If you’re headed out to watch Manchester City take the field at the Etihad Stadium, make sure you’re stocked up on the essential soccer gear from Fanatics.com. If you’re just rooting for them from afar, you can still represent the City from home with your fan-worthy duds.

Sources

Football Across Europe: December 8 | A Weekend of Northern Derbies

Premier League (England)

The crowded fixture schedule of the holiday season is upon us, and all of a sudden, we are up to Match Day 16 in England and indeed, some shifting in the table has been underway. Spurs have dropped points due to a recent dip in form. Liverpool have surged, pushing their way back into the top four. The two Manchester clubs are still atop the table. Everton have finally found a manager and it’s a familiar face indeed in Big Sam Allardyce. Fitting, then, that most of our attention this weekend will turn to the north of England for a pair of heavyweight derbies on Sunday. First, the Merseyside derby will see Everton make the short trek across Stanley Park to Anfield. And then, in the final kickoff of the weekend, it is a Manchester derby between the top two teams in England. Let’s look a little closer:

West Ham vs. Chelsea: The Blues have been doing their part as of late to revitalize their title defense, but six points in two away affairs over the next four days is vital to keep pace with Manchester City. That begins Saturday with a trip across West London to face West Ham. Chelsea are red hot in the league with 19 out of a possible 21 points ever since losing two straight tilts to City and Crystal Palace, with Eden Hazard and Álvaro Morata bashing opposing clubs while manager Antonio Conte re-establishes his dominant defensive system. They still enter the weekend eleven points adrift of league-leading City, so three road points is crucial against a Hammers side mired in the relegation zone with just ten points in 15 matches.

Liverpool vs. Everton: The first Merseyside derby of the 2017/18 campaign kicks off on Sunday, with the Toffees of Everton traveling to Anfield in what will be the third match with their new manager, Sam Allardyce, on the touchline. Since being mired in a dismal run in form, Everton have won three in a row in all competitions by a combined 9-0 score. While Big Sam will no doubt be thrilled to have Wayne Rooney at his disposal, he will no doubt be preaching defense as Everton look to slow down their cross-town rivals in red. For Liverpool, it is impossible not to focus on the opposite. Since their thrashing at the hands Tottenham in late October, the Reds have gone nine matches without defeat. Six of those were in the league, by a combined score of 19-3. They beat Spartak Moscow to win their Champions League group by a 7-0 score midweek, with a hat trick from Philippe Countinho and a brace from Sadio Mané. Combined with the Premier League’s top goal scorer in Mohamed Salah, Liverpool will hope their current blistering attacking form will simply be too much for Everton.

Manchester United vs. Manchester City: The top two teams in the table clash in the final kickoff of the weekend when Manchester City visit Old Trafford to take on their rivals Manchester United. The Red Devils will be looking to close the gap to the league leaders with three points at home. José Mourinho will have nearly all of his most dangerous weapons at his disposal, including both Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimović. But it’s possible the most important men on the pitch will be the United back line and world-class keeper David de Gea, as City have simply not stopped scoring. Despite losing an essentially meaningless Champions League match midweek, they remain unbeaten in the Premier League, with 43 points from a possible 45 and a range of pundits calling them the best team in the world at the moment. Sergio Agüero, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, and a long list of other weapons will test a deep and talented United squad in its own right. With two animated managers to boot, it promises to be a classic on Sunday in Manchester.

La Liga (Spain)

 

Real Madrid vs. Sevilla: Fresh off his fifth Ballon d’Or award, Cristiano Ronaldo still has a lot to prove to get back in the running for this year’s world player of the year and he’ll look to make a statement Saturday against a dangerous Sevilla side. While Ronaldo has dominated the Champions League group stages, it proved only enough to finish Real Madrid second in their group. Furthermore, Ronaldo has only netted two goals in the league, a world away from Messi’s league-leading 13. But of the most importance heading into Saturday’s game is the fact that Madrid still sit eight points back of Barca in the table, making every point crucial. Notching three points won’t be an easy task against a Sevilla side that’s tied with them in points and just advanced to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Villareal vs. Barcelona: On the heels of a comprehensive Champions League group-stage win, mighty FC Barcelona sets their sights to Villarreal in a Sunday clash. Barca began their La Liga campaign in unstoppable fashion before two distasteful draws in their last two league matches, and have since seen their league lead dwindle to just five points over second-placed Valencia. They still have yet to lose a match all season, but need Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez to be at their brilliant best to remain distanced from the pack. Villarreal will present a raucous environment and a tough test as they currently sit in sixth with 21 points, but they’ll be hard-pressed to generate offense against a Barca side that’s conceded just seven times in 14 matches.

Football Across Europe: November 18 | North London Derby Takes Center Stage

Premier League (England)

It’s Match Week 12 in England, just about a third of the way into the season. The two Manchester clubs remain atop the table, but our main focus this weekend goes south to London where it’s another edition of the North London Derby to get things started on Saturday. Tottenham travels to The Emirates to take on their bitter rivals, with the clubs sitting third and sixth in the table respectively. Let’s look at all the matches that caught our eye this weekend, including table-leaders City visiting Leicester:

Arsenal vs. Tottenham: It was a lackluster run of form going into the last international break for Arsenal, whose fans saw an unconvincing draw in the Europa League and a 1-3 loss to City. The Jekyll & Hyde season continues for Arsene Wenger’s Gunners, and the first test coming out of the break is no picnic. They welcome their North London rivals Tottenham to The Emirates with the first kickoff of the day Saturday. Spurs have won four of their last five league matches, conceding only twice in that span. Spurs striker Harry Kane has scored in every match he’s played against Arsenal in the league, though both he and Dele Alli will have to brush aside concerns over some lingering injury woes to see the pitch. For Arsenal, Mesut Özil, Alexis Sánchez, and Alexandre Lacazette should all feature.

