European Weekend Preview: Arsenal host Man City, Juventus travel to Napoli, and more

European Weekend Preview: Arsenal host Man City, Juventus travel to Napoli, and more

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European Weekend Preview: Arsenal host Man City, Juventus travel to Napoli, and more

Following World Cup Qualifiers the past two weeks, European domestic action resumes this weekend with some mouth-watering fixtures across the top five leagues.

Arsenal host Manchester City on Saturday in London as both sides look to keep a grasp on the top-four. Arsene Wenger’s side are coming off back-to-back league defeats against Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion respectively, which has put the French manager on the hot seat. They have dropped to sixth-place, sitting six points off of fourth-place. Manchester City are coming off a 1-1 home draw against Liverpool, and would like a good result ahead of a midweek clash with Chelsea.

In Italy, the top fixture of the round comes from the San Paolo on Sunday as Juventus travel to face Napoli in a battle of first vs. third. Juventus hold a 10 point lead over Napoli in the Serie A standings, and will look to continue their current 14-match unbeaten run in all competitions. Napoli have won their last two league fixtures, and should have an edge being at home.

Elsewhere, La Liga leaders Real Madrid host Alaves, while Barcelona travel to Granada. Hertha Berlin host Hoffenheim in Friday’s Bundesliga round opener, while leaders Bayern Munich host Augsburg on Saturday. In Ligue 1, PSG and Monaco are both off due to the Coupe de la Ligue final, which features the top-two sides facing off in Saturday’s final. Nice host Bordeaux in the must-see match of the round.

Here’s a closer look at this weekend’s European action:

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE 

A day prior to Arsenal and Manchester City’s showdown at the Emirates, the Merseyside Derby takes place at Anfield on Saturday between Liverpool and Everton. The hosts are coming into this match on a three-match unbeaten run, defeating Arsenal and Burnley along the way. Jurgen Klopp’s Reds earned a late 1-0 victory at Goodison Park back in December, and will look to sweep the season series from the Toffees. Ronald Koeman’s men have only suffered one defeat in their last nine matches. Striker Romelu Lukaku will be the player to watch, leading the league with 21 goals this season.

Tottenham face a tricky road-trip to Turf Moor on Saturday, facing off against a Burnley side who are one of the best at home. Sean Dyche’s men have taken 29 of their 32 points this season at home, and have defeated the likes of Liverpool, Everton, and Southampton this season at Turf Moor. Tottenham sit 10 points behind leaders Chelsea, and surely will want to take this title race down to the wire for a second-straight season.

Manchester United welcome West Bromwich Albion to Old Trafford looking to keep their 18-match unbeaten league run alive. Jose Mourinho’s side defeated Middlesbrough 3-1 on March 19th, and will look to continue their climb up the table. West Brom have had a good season under Tony Pulis and currently sit in eighth-place. A road win at the Theater of Dreams could keep the Baggies in the race for a European qualification spot.

SATURDAY

  • Liverpool vs. Everton
  • Burnley vs. Tottenham Hotspur
  • Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace
  • Hull City vs. West Ham United
  • Leicester City vs. Stoke City
  • Manchester United vs. West Bromwich Albion
  • Watford vs. Sunderland
  • Southampton vs. A.F.C. Bournemouth

SUNDAY

  • Swansea City vs. Middlesbrough
  • Arsenal vs. Manchester City

SPANISH LA LIGA 

Matchday 29 in La Liga gets underway on Friday as Espanyol host Real Betis in Barcelona. The hosts sit in ninth-place and look to build on a 1-1 draw against Eibar on March 18th. 13th-place Betis defeated Osasuna on March 18th, which snapped a three-match winless run. A victory for the hosts could see them move up a spot, while Betis would like to continue their climb to a top-half finish.

Atletico Madrid travel to Malaga on Saturday looking to keep pace with the top-three. Diego Simeone’s side are on a five-match unbeaten run in all competitions, and would like to keep momentum with a trio of tough fixtures approaching. Malaga have not won a league match since Feb. 20th, which was a 2-1 home success over Las Palmas. The hosts are in 15th, but would like to creep further away from the relegation zone.

Real Madrid welcome Alaves to the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday looking to extend their lead in the top-spot. Zinedine Zidane’s side are unbeaten in their last six matches in all competitions, since a 2-1 road defeat to Valencia on Feb. 22nd. Cristiano Ronaldo will be relied on attacking-wise, as he leads the team with 19 goals this season. Alaves will look to make it four matches unbeaten after back-to-back wins over Malaga and Real Sociedad respectively.

Second-place Barcelona travel to Granada in Sunday’s late La Liga fixture. Luis Enrique’s side are coming off a 4-2 victory against Valencia on March 19th, and will be favorites to earn three points on the road. Granada are seven points from safety in 19th place and have lost three-in-a-row.

FRIDAY

  • Espanyol vs. Real Betis

SATURDAY

  • Villarreal vs. Eibar
  • Osasuna vs. Athletic Bilbao
  • Real Sociedad vs. Leganes
  • Malaga vs. Atletico Madrid

SUNDAY

  • Sevilla vs. Sporting Gijon
  • Real Madrid vs. Alaves
  • Valencia vs. Deportivo
  • Granada vs. Barcelona

MONDAY

  • Celta Vigo vs. Las Palmas

GERMAN BUNDESLIGA

Bundesliga action resumes on Friday as Hertha Berlin welcome Hoffenheim to the Olympiastadion. Berlin were defeated 4-2 at Koln on March 18th, and would like to defeat another top-four side this season. Hoffenheim have been a resurgence this season, after almost falling into the relegation zone a year ago. Julian Nagelsmann’s side are five matches unbeaten, and would look to continue their climb up the top-flight table.

