There are plenty of matches that present some intrigue this weekend. Check out Roy’s most recent Weekend Listing post for full details. For me though, three matches really stand out, and joy of joys, they are in three different leagues.
3. Almeria vs Atletico Madrid
This one comes in more out of curiosity and my personal bias towards La Liga, nevertheless I’m hopeful that in this match we’ll see young Kim Young-‘Kiu’ make an appearance. Almeria hasn’t been terrible three matches in, but they seem to have a bad habit of conceding late goals. A habit that has seen them lose to Villarreal and draw with Getafe and Elche (although Boayke’s goal for Elche had a hint of offside to it).
Anyway, Kim Young-Kiu (I will continue to use the name printed on his shirt for now) has made two late substitute appearances for Almeria thus far, against Villarreal and Elche. He was bright against the yellow submarine team, but a bit muted against Elche (possibly because Almeria was a man down). He’s been keeping busy during the break by playing for the Almeria II reserve team in the Segunda B.
I’m not sure if Kim Young-Kiu will appear against a strong and physical Atletico side. Atletico is currently second in the league behind Barca (and only on goal difference), but have put together three quality results. If the game is close enough, I could see Kim coming on late again for a burst of energy.
2. Sunderland vs Arsenal
Coming in at number 2, we head to England where the duo of Ji Dong-Won, and now Ki Sung-Yueng, could in theory (although highly unlikely) take on Park Chu-Young. Whether we see any of them is another question though. Ji Dong-Won has been playing under Di Canio, but a poor cup showing followed by a public scolding by the boss has seen Ji’s future fall under a bit of shadow. Ki is likely to play despite only recently moving to the club. He didn’t make the trip to Korea for the break, so he’s had time to settle into his new side. On the other side it seems highly unlikely that Park would make Arsenal’s 18 man match day roster. Arsenal does seem to accept the fact that Park will be with them until at least January when the next window opens, as they officially listed Park on their 25 man list last week. Arsenal, despite their surprising opening day loss, should have the quality to see off a slightly disjointed Sunderland side.
1. Wolfsburg vs Bayer Leverkusen
We return to Germany for our big WtW match. Koo Ja-Cheol and Wolfsburg will head to Leverkusen to take on Son Heung-Min’s side. Son has had a bit of a muted start to his campaign in black and red, but showed during the break that he still possesses all the talent to be a big success. Koo Ja-Cheol continues to adjust to his deeper role at Wolfsburg, and we can only hope that he continues to transition well. Despite their loss to Schalke before the break, Leverkusen is still within touching distance of the top, just three points behind Dortmund and 1 behind Bayern. Wolfsburg too, is solidly midtable (I know it’s only been four matches) on six points. This one should be an interesting match as both have some quality attackers. Diego, Olic, and our Koo for Wolfsburg, and Son, Keissling, and Sam for Leverkusen.