Leicester City vs. Manchester City: The positive for Leicester is that they have taken points from their last five matches in all competitions, including two wins in the league. Further good news is that they find themselves at home this Saturday. The bad news is that they welcome perhaps the deadliest-looking team in world football at the moment to the King Power Stadium in the form of Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s men visit Leicester having won 15 straight matches in all competitions. City have more than double Leicester’s goal output and have only conceded seven in the league, their Achilles heel last season. Sergio Agüero, Raheem Sterling, veteran Fernandinho, and others will give Leicester all it can handle.

Manchester United vs. Newcastle: Mighty Manchester United have been treading water amid a slew of injury problems, but expect to see some pivotal players return when they welcome Newcastle United to Old Trafford. Chief among them is Paul Pogba, who hasn’t played since September 9 and will serve as a key reinforcement to a United midfield that has been lacking since his injury. Zlatan Ibrahimovic also makes his triumphant return from last season’s ligament tear. However, Ibra will likely begin on the bench behind striker Romelu Lukaku, who hasn’t scored an EPL goal since September after opening with seven in his first seven matches. The Red Devils still sit second in the table, but a loss along with wins from Spurs and Chelsea would see them drop to fourth. As for Newcastle, losers of two straight, they desperately need to string points together if they hope to avoid another relegation battle.

 

La Liga (Spain)

Leganes vs. Barcelona: Manager Ernesto Valverde has FC Barcelona stomping through La Liga after falling flat in their league title pursuit last season, and the train rolls through to face Leganes at the weekend. Barca have only dropped two points through eleven matches in league play, four points ahead of second-placed Valencia and perhaps most importantly, a comfortable eight points clear of Real Madrid. Lionel Messi has been at his best; his 12 league goals are three more than any other La Liga player and nine more than any teammate. Leganes have begun their second-ever season in top flight football brilliantly, coming into this matchup in ninth place with 17 points. But getting anything out of their hosting of the Spanish giants would be pretty miraculous.

Atlético Madrid vs. Real Madrid: Probably the most pivotal match of the entire European slate this weekend takes place in Madrid, as Atlético and Real clash in a Madrid Derby that features massive implications both ways. The clubs are tied in the table with 23 points apiece, and a potential loser from this bout could slip eleven points below league-leading Barcelona before the match day concludes. Grabbing three points in a hostile environment is a must for Real Madrid, who have lost two out of three in all competitions coming in and will hope that the international break gives Cristiano Ronaldo a chance to get going after he’s slotted just one league goal this season. Stars on both sides of the pitch, Antoine Griezmann for Atlético and Gareth Bale for Real, will have to plug their ears to incessant transfer rumors and find a way to make a winning contribution.

Serie A (Italy)

Roma vs. Lazio: AS Roma will be the de facto home team on Saturday, but there will be no clear advantage for either side in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome for the first edition of this season’s derby della Capitale or Rome derby. One of the fiercest local derbies in football, Rome’s two major clubs clashing always means an intense affair, and for this edition, they sit a mere point apart in the table, in fourth and fifth respectively. Roma have won four straight in the league and five straight overall in all competitions, including a 3-0 thrashing of Chelsea in the Champions League. Lazio have won five straight in the league, including over reigning champions Juventus a month ago. Only Napoli and Juventus have scored more goals than Lazio, while no Serie A club has allowed fewer than Roma’s seven. Saturday’s match has all the ingredients for a memorable affair in Rome.

Football Across Europe: November 4-5 | United Storm Stamford Bridge

Premier League (England)

Match Week 11 promises one of the most sizable shake-ups to the top of the table, with everything centering on Sunday’s key fixtures. Super Sunday guarantees to shed some light on the title chase, with sizable favorites Manchester City facing an improving Arsenal side and second-placed Manchester United visiting west London giants Chelsea. While there are plenty of matches to catch the eye in England over the weekend, the masses will be focused on the Etihad Stadium, where most of the league will be hoping Arsenal can steal some points from City and keep the league leaders within reach as we reach mid-season.

Manchester City vs. Arsenal: Title favorites Manchester City face a tough task in a fixture against resurgent Arsenal FC at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday that could go a long way toward defining each team’s season. City have the look of a machine that cannot be stopped, riding an unbeaten season in all competitions and a five-point lead in the league table. A 1-1 draw to Everton on Aug. 21 marks the only time Pep Guardiola’s men have failed to win in 90 minutes this season, with Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne on fire of late. As for the Gunners, they fell on hard times early in the campaign before turning things around over the last several weeks. Whether or not Alexis Sánchez, who’s been linked to City, and Mesut Özil can drown out speculation over their futures and focus on the task at hand will decide whether or not Arsenal can hang against the goliaths of City and stunt their momentum.

