Premier League, La Liga and Serie A Preview, 19-22 August 2022

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SuperSport viewers on DStv and GOtv can look forward to extended action from the Premier LeagueLa Liga  and Serie A, with matches scheduled to be played from Friday 19 to Monday 22 August 2022.

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The pick of Premier League matches for this round sees Manchester United host Liverpool at Old Trafford on the evening of Monday 22 August. The Red Devils are well behind the development of Jurgen Klopp’s team but will be hoping that home advantage and nous of new manager Erik ten Hag can force an upset.Example Ad #2 (only visible for logged-in visitors)

“It is a hell of a job [being in charge of Man United],” said ten Hag. “We have to work really hard, analyse then move forward. We need to have self belief, as well as the tactical organisation, and a hunger to always improve.”

The round opens on Saturday afternoon with Tottenham Hotspur welcoming Wolverhampton Wanderers to North London and looking to build on the promise they have shown under manager Antonio Conte.

“This season, we are starting with seven months of work and for me it’s very important because I can go another step, in another situation, to implement football knowledge and try to be stronger,” said the Italian tactician.

Saturday also features a London derby between Fulham and Brentford in the mix of afternoon kick-offs, while the late match sees Bournemouth hoping to upset Arsenal on the South Coast.

Sunday’s trio of matches features an intriguing clash between Leeds United and Chelsea at Elland Road, Brighton & Hove Albion looking to take down West Ham United at London Stadium, and Newcastle United hosting Manchester City in a clash of effective state-owned teams.

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Newcastle have made major strides since the Saudi-led takeover earlier this year, but this clash against the reigning champions will be a major test of how far they still have to go to reach the absolute elite level.

“We’re not the finished article yet. We’re still very much in the growing phase,” said Magpies boss Eddie Howe.

SuperSport is the only place where you can get English commentary on the legendary La Liga, where the headline fixture this weekend is the meeting of Real Sociedad and Barcelona at Estadio Anoeta on the evening of Sunday 21 August.

While Barca are very much one of the contenders for the title this season, especially after their work in the transfer market, La Real are hoping to take the step up and impose themselves in the upper regions of the log – something they didn’t quite manage under Imanol Alguacil last term.

“We must look to take the next step, which is to sustain ourselves in a strong position throughout the season,” explained Alguacil. “It will not be easy and I expect that we will suffer at times, but this is the challenge we have set ourselves.”

Champions Real Madrid will be in action on Saturday night when they visit Celta Vigo at Estadio Balaidos. Los Blancos believe they are well set for a defence of their title in 2022-23, but manager Carlo Ancelotti has already sounded a warning against complacency.

“We cannot afford to underestimate any of our opponents,” explained the Italian tactician. “We have a team of great experience and moments. Yet this does not guarantee anything. We will have to find the same fighting spirit we had last season if we want to taste success again.”

Another crunch clash in this round of La Liga action sees Atletico Madrid welcome Villarreal to Estadio Wanda Metropolitano. The Rojiblancos are hoping to get back to a place where they can challenge for major honours – something manager Diego Simeone is determined to achieve this term.

“We must look to improve and repay the faith shown in us by our supporters and the club,” said the Argentine. “We must play in the Atletico way and make sure that we do not allow our rivals to gain an advantage on us.”

The top clash from Serie A in this round sees Atalanta welcome AC Milan to the Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo on the evening of Sunday 21 August. La Dea ensured a difficult campaign last season, missing out on the UEFA Champions league, but they will be eager to prove that they are re-energised this term and nothing could make a stronger statement than beating the Scudetto title holders.

“We have to make up for last season,” admitted manager Gian Piero Gasperini. “We did not meet the expectations people have come to think of when Atalanta is spoken of. We have talented players and a hunger to prove that we belong back in the elite of European football.”

Internazionale, meanwhile, will chase three home points when they welcome Spezia to the San Siro in the pick of Saturday’s matches – which also sees Lazio away to Torino, Udinese hosting Salernitana and Sassuolo facing Lecce.

“We have enjoyed good preparations for the season, now it is time to show our mentality and put into place our methods through the course of the season,” said Nerazzurri manager Simone Inzaghi.

Sunday, aside from Atalanta v Milan, also brings an intriguing clash between Napoli and newly-promoted Monza. The latter club is managed by Giovanni Stroppa, who has admitted that his team will have to step up their game for the top-flight challenge of Serie A.

“We have always said that Serie A is another sport for us. Let’s face this sport different from the one we faced until a month ago,” said Stroppa.

The round wraps up on Monday 22 August with Roma hosting Cremonese and Juventus travelling to Stadio Luigi Ferraris for a clash with Sampdoria, who are hoping to upset their highly-regarded visitors.

“We will do all we can to claim a victory against a quality opponent like Juve,” said Samp manager Marco Giampaolo. “It will of course not be easy, but we will have the support of our fans and a self belief.”