MATCHDAY: Koeman Makes Barcelona Debut With Unhappy Messi

MATCHDAY: Koeman Makes Barcelona Debut With Unhappy Messi

A look at whats happening around European soccer on Sunday:


Ronald Koeman coaches his first competitive match for Barcelona as they host Villarreal amid a club crisis and open conflict between Lionel Messi and the club leadership. Messi is angry with the club after it sold friend and teammate Luis Surez to rival Atltico Madrid. Koeman, however, has lauded how Messi has trained for him after the club rejected his plan to leave this summer following Barcelonas devastating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich. Villarreal is a tough debut for Koeman after hiring coach Unai Emery and ex-Valencia midfielder Dani Parejo this offseason. Atltico also opens its season hosting Granada, when Surez could debut after joining his new teammates on Friday. Sevilla likewise opens its Spanish league campaign at Cdiz after losing the European Super Cup to Bayern Munich. Celta Vigo is at Valladolid.


Manchester City looks for a second straight victory to open the Premier League when it hosts a Leicester team that has won its first two games. City beat Wolverhampton 3-1 in impressive style on Monday despite a truncated preseason and an injury list that got worse this week when Gabriel Jesus was ruled out. After back-to-back defeats each, Sheffield United and West Ham bid to secure their first points of the season when they host Leeds and Wolves, respectively. Tottenham is at home to Newcastle in the other game as a busy start to the season continues for Jose Mourinho’s team.


Bayern Munichs busy schedule continues with a trip to Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga. Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was forced to show his prowess in the UEFA Super Cup win against Sevilla on Thursday, and coach Hansi Flick will be hoping his attack recaptures attention after opening the league with an 8-0 rout of Schalke last weekend. Flick will almost certainly rotate the side against Hoffenheim, mindful of the five substitutions allowed. You can also produce top performances when youre tired, even if its only for 60 minutes, Flick said. Freiburg hosts Wolfsburg in the last game of the second round.


Juventus will be looking to make it two wins out of two when it visits Roma in Serie A. Cristiano Ronaldo scored as Juventus began its bid for a record-extending 10th successive league title with a 3-0 win over Sampdoria last week. Napolis match at home to Genoa has been delayed a few hours after Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin tested positive for coronavirus, delaying the teams trip to Naples. AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovi also has the virus and will be missing from his sides trip to newly promoted Crotone. Also its: Spezia vs. Sassuolo and Hellas Verona vs. Udinese.


Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain travels to Reims on Sunday without the suspended ngel Di Mara. He received a four-game ban for spitting toward Marseille defender lvaro Gonzlez during PSGs heated encounter on Sept. 13. Also, Lorient faces Lyon and Monaco hosts Strasbourg.


More AP soccer: and