Chelsea vs. Manchester United: It’s been two straight league wins for reigning champions Chelsea since their dreadful loss to last-place Crystal Palace. They are, however, coming off a 0-3 loss midweek to Roma in the Champions League, and will need focus hosting Manchester United on Sunday. Chelsea are hoping to welcome midfielder N’Golo Kanté back into the starting XI behind key man Eden Hazard. Second-place United responded to their first league loss of the season with a big 1-0 win over Tottenham last week. Paul Pogba seems set to miss another match, so United will look for Romelu Lukaku and the likes of Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford to find goals without the help of the star midfielder. United have made that look easy of late, winning their last three matches in all competitions without conceding. Chelsea, though, have only lost once in their last 14 home matches against United.

 

La Liga (Spain)

Now is typically the time in Spain when the two goliaths separate themselves in the table, but you couldn’t tell it by looking at the table entering Match Week 11. Barcelona does sit atop the table with 28 points in just 10 games, but Real Madrid are a whopping eight points back from their rivals with Valencia sitting in a surprise second-placed position with 24 points. Considering the run Barca is on to start the season, it could require a near-perfect next six months from Madrid if they hope to make La Liga interesting this season.

Barcelona vs. Sevilla: Despite being only ten matches into the season, Barcelona FC looks like they might not be stopped in La Liga with a sizable eight-point lead over rivals Real Madrid. Their title quest continues with one of their marquee affairs of the season at home to Sevilla. Barca have entered the month of November still unbeaten on the season with just one draw in the league to show. Lionel Messi has been his usual magnificent best, shining even more with Neymar gone and Ousmane Dembele sidelined. However, the draw to Atletico Madrid last month showed that the right defensive commitment can stifle Barcelona and take them out of their comfort zone. Sevilla enter Saturday’s prime-time fixture with the unenviable task of doing just that for 90 minutes.

Real Madrid vs. Las Palmas: It’s been two straight losses for the Spanish giants Real Madrid, including midweek to Tottenham in Champions League and last week to Girona in La Liga. Gareth Bale should return to join Ronaldo in the starting XI for Real, though Dani Carvajal remains injured. Las Palmas sit in 18th place, but all the pressure is on Los Blancos to take all three points and look to regain their immaculate form from last season.

 

Bundesliga (Germany)

Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich: It is another edition of Der Klassiker in the Bundesliga with Saturday’s final kickoff in Germany when Bayern Munich travel to the Westfalenstadion to play Borussia Dortmund. The two clubs, who have combined to win 20 of the last 23 league titles in Germany, find themselves in a familiar spot at first and second in the table. Borussia Dortmund have only one win in their last five matches in all competitions. Bayern, on the other hand, have won five straight. Bayern will be without the attacking threat of Franck Ribéry, though Robert Lewandowski should be joined by Thomas Müller in the starting XI after some injury time off. With three points separating the two giants, it promises to be a lively match.

 

Football Across Europe: October 21-22 | Spurs Host Liverpool

Premier League (England)

We are already to Match Week 9, just about a quarter of the way through the season, in the Premier League. With 29 goals in eight matches and 22 points from a possible 24, all eyes are on Manchester City. However, Match Week 8 gave us our requisite reminder that, at this level, anything can happen, with goalless and pointless Crystal Palace defeating Chelsea. City host surprise Burnley this weekend, and we’ll be watching. Let’s take a look at all the matches that grabbed our attention this weekend, including Liverpool’s visit to Wembley on Sunday to take on Tottenham:

Chelsea vs. Watford: The time is now for Chelsea FC to find the form they had a month ago if they want to defend their Premier League title, and it starts with a home affair against Watford. The Blues suffered defeat last weekend in one of the most shocking results of the young season, falling 2-1 to a Crystal Palace side that hadn’t produced a goal or a point in their opening seven matches. Following a 3-3 Champions League draw in the mid-week to Roma, the Blues are now approaching a month since their last league win. The road doesn’t get any easier Saturday, facing a Watford side that has risen to fourth in the table with 15 points. Eden Hazard will need to return to his sparkling form of last season, while Cesc Fàbregas has to come up big in the midfield with N’Golo Kanté still out with a hamstring injury.

Manchester City vs. Burnley: Can anyone stop Manchester City? Pep Guardiola’s club has the look of a wrecking ball, tearing through the league as they gear up for another potential decimation Saturday at home to Burnley. City are atop the league with seven wins and a draw to their name, but only sit two points clear of Manchester United. Following a 7-2 obliteration of Stoke at the Etihad Staidum last weekend, City fans are hoping for more of the same. Manchester City still await the return of Sergio Agüero, but the strike force of Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling are more than doing their job in the goals department. Burnley surprisingly sit in seventh place with just six goals conceded through eight games. However, securing a clean sheet for the fourth time in six games will be quite the tall order against the most in-form club in Europe.

Huddersfield Town vs. Manchester United: For the new faces of Huddersfield Town, it’s been a dip since the early few weeks of their promotion campaign. They have a mere two points from their last five league matches, losing the last two by a combined score of 0-6, including 0-4 at home two weeks ago to Spurs. The going does not get easier on Saturday at John Smith’s Stadium, with second place Manchester United coming to town. The Red Devils surprised some by parking the bus last weekend at Anfield, leading to a goalless draw and marking only the second time this season they failed to secure all three points from a match. United appear as if they will still be without Paul Pogba for this match. But with Romelu Lukaku and some support from the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marcus Rashford, or Anthony Martial, one would think José Mourinho will have more than a point on his mind this time.

