European soccer weekend: What to watch in main competitions

38

European soccer weekend: What to watch in main competitions

Already a print edition subscriber, but don’t have a login?

Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about

Bayern Munich can clinch its record-extending sixth consecutive title with a win at Leipzig on Sunday if Schalke and Borussia Dortmund both drop points on Saturday

A link has been sent to your friend’s email address.

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Bayern’s Thomas Mueller waves to his fans after the Champions League, round of 16, second leg, soccer match between Besiktas and Bayern Munich at Vodafone Arena stadium in Istanbul, Wednesday, March 14, 2018. Bayern won 3-1. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)(Photo: The Associated Press)

What to watch in the leading soccer competitions in Europe this weekend:

“This is a team that can grow in terms of quality and experience,” the Chelsea manager said.

The problem for Conte is that he might not be around much longer to engineer Chelsea’s recovery.

Even lifting the FA Cup might not be enough to save Conte. After being eliminated from the Champions League by Barcelona, Chelsea travels Sunday to Leicester in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup.

Chelsea’s Premier League title defense faded long ago, and even sealing one of the four Champions League places is proving challenging for Conte’s fifth-place side.

Liverpool, which is four points above Chelsea in fourth place, is the only leading side in league action this weekend — hosting Watford on Saturday.

The two teams above Liverpool are playing in the FA Cup on Saturday: Tottenham is at Swansea and Manchester United hosts Brighton. Wigan, which eliminated Premier League leader Manchester City, hosts Southampton on Sunday.

Clarence Seedorf will try to win his first match at his seventh attempt as Deportivo La Coruna coach in the league in a relegation clash with Las Palmas on Saturday.

Deportivo has slipped to 19th in the 20-team standings under the ex-Dutch midfielder, one point behind Las Palmas. But the problems set in earlier, with the team winless in 13 successive matches.

READ  The Moto G6 series might be released in May

A victory would allow Deportivo to surpass Las Palmas but it would remain in the relegation zone as it trails Levante by five points. Levante, the first team outside the demotion area, hosts Eibar on Friday.

Las Palmas hasn’t won in six matches. Last-place Malaga, six points behind Deportivo and winless in 13 matches with only four goals scored in that stint, plays at Celta on Sunday.

Barcelona, holding an eight-point lead over Atletico Madrid, hosts Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. Atletico is at sixth-place Villarreal later in the day.

Third-place Real Madrid plays against surprising Girona at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Sunday, while fourth-place Valencia hosts Alaves on Saturday.

After moving four points clear of Napoli at the top of the Serie A table, Juventus will be looking to extend its advantage when it visits relegation-threatened Spal on Saturday.

With Napoli not playing Genoa until the next day, six-time reigning champion Juventus can go seven points clear, with nine matches remaining.

Spal is 18th in the 20-team league but is level on points with the two teams immediately above it, Sassuolo and Crotone, which play Udinese and Roma respectively.

Just four points separate six of the bottom seven sides in a tight battle to avoid the drop.

At the other end of the table, and the fight for the Champions League spots, fourth-place Lazio hosts Bologna. Lazio is one point ahead of Inter Milan, which visits Sampdoria.

Bayern Munich can clinch its record-extending sixth consecutive title with a win at Leipzig on Sunday if Schalke and Borussia Dortmund both drop points on Saturday.

Schalke is on a four-game winning run and next visits relegation-threatened Wolfsburg, while Dortmund is unbeaten in 10 league games under Peter Stoeger and next faces Hannover at home.

If Bayern did clinch the title with seven games to spare, it would match the earliest Bundesliga championship secured by Pep Guardiola’s side at Hertha Berlin in 2014. Jupp Heynckes led Bayern to the title with six to spare the season before, so the 72-year-old coach could beat his own record in his fourth stint at the helm.

READ  Markets Right Now: Conciliatory tone on trade boosts stocks

Most of the excitement is at the other end of the table, where last-place Cologne hosts Bayer Leverkusen for the Rhine derby on Sunday, and second-from-bottom Hamburger SV welcomes Hertha on Saturday. Cologne and Hamburg are eight and seven points from safety, respectively.

Christian Titz makes his debut as Hamburg coach in a last-ditch attempt to stave off the club’s first relegation from the Bundesliga. But no side in Hamburg’s current position has ever escaped the drop before.

Relegation-threatened Mainz visits Eintracht Frankfurt for a derby on Saturday, when the home side hopes to climb back among the Champions League qualification places.

Paris Saint-Germain’s defeat away to Nice late last season ended its hopes of winning the league. This time, PSG heads south to Nice with a huge lead at the top and within touching distance of a fifth title in six seasons.

PSG is 17 points clear of defending champion Monaco, albeit having played a game more, and it seems only a matter of time before the league is wrapped up.

But Nice is hard to beat at home, even more so when PSG is visiting. PSG was hassled, harried and out-fought during last season’s 3-1 defeat in late April. Coach Lucien Favre’s side is in seventh place this season, but pushing Rennes and Nantes hard to finish in fifth and seal a potential spot in next season’s Europa League.

Second-place Monaco, meanwhile, will be confident of another win at home to Lille, which is 19th place and in disarray following a home pitch invasion from its angry fans last weekend.

Top scorer Radamel Falcao is set to return for Monaco, which is four points ahead of Marseille in third place. Marseille is at home to fourth-place Lyon on Sunday.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source via NewsAPI

Related Post

LEAVE A REPLY