A long sweaty summer without top-flight European football has finally come to an end.
Each individual campaign is still taking its baby-steps into the new season but we’re being treated to a gluttony of tantalising fixtures that pair up some of the fiercest rivals in the game.
That’s right, the weekend across August 30 to September 1 can rightly claim to be the first Derby Day jamboree as we get underway.
The Sportsman casts its eye over the relevant fixtures, providing helpful advice as to where you can catch a glimpse, from Scotland to Spain, capital hopping from Dublin to London to Rome, and even take a trip across the Atlantic to see what the Superclasico is cooking up
Dundee Derby: Dundee United v Dundee
Friday, August 30 2019, 19:45
BT Sport 1
It’s a double dollop of Dundee at Tannadice Park. Both sides are unbeaten but United top the Scottish Championship charts with three wins out of three, whereas Thee Dee - relegated from the Premiership last year - have only chalked up a single victory so far.
Dublin Derby: Shamrock Rovers v Bohemians
Friday, August 30, 2019, 20:00
Only one place but 12 points currently separates the two Dublin clubs in the League of Ireland Premier Division as the season starts to wind down. Both Rovers’ Aaron Greene and Bohs’ Danny Mandroui can make a late play to be the division’s top scorer; both stand on 10 strikes.
Basque Derby: Athletic Bilbao v Real Sociedad
Friday, August 30, 2019, 21:00
It’s game-week three of the new 2019/20 La Liga season and it’s already serving up a real treat in the Basque Derby. Bilbao are unbeaten at home in La Liga since October 2018 and recently inflicted Barcelona’s first opening day defeat in over a decade, at the Estadio San Mames. Half of the last six meetings between Atletic and Sociedad have ended in a draw at the same venue.
Eternal Derby: Hajduk Split v Dinamo Zagreb
Saturday, August 31, 2019, 17:30
One in a smorgasbord of fixtures to be designated the ‘Eternal Derby’, this is a proper top of the table clash between the two Croatian teams. Hajduk will find themselves four points behind leaders Dinamo if they suffer a loss on home turf, and Dinamo have won the previous three matches against the hosts.
Sarajevo Derby: Zeljeznicar v FK Sarajevo
Saturday, August 31, 19:00
A visual, horrifying but aesthetically magnificent treat for the eyes if not for the man on the ground when the club’s of the Bosnia capital city clash. FK Sarajevo, topping the table after six games, haven’t lost to Zeljeznicar in three meetings but haven’t scored in their last three away games, all bore-draws after the season kicked off at the end of July. Interestingly Zeljeznicar - who currently sit two points behind FK Sarajevo - have the marginal edge in the head-to-head, with 43 wins to 42.
Old Firm: Rangers v Celtic
Sunday, September 1 2019, 12:00
Sky Sports Football / Celtic TV/ Rangers TV
Is this the year that Stevie G’s Rangers finally break the stranglehold that Celtic have over the top division? The Gers got a sentimental win at the tailend of last season when the title was once again sewn up for the green and whites. Both Glasgow sides have got maximum points from their first three games and an early statement of intent from both Gerrard and Neil Lennon’s side will be at the forefront of the individual gaffers’ minds.
Tvillingderbyt: AIK v Djurgardens
Sunday, September 1 2019, 14:00
Switch on to Stockholm as AIK welcome - and look to try and close the gap on - their city rivals Djurgardens who are four points clear A win for the visitors will allow Djurgardens to have one hand firmly on the Allsvenskan championship trophy, dispossessing it from last season’s champions, AIK.
Eternal Derby: CSKA Sofia v Levski Sofia
Sunday, September 1 2019, 15:45
Vasil Levski National Stadium
The Bulgarian giants have won a monumental 57 championship titles between them, with CSKA bagging the bragging rights last time out with a 2-0 win.
Wiener Derby: Austria Vienna v Rapid Vienna
Sunday, September 1 2019, 16:00
Rapid will be hoping to avoid what happened in the same meeting last year when they were smashed 6-1, Austria Vienna’s tally coming from six different scorers (including an own goal by Mateo Barac).
Interestingly this is the most played city derby after the Glasgow and Edinburgh derbies.
North London Derby: Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur
Sunday, September 1, 16:30
Sky Sports Main Events / Sky Sports Premier League
Mauricio Pochettino has brushed off rumours of his imminent departure from the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as he prepares for his 13th North London Derby. Last December at the Emirates produced a delicious 4-2 win for the Gunners before Spurs got revenge just over a week later at the same venue in the League Cup.
Derby della Capitale: Lazio v Roma
Sunday, September 1 2019, 17:00
There’s a new manager in the dock for Roma experiencing his first Derby della Capitale. Paulo Fonseca can set a benchmark for his reign if he comes up trumps against Simone Inzaghi’s Lazio in just the second gameweek of the 2019/20 Serie A season.
Superclasico: River Plate v Boca Juniors
Sunday, September 1 2019, 21:00
It’s a Superliga gameweek five meeting for the adversarial Argentina colossi. Boca are currently top while River sit in fifth.
This is merely the starter before the main course; for the second year running, the Copa Libertadores sets up a meeting between the fiercest rivals in football. Hopefully it will avoid the travesty that was last year’s Final, dogged by over-exuberant fan trouble that even extended to the pepper-spraying of players and the moving of the final fixture to the Madrid, which River eventually won. Brazilian behemoths Gremio and Flamengo are playing in the other semi-final, which begins at the beginning of October.