Tottenham vs. Liverpool: Despite the frustration of a goalless draw at home last weekend against their bitter rivals Man United, Liverpool were likely thinking themselves unlucky not to have taken all three points with their possession and constant pressure. They certainly were clicking midweek, with a 7-0 thrashing of Slovenian champions Maribor in the Champions League. New men Mohamed Salah and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, as well as the Brazilian duo of Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, were all among those who found net, prompting Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino to heap praises on Liverpool when speaking to the press ahead of this weekend’s match. But it is his Tottenham squad who is higher in the table, alone in third place behind the two Manchester clubs. They’ve won their last three league matches and battled Real Madrid to a draw midweek in the Champions League. However, Spurs have thus far been far better on the road than they have at their temporary home at Wembley. Harry Kane, tied for second in the Premier League in goals scored, will be looking to change that on Sunday.

Serie A (Italy)

It’s been an exciting start to the football season in Italy. Usually dominant Juventus has been, going 6-1-1 through their first eight matches. And yet that is only good enough for fourth in the table entering play this weekend. Napoli have won all eight of their matches with a +21 goal differential. Inter Milan are 7-1-0, and Lazio joins Juventus at 6-2-2 but already boast a win over the Turin giants. And now, Match Week 9 gives us a clash of the top two clubs:

Napoli vs. Inter Milan: For Napoli fans, it’s been a magical start to the 2017/18 season. They remain perfect in the league, and battled red-hot Manchester City to a close 1-2 loss in the Champions League midweek. At home, they have won their last two league matches by a combined 9-0. They will put their first place standing on the line on Saturday when they welcome second-place Inter Milan to the Stadio San Paolo. Inter are on a roll of their own, securing all but two of their possible points this season, and fresh off an emotional 3-2 win over cross-town rivals AC Milan last weekend. Juventus have won the league six years running, and will be looming all season. For both of these other giant Italian clubs, Saturday’s match could go a long way in determining if they will be able to usurp the reigning champs.

Football Across Europe: October 13-14 | United Visit Anfield

Premier League (England)

Match Week 8 in England kicks off with a bang this weekend with Manchester United visiting their bitter northwest rivals Liverpool. Any match between these two clubs feels like the tensest of derbies already, but José Mourinho and company are also forced to try to put the pressure on their actual Manchester derby rivals City, who join them atop the table with 19 points from a possible 21. Liverpool will be looking to re-assert themselves as genuine contenders after another frustrating draw in their last match before last week’s international break. We take a closer look at that match and others around Europe this weekend that caught our eye:

Liverpool vs. Manchester United: Liverpool may have felt they were back on track after a 3-2 win over Leicester away from home in late September, but a pair of 1-1 draws — one in the Champions League and one away to Newcastle two weeks ago in the league — have raised old frustrations. Manager Jürgen Klopp will hope his players have no shortage of motivation, however, with bitter rivals Manchester United coming to town for the first kickoff on Saturday. If Liverpool are to prevail, they will have to do it without the use of Sadio Mané, who picked up an injury over the break. The Red Devils are not without injuries of their own, as both Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba will be forced to miss the match, but the Reds’ suspect defense will still have their hands full with striker Romelu Lukaku, who is surely no stranger to the derby atmosphere at Anfield.

Manchester City vs. Stoke City: League-leading Manchester City can’t afford a slip-up on their return from the international break when Stoke City visit Etihad Stadium for a Saturday afternoon battle. Before the break, City notched their biggest three points of the season in a gutsy road win at Chelsea, ensuring they kept pace with United’s 19 points. However, Stoke City surprised the Etihad in last year’s trip to Manchester when they pulled out a surprise draw. While Pep Guardiola’s crew look to be a different monster this season, with Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne in spectacular form, they’ll need laser focus to avoid a letdown. City could also get a boost with Sergio Agüero potentially available off the bench after missing a few matches with a rib injury.

Crystal Palace vs.  Chelsea: Mired in a horrendous slump, Crystal Palace just can’t catch any breaks with West London giants Chelsea traveling across the city for a Saturday showdown. Typically a top half club in the table, Palace have endured one of the most treacherous starts to an EPL season in recent memory. Not only have they failed to secure a point in seven games, but they haven’t even scored a goal while allowing 17. The Blues have spent some of the international break figuring out what went wrong in their recent home loss to City, but they preceded that with a strong win streak. Expect Eden Hazard and company to flex their muscles against a Palace squad who can’t get anything going.

Tottenham vs. Bournemouth: With points from their last five league matches, Tottenham find themselves in a familiar position in the early part of the season: only one defeat on their record, but still looking up at the league leaders. Saturday will present an opportunity to take all three points with Bournemouth visiting Wembley. Only Crystal Palace (with no points) have managed less through seven matches than Bournemouth’s four. The Cherries did manage a draw in their last match, however, and manager Eddie Howe would no doubt be content with another point in a tough test for his squad. Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and company will be looking to ensure that Spurs show they can be ruthless enough to take all three points from relegation zone teams as they’ll need to if they want to truly contend for the title this season.

