Chelsea’s Champions League return against Ajax is the pick of the action across SuperSport’s weekly schedule, with Saturday’s Soweto Derby and high-profile bouts in Spain and Italy also in the offing.
Frank Lampard’s Blues secured the biggest result of the new manager’s tenure when they defeated Ajax 1-0 away in their first meeting on October 23, with Michy Batshuayi netting an 86th-minute winner to settle a cagey contest.
Chelsea’s form has certainly improved in recent weeks, following a somewhat underwhelming start to the season under Lampard.
They’re currently on a seven-match winning streak and put Burnley to the sword this weekend—winning 4-2—to move up to fourth in the Premier League.
As well as some of the younger stars who Lampard has worked with, the coach is also beginning to get the best out of more experienced heads such as Willian, Jorginho and Marcos Alonso.
The revelation of the week, however, has been United States international Christian Pulisic, who netted a magnificent hat-trick to down Burnley as Lampard finally decided to allow the wideman to show what he can do in front of the Stamford Bridge faithful.
This is certainly an exciting Chelsea collective, but a win against Ajax would represent a major step towards the Champions League knockout stages, which would be a significant achievement for this young squad.
Also in Champions League action next week, Borussia Dortmund host Internazionale in a heavyweight showdown between these two European giants.
Inter won the first meeting between the pair earlier this month, with Lautaro Martinez and Antonio Candreva scoring to secure a 2-0 victory.
Considering the duo still have to play Group F leaders Barcelona again during this campaign, the importance of this meeting cannot be overstated in the context of the duo’s hopes of making the Round of 16.
Both the Soweto giants are desperate to end their trophy drought, although one side is set to be disappointed this weekend.
Last season, Amakhosi lost to the Sea Robbers in the semi-finals, but the men in black couldn't beat eventual winners Baroka FC in the final as a major opportunity for silverware went begging.
As things stand, Pirates and Chiefs have not lifted a major trophy in five and four years, respectively, and neither will be underestimating the importance of the TKO Cup as they look to win gold.
Clashes between these two old rivals are always fiery and expect no difference when they go toe to toe in this weekend’s meeting.
New Milan coach Stefano Pioli has been learning the hard way how big a job he has ahead of him in Lombardy, following the Rossoneri’s 2-1 defeat by AS Roma at the weekend.
Milan have won just one of their last six top-flight matches, and while neighbours Inter mount a title challenge and look to reach the UCL knockouts, Pioli’s side is labouring at the wrong end of the table.
As they head into Thursday’s game against SPAL, finding themselves down in 14th on 10 points, only three points clear of the dropzone and well off the pace in the hunt for European qualification.
Against Lazio, things may be set to get harder before they get easier!
Also in Italian action on Saturday, SuperSport are delighted to present the heavyweight showdown between Roma and Napoli.
These two have attempted to challenge persistent champions Juventus in recent years, but they find themselves well off the pace this term and will be desperate to claw back some ground in this blockbuster meeting.
Atleti are a club rebuilding under Diego Simeone this season following a summer of high-profile departures, and the evidence of Tuesday evening’s draw against Deportivo Alaves was a sign of how much work needs to be done.
Alvaro Morata only broke the deadlock for Atleti in the 70th minute, but the visitors were unable to build on that success, with Lucas Perez equalising for Alaves seven minutes from time with a delicious solo effort.
It was an opportunity missed for Atletico, who failed to assert themselves in the leadership race, although Simeone remained optimistic after the setback.
“[Alaves] had a great first half, better than us and then Lucas scored that tremendous goal,” the Argentine coach told journalists after the match.
“After the break we were better, we won the second ball, attacked the full-backs, and if we stick with that and understand what happened in the first half, we’ll be fine.”
Saturday 2 November
AFC Bournemouth vs Manchester United SS3 & SS10 (ROA) Kickoff at 14:30 (CAT)
Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates SS4 (SA) & SS10 Kickoff at 15:00 (CAT)
Roma vs Napoli SS9 (SA) & SS8 (ROA) Kickoff at 16:00 (CAT)
Levante vs Barcelona SS7 Kickoff at 17:00 (CAT)
Watford vs Chelsea SS3 Kickoff at 19:30 (CAT)
Sevilla vs Atletico Madrid SS7 Kickoff at 19:30 (CAT)
SuperSport United vs Golden Arrows SS4 (SA) Kickoff at 20:15 (CAT)
Torino vs Juventus SS9 (SA) & SS8 (ROA) Kickoff at 21:45 (CAT)
Sunday 3 November
AC Milan vs Lazio SS9 (SA) & SS8 (ROA) Kickoff at 21:45 (CAT)