Competitive football is back, and it's back with a bang.

As teams come towards the end of their pre-season preparations, attention begins to turn towards the 2019/20 campaign kicking off this weekend. With matches all around the continent, it doesn't matter where you are. 

Friday: Luton Town vs Middlesborough (Sky Bet Championship)

Britt Assombalonga

The Sky Bet Championship gets underway on Friday, with Luton taking on Middlesborough in the season's first match at Kenilworth Road. 

Luton will be hoping to begin their Championship campaign on a high after their promotion last season. The Hatters were dealt a 5-1 drubbing by Norwich City on Saturday in pre-season - a major reality check for the side. 

Middlesborough finished seventh in the Championship last season, but Jonathan Woodgate will be hoping his side can go one better this time round. Boro will come into the game as favourites, but we have learnt to not underestimate this Luton side. 

Saturday: Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich (German Supercup)

Dan-Axel Zagadou,Robert Lewandowski

The German domestic season gets underway this weekend too (the second division started last weekend, but...) with Dortmund taking on ​Bayern Munich in the Supercup on Saturday. The two sides were involved in a painstakingly close title race in the Bundesliga last season, with Bayern eventually coming through and pipping their rivals to win their 29th German league title. 

​BVB have been impressive in pre-season, winning all five of their matches. In comparison, Die Roten have won three and lost two (incl. pens) in a mixed pre-season. This form has to be taken with a pinch of salt - with the German Supercup providing the first chance to see who holds the upper hand.

Check out ​90min's full preview of that one! 

Saturday: Barnsley vs Fulham (Sky Bet Championship)

Scott Parker

​Fulham travel to Oakwell to face Barnsley on Saturday, in the first round of jam-packed fixtures on a hectic Saturday in the Championship. 

The Cottagers will be hoping to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, following a bitterly disappointing campaign last season. They've let go of some of their star men, but have also brought in players, including Anthony Knockaert and Ivan Cavaleiro. 

Barnsley battled back to the Championship, and will be hoping to consolidate their place this time round. Expect plenty of goals – it's Fulham, after all.

Saturday: Wigan Athletic vs Cardiff City (Sky Bet Championship)

Aron Gunnarsson

In a similar situation to Fulham, ​Cardiff endured a miserable return to the Premier League. Nonetheless, the Bluebirds will be hoping they can get off to a positive start when they take on Wigan on Saturday. 

Wigan have made a whole host of signings, and could hand debuts to many of them. Having achieved safety last season, they will be hoping to push on and move higher up the table. 

This match on Saturday promises to be a belter as both teams go in search of a positive start. 

Oh, and Wigan's new mascot is a pie. An actual pie. So there's that.

Sunday: Liverpool vs Manchester City (FA Community Shield)


The FA Community Shield is perhaps the most high-profile game of the weekend, with the battle set to commence once again between ​Liverpool and Manchester City on Sunday at Wembley.

The Reds have endured a pretty poor pre-season, but ended it on a high with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Lyon on Wednesday. ​City in comparison, have had a strong pre-season despite their loss on penalties in the final of the Premier League Asia Trophy to Wolves.

The 2018/19 Champions League winners taking on the Premier League champions - there aren't too many games with more star-studded lineups. The Community Shield will be the first chance for either side to put in a statement performance, making this a potentially mouthwatering match.