La Liga (Spain)

Getafe vs. Real Madrid: The time is now for Real Madrid to get going if they want to revitalize their La Liga title defense, and it starts with a road trip to Getafe slated for Saturday. Starting the season 4-2-1 isn’t considered bad for most teams, but it is for Los Blancos, especially when Barcelona have begun a perfect seven for seven. Cristiano Ronaldo is still finding his form after an early season suspension, while the stacked strike force of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Isco surrounding him have yet to truly kick it into gear. A sense of urgency is critical for Madrid against 12th-placed Getafe, who scrapped to a 2-1 defeat to Barca earlier in the season and dismantled Villarreal 4-0 three weeks ago.

Atlético Madrid vs. Barcelona: FC Barcelona emerged from a disastrous summer to surprise in their opening of La Liga play, looking to continue their perfect season with a tough trip to face Atlético Madrid. Lionel Messi has shown he can carry the squad with 11 goals thus far in the season, making him the league’s top scorer by a margin of five. That’s only one less than Atlético Madrid have notched as a team this season. However, Atleti do sit one point up of Real Madrid with 15 points, and could get to within three of league-leading Barca with a surprise win at the Wanda Metropolitano. Messi may not be at his brilliant best with fatigue likely to kick in after he had to carry his Argentina side dramatically into World Cup qualification during the week, but his best may not be needed to achieve three points.

Serie A (Italy)

Roma vs. Napoli: It’s a fun and exciting early part of the season in Italy as Turin giants Juventus have not been their usual perfect. True, a draw just before the international break is their only blemish, but that is enough in the early going to keep them from atop the Serie A table, where high-flying Napoli sit with a perfect 21 points from 21. Napoli have already scored 25 league goals in seven matches and have won their last five matches in all competitions, scoring at least three goals in all of them. Dries Mertens has seven goals, good for third in the league, and will be looking for more. But hosts Roma are flying, too, also winning their last five matches in all competitions, including a 2-0 win over AC Milan the last time out. In front of their supporters, it promises to be a fun one on Saturday night under the lights at the Stadio Olimpico.

Inter Milan vs. AC Milan: It is another Milan Derby on Sunday, with Inter Milan the official “home” team, though they will have no distinct advantage with fellow San Siro residents AC Milan lining up against them. Both editions of this match ended in 2-2 draws last season, and there is excitement this year behind an Inter squad that has 19 points from a possible 21 and is level with Juventus on points in second place in the league. AC Milan have lost their last two league matches, both by 0-2 scorelines, after also starting hot out of the gate. They still have 12 points, good for seventh in the league, and will look to use the energy of another derby della Madonnina to get back on track against their cross-town rivals.

Football Across Europe: September 30 | Chelsea & City Battle in London

Premier League (England)

Matchday 7 in the English Premier League all centers around one marquee matchup that promises to have far-reaching implications: Chelsea’s hosting of league leaders Manchester City. While City have won their last three league bouts by a combined 16 goals, the Blues have found their stride as well and could push their way into the forefront with three points. Tottenham, Arsenal, and Liverpool are all coming off wins, but should be desperate to regain ground in the table. Injury-riddled Manchester United still sit in second with five straight wins in all competitions. Let’s take a close look into all the big matches:

Chelsea vs. Manchester City: Chelsea have a golden chance to force their way back into the thick of the EPL title chase when Manchester City visit Stamford Bridge in one of the biggest matches of the season. The Blues have rebounded in full from a disastrous start, getting 13 points out of their last potential 15 with Alvaro Morata firing on all cylinders and Eden Hazard back to full fitness. Antonio Conte’s men looked to be in huge trouble in their quest for a repeat, but suddenly appear as the biggest threats to the two Manchester clubs. As for City, they have appeared unstoppable in recent weeks but could be without Sergio Agüero for up to two months after he suffered broken ribs in a car accident. Will Gabriel Jesus be able to raise his game enough to keep City scoring and become even bigger title favorites?

Manchester United vs. Crystal Palace: With 16 points from 18, Manchester United are on quite a run of form to open the season. They have five wins from their last five matches in all competitions and welcome the struggling Crystal Palace to Old Trafford on Saturday. The Eagles made a change at the helm, but were the latest victims of the Manchester City buzz saw last weekend, losing 0-5. Romelu Lukaku continues to score for United, though they will likely be without Anthony Martial, who suffered an injury in the Champions League midweek and will join Paul Pogba on the injury report. Still, an upset in this match would certainly be quite a story.

Huddersfield Town vs. Tottenham: Huddersfield Town have become the darlings of the Premier League with a shock early season run to eighth, but a result at home to Tottenham would turn heads all across England. The Terriers did well to even achieve promotion and secured seven points through their first three games, but have since fallen somewhat back down to earth. Meanwhile, Spurs have seen a mixed bag of EPL results with convincing wins followed thereafter by frustrating draws. Harry Kane, Dele Alli and crew still sit fourth in the table, but they could take a serious tumble should they fail to take care of business in West Yorkshire.