The second installment of the Revierderby takes place this weekend as Schalke welcome Borussia Dortmund to VELTINS-Arena on Saturday. The hosts are in ninth-place and could finish the weekend as high as seventh with a win and other results going their way. Dortmund are in third-place, and would like to jump up to second with a victory and an RB Leipzig defeat this weekend.

Borussia Monchengladbach travel to Eintracht Frankfurt in Saturday’s late fixture at Commerzbank Arena. Frankfurt sit in seventh-place, but have lost two of their last three matches. Gladbach are in 10th-place, and will look to snap a four-match winless streak in all competitions. This will be the second of three meetings between the two sides in all competitions, as the two will face off in the German DFB Pokal semifinals later in April.

Bayer Levekusen host Wolfsburg on Sunday, looking to snap a six-match winless run in all competitions. Tayfun Korkut’s side currently sit in 11th-place, but are only four points clear of the relegation playoff spot. Javier Chicharito leads the team with 10 league goals this season, and will be counted on to add to that lead this season. Wolfsburg will look to earn their third consecutive victory after back-to-back 1-0 victories over RB Leipzig and SV Darmstadt respectively.

FRIDAY

  • Hertha Berlin vs. 1899 Hoffenheim

SATURDAY

  • Bayern Munich vs. F.C. Augsburg
  • Schalke 04 vs. Borussia Dortmund
  • Hamburg SV vs. F.C. Koln
  • SC Freiburg vs. SV Werder Bremen
  • RB Leipzig vs. SV Darmstadt
  • Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Borussia Monchengladbach

SUNDAY

  • Ingolstadt vs. FSV Mainz 04
  • Bayer Leverkusen vs. VfL Wolfsburg

ITALIAN SERIE A

Saturday’s early match comes from the Giglio Stadium as Sassuolo welcome Lazio to town. The hosts have struggled for most of the season, currently sitting in 15th-place. Sassuolo are winless in their last four matches, with three of them being losses. Lazio are sitting in third-place, with a nine-match unbeaten run in all competitions. Striker Ciro Immobile is one of the league’s top scorers, currently sitting on 17 goals so far this campaign.

Fiorentina welcome Bologna to the Artemio Franchi on Sunday looking to make it five consecutive matches unbeaten. Back-to-back victories over Cagliari and Crotone respectively see the hosts sitting in eighth-place. Croatian striker Nikola Kalinic leads the team with 14 league goals this season, while midfielder Federico Bernardeschi has chipped in 10 goals as well. Bologna have won their last two league fixtures, and will look to move closer to a possible top-half finish.

The round concludes on Monday as Inter Milan entertain Sampdoria at the Giuseppe Meazza. In their last two victories, Inter have outscored their opponents by a score of 12-2. Despite a 2-2 road draw against Torino on March 18th, Inter remained in fifth-place. Sampdoria are in ninth-place and will look to bounce back from a 1-0 home defeat against Juventus back on March 19th.

SATURDAY

  • Sassuolo vs. Lazio
  • Roma vs. Empoli

SUNDAY

  • Torino vs. Udinese
  • Chievo Verona vs. Crotone
  • Fiorentina vs. Bologna
  • Genoa vs. Atalanta
  • Palermo vs. Cagliari
  • Pescara vs. A.C. Milan
  • Napoli vs. Juventus

MONDAY

  • Inter Milan vs. Sampdoria

FRENCH LIGUE 1

Despite only eight matches on Matchday 31 in Ligue 1, the action begins on Friday as Guingamp host Nancy at the Stade Municipal de Roudourou. 10th-place Guingamp will look to bounce back from a 3-0 road defeat at Angers on March 18th. 18th-place Nancy know a victory away-from-home paired with a Dijon defeat this weekend will lift them out of the bottom-three for now.

Saturday’s late fixture sees Lille travel to Bastia in a battle of 14th vs. 19th. Hosts Bastia sit three points from Ligue 1 safety, but have not won since Dec. 17th. However, Bastia have drawn their last five home fixtures, which is a positive to take into Saturday’s match. Lille are unbeaten in their last three matches, including a 0-0 home draw against Marseille back on March 17th.

In Sunday’s must-watch match, Nice host Bordeaux at the Allianz Riviera. With Monaco and PSG facing off in the Coupe de la Ligue final on Saturday, third-place Nice could gain some ground on their rivals. The hosts are unbeaten in their last seven matches, with four of them being victories. Bordeaux sit four points out of a European qualification spot, and come into this match off a 5-1 thumping of Montpellier.

FRIDAY

  • Guingamp vs. Nancy

SATURDAY

  • Marseille vs. Dijon
  • Bastia vs. Lille

SUNDAY

  • Rennes vs. OL Lyon
  • Lorient vs. Caen
  • Montpellier vs. Toulouse
  • Nantes vs. Angers
  • Nice vs. Bordeaux

Monaco and PSG are off due to the French Coupe de la Ligue final, which takes place on Saturday. Metz and Saint-Etienne are also off due to their matches being moved for Coupe de la Ligue final.

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