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European Weekend Preview: Dortmund faces Hertha Berlin, FA Cup continues and more

After a thrilling week of UEFA Champions action, domestic leagues and cup fixtures look to continue the excitement this weekend across Europe.

The Bundesliga’s top fixture this weekend sees third