Newcastle vs. Liverpool: Liverpool returned to winning ways last weekend away to Leicester, then traveled all the way to Moscow midweek for a Champions League match which saw them frustrated and settling for a draw. On Sunday, they travel to St. James’ Park to take on Newcastle United and former Reds manager Rafa Benítez. After a slow start, it had been three straight league wins for the Magpies before a 0-1 stumble away to Brighton last weekend. Sadio Mané is free to return for Liverpool following his three match ban and will likely lead the attack. Philippe Coutinho, who scored last weekend and in Moscow, will also likely feature.

La Liga (Spain)

Real Madrid vs. Espanyol: It may be early, but Real Madrid are in a very uncharacteristic spot in the La Liga table as they enter a home affair with Espanyol. Los Blancos currently sit sixth in the league, some seven points shy of Barcelona and behind teams like Valencia and Real Betis. Cristiano Ronaldo has just recently returned from suspension, so he will have to get on a hot streak with the likes of Isco and Gareth Bale to bring Madrid back into contention to defend their title. Meanwhile, Espanyol have seven points in their last three games following a drubbing to Barcelona and look to further spoil the Spanish giant’s domestic campaign.

Barcelona vs. Las Palmas: For all the gloom and doom of Barcelona‘s summer, they’ve seen a peerless start to their La Liga campaign with six wins in six matches. They look to keep that going in a Sunday bout with Las Palmas at the Camp Nou. While new addition Ousmane Dembele remains out with a long-term injury, the usual suspects Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are carrying La Blaugrana to victory after victory. Messi not only leads La Liga in goals, but his nine on the season are already four more than anyone else. Las Palmas have two wins in six matches, and need all the results they can to avoid the relegation zone.

Serie A (Italy)

AC Milan vs. Roma: AC Milan welcome October and Roma to the San Siro on Sunday for a clash of iconic Italian football clubs. While it is Napoli and Juventus seemingly unstoppable in the early going in the Serie A table, these two clubs are level on points and will be looking to distance themselves from the other. For Milan, it was a 0-2 stumble last weekend to Sampdoria before recording a 3-2 win in the Europa League on Thursday over Croatian side Rijeka. Roma have won their last three league matches by a combined scoreline of 10-1 and will be looking to stay hot in Milan.

Bundesliga (Germany)

Hertha Berlin vs. Bayern Munich: If their 2-2 draw last Friday in the league to Wolfsburg didn’t lead to some frustration for the Bavarian giants Bayern Munich, the 0-3 drubbing midweek at the hands of PSG in the Champions League most certainly did. They will have to try to rebound on the road, visiting Hertha in Berlin on Sunday. Hertha has five points from their last five Bundesliga matches after winning to open the season. They will need to hope that Bayern Munich’s funk continues for at least one more match.

 

Football Across Europe: September 23 | Manchester Clubs Look to Pull Away

Premier League (England)

Match Week 6 in England gives us a range of interesting matches this weekend. Manchester City is riding high, now level with United atop the table on the heels of a 6-0 thrashing away to Watford. Spurs and Liverpool were held to draws on their home grounds by Swansea and Burnley respectively, and Chelsea and Arsenal battled to a goalless draw in London, which could be a big confidence boost to a Gunners squad seemingly adrift a few short weeks ago. None of the big six clubs play one another this weekend, but four of them hit the road, and there could be some tricky tests in store for the top clubs. Here, we take a look at them:

West Ham vs. Tottenham: The Spurs are riding high but can’t afford another slip-up in the league as they visit troublesome West Ham. The Hammers could give Tottenham serious problems if they continue a recent trend; Spurs have only won once at West Ham in the last four seasons including two successive 0-1 defeats. Currently in fifth, Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Dele Alli will have to be at their brilliant best against a West Ham side that’s struggled with just four points through five games. One positive pointing Tottenham’s way is that the Hammers are tied for the most goals conceded in the league.

Manchester City vs. Crystal Palace: Pep Guardiola’s City bring their world-class form into a Saturday fixture against Crystal Palace, pegging the team atop the EPL table against the only team yet to notch a single point. The Manchester City strike-force of Sergio Agüero and Gabriel Jesus have been unstoppable in recent weeks, as the club produced 15 goals in three matches before a League Cup win to West Brom this week. Crystal Palace have undergone such a treacherous start to their 2017/18 campaign that they fired Frank de Boer after just four matches, replacing him with former England manager Roy Hodgson, who will surely be on a short leash with Palace falling further into the relegation zone.

Southampton vs. Manchester United: The Red Devils take aim at keeping pace with their Manchester rivals and eye three points on a road trip to Southampton. With victory this weekend, Manchester United would equal a club record with 16 points through six matches. Paul Pogba is out with injury, putting the onus on United’s deep midfield to get the job done against the Saints, who are coming off a win and looking to break out of a seven-team deadlock of teams with eight points. United striker Romelu Lukaku has been in fine form with his new club, and could be the first Premier League player to score at St. Mary’s for three different clubs after scoring there for Everton and West Brom.

Stoke City vs. Chelsea: It’s been a trying few days for Stoke City since being the only team to manage a result against Manchester United earlier in the month. They followed that up with a 1-2 loss to newly returned Newcastle last weekend and a 0-2 League Cup defeat to Championship outfit Bristol City midweek. The good news is they are back at home in newly renovated bet365 Stadium on Saturday. The bad news is they welcome the champions of Chelsea to town. Chelsea drew Arsenal last weekend before dispatching Nottingham Forest 5-1 in their League Cup match on Wednesday. They will be without David Luiz who is out through suspension, but Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kanté, and so-far fairly quiet new man Álvaro Morata will still be a lot to handle for the Potters.

Leicester City vs. Liverpool: It’s been a tough slate of games for Leicester, registering only a point against newly promoted Huddersfield in their last three league matches. They will be full of confidence, though, at home in King Power Stadium for the final kickoff this Saturday despite welcoming the Reds of Liverpool to town. For one, Liverpool do not have a win since August in all competitions. For another, Leicester beat Liverpool on the very same ground 2-0 in the League Cup on Tuesday. It will likely be two very different squads on Saturday, but Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare will be happy to hear Liverpool’s already shaky defense may be in crisis mode, with many defensive names on the injury sheet. The Reds will also be without key man Sadio Mané, who is serving suspension time. They should, however, see Philippe Coutinho in close to full-match action after a 45 minute tune up midweek that saw him closer to his usual full speed and dangerous form. Jürgen Klopp will absolutely want to see something positive before his squad flies off to Russia for their Champions League match early next week.

Football Across Europe: September 16-17 | Chelsea, Arsenal Clash in London

Premier League (England)

We are on to Match Week 5 in the Premier League. Seven clubs had European play midweek and may need to shuffle their starting XI for weekend clashes. Match Week 4 brought us some attention-grabbing results. Ten-man Liverpool suffered their worst defeat of the Klopp era. Arsenal got back on the winning side. Stoke held United to a draw. Chelsea won their third straight to make their opening day loss a far more distant memory. Here are the matches we’re most interested in this weekend, including the huge derby in London on Sunday:

Liverpool vs. Burnley: Liverpool take aim at bouncing back from their first true adversity of the season when Burnley FC visit Anfield in a Saturday fixture. The Reds got embarrassed seven days prior, a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of perceived title favorites Manchester City that saw star winger Sadio Mane sent off for a high challenge. With Mane suspended for the next three matches, it’s the perfect time for Philippe Coutinho to be re-inserted into the squad. After a tumultuous summer in which Coutinho was linked heavily to Barcelona, the Brazilian made his season debut in a mid-week Champions League draw to Sevilla. Meanwhile, Burnley have been one of the surprises of the EPL season with wins at Chelsea, versus Crystal Palace and a draw to Tottenham. Liverpool will need to flush out their defensive woes, or risk plummeting down the table.

Tottenham vs. Swansea: After a shaky August, Tottenham Hotspur are riding high entering their fifth match at temporary home Wembley Stadium as Swansea City comes to town for the league’s marquee Saturday match. The opening month saw defeat at home to Chelsea and a draw to Burnley, but Spurs opened September by smacking Everton 3-0 and toppling Borussia Dortmund 3-1 in the Champions League. Harry Kane is back to goal-scoring form, while Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen are causing loads of trouble for opposing defenses. Swansea have only scored twice in four league matches, and they’ll need much more offensive output to keep pace with Tottenham’s electric attack.

Chelsea vs. Arsenal: Two London giants that appeared to be in serious trouble just weeks ago are both showing signs of life, and they clash at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as Chelsea host Arsenal. The reigning champions emerged from a shocking opening defeat to Burnley and have since won three straight in the league, appearing to be serious challengers yet again. Arsenal are still stuck in tough times with uncertainty around Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil’s future, but they got back to their winning ways last weekend with a 3-0 win over Bournemouth before a 3-1 Europa League victory over FC Koln. If Eden Hazard can make his first start of the season after injury, the Gunners will be hard-pressed to continue their win streak against their rivals.

Manchester United vs. Everton: It should be a warm welcome for Wayne Rooney in his first return to Old Trafford in a blue shirt as Everton travels to take on Manchester United in the final kickoff of the weekend on Sunday. It has been a brutal opening schedule for the Toffees, as they have faced City, Chelsea, and Spurs in their last three league matches since their opening victory at home. To make it worse, they suffered a 0-3 loss to Italian outfit Atalanta in the Europa League on Thursday. United also played midweek, beating Basel 3-0 on Tuesday. The Red Devils did, however, only manage a draw against Stoke in their last league match, the first time this season they were forced to settle for less than three points. Romelu Lukaku scored again, joined by Marcus Rashford. They’ll be looking to get back to winning ways against an Everton club that is looking to weather a tough stretch of fixtures.

La Liga (Spain)

 

Getafe vs. Barcelona: Barcelona travel to take on Getafe on Saturday atop the La Liga table, yet to drop a point or concede a goal. Lionel Messi is in exceptional form, even for him. He’s scored seven of his team’s ten goals in all competitions so far this season. Luis Suárez is back healthy and Ousmane Dembélé debuted and showed that anyone who predicted the coming downfall of the Catalan club was perhaps being hasty. For Getafe, the final club winning promotion from Spain’s second division last year, is coming off the first win of the season, beating then-undefeated Leganés last week. Still, they are enormous underdogs even at home in the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez.

Real Sociedad vs. Real Madrid: It might seem strange to say a win and two draws is a disappointing start to a season, but for Spanish giants Real Madrid, their title defense season is not off to the start they’d hoped. Los Blancos beat APOEL, the reigning champions of Cyprus, 3-0 in the Champions League midweek, but have drawn their last two league matches. This match will be the final match without suspended Cristiano Ronaldo, though Marcelo will also miss the match through suspension and there are reports that both Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio will miss out due to injury. And they will be facing an in-form club in Real Sociedad. The Basque Country team has won four straight in all competitions, including a 4-0 midweek thrashing of reigning Norwegian champions Rosenborg in the Europa League. They will be looking to keep it going at home and take advantage of a Real Madrid squad missing  a number of big names.

Bundesliga (Germany)

 

Bayern Munich vs. Mainz: It was a rare stumble for Bayern Munich last weekend, losing 0-2 to Hoffenheim, who find themselves tied atop the Bundesliga through the first three match weeks. The Bavarian giants did, however, thrash Anderlecht 3-0 at home in the Champions League midweek, and will be in front of friendly fans again against Mainz this weekend at the Allianz Arena. Robert Lewandowski and co. will be looking to get back to their goal-scoring and winning ways against a Mainz club who only have three points to their name, but did secure them in their last league match against Bayer Leverkusen last weekend. They will be looking to give Bayern a rare losing streak, but will enter the match as heavy underdogs.

Football Across Europe: September 9 | Liverpool Travels to the Etihad

Premier League (England)

The long International Break is over and Match Week 4 in England is upon us. Managers will be hoping all of their squads are back healthy and can either start fresh after an abysmal start (West Ham, Palace, Arsenal) or continue their momentum (United, Liverpool, Huddersfield). Here are the matches we’re most excited about this weekend, starting with the opening kickoff.

Manchester City vs. Liverpool: Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp was likely among the managers cursing the timing of the break as his club is coming off a dazzling display. They carved Arsenal to pieces at Anfield, 4-0. The front three of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané, and Mohamed Salah all found net, as did Daniel Sturridge off the bench. The Reds will hope this attack stays on full throttle at the Etihad. Klopp has successfully retained Philippe Coutinho, though he likely won’t join the affair on Saturday. City are level on seven points in the table and are coming off an away win at Bournemouth. They drew Everton 1-1 in their last home match, however, and their last-gasp effort to acquire Alexis Sánchez fizzled by Deadline Day. With Sergio Agüero and Kevin De Bruyne leading the attack and what seems so far an improved defense, however, City remain a deep and dangerous squad. It’s a clash of two clubs with legitimate hopes for the league title.

Leicester City vs. Chelsea: Leicester have alternated losses and wins through their first three matches. Losses away to Arsenal and United surround a home win against Brighton. Their tough early-season schedule continues with reigning champs Chelsea visiting the King Power Stadium. Manager Craig Shakespeare will be hoping the home crowd and long break will give his team a good chance to secure a result. But the test will be tough. After a nightmare season opener, Chelsea have beaten Spurs and handily beat Everton before the break. Star man Eden Hazard should be in the squad on Saturday, as well as former Leicester man N’Golo Kanté, though his fellow recent Leicester transfer Danny Drinkwater will not. Still, Chelsea has the depth and quality to test every ounce of Leicester’s resolve.

Everton vs. Tottenham: Everton opened the season with a 1-0 win at home and then hit the road for tough matches away to City and Chelsea. They managed a point from those two and will be happy to return to Goodison Park where new man Wayne Rooney will look to continue his good form. The competition, however, will not let up this weekend as Tottenham come to town. Spurs will be looking to right the ship, however, as they suffered a loss to Chelsea and a home draw to Burnley just before the break. Harry Kane has fired over twenty shots this campaign but has yet to open his scoring account and will no doubt be looking to do so on Saturday.

Stoke City vs. Manchester United: In Saturday’s last kickoff, Manchester United travel to the newly renovated bet365 Stadium to take on Stoke City. The Potters have won at home over Arsenal and drew West Brom away since their opening loss away to Everton. They will no doubt be inspired to spring the upset as they look to build momentum early in this season in front of their home fans. Their guests, however, have so far looked impossible to slow down. United have taken all nine possible points and have scored ten goals without conceding. Romelu Lukaku has looked the perfect fit and Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba have looked lethal in midfield. With Spain keeper David de Gea manning the posts, Stoke will have their hands full everywhere on the pitch on Saturday.

La Liga (Spain)

Real Madrid vs. Levante: Levante were promoted to La Liga this season after winning the Segunda Division last season. They’ve already captured four points from their first two matches, but the test will be exponentially tougher on Saturday at the Bernabeu. Even without Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid have looked just as dangerous as ever. Isco, Marco Asensio, and a whole host of others have ensured that Los Blancos fans see the results they will demanding all year as they looked to defend their league and European titles.

Barcelona vs. Espanyol: The hectic and dramatic Barcelona summer transfer window is finally closed. Neymar is gone, yes, and their long-running pursuit of Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho ended in frustration. However, they have all six possible points and have kept two clean sheets. Saturday could see the debut of new man Ousmane Dembélé and the season’s first action for Luis Suárez who was able to play for his native Uruguay during the international break. It is a derby weekend, though, with fellow Barcelona club Espanyol visiting Camp Nou. However, Barca and Lionel Messi are 9-1-0 in the last ten fixtures of this derby, and Espanyol will need an epic performance to buck that trend on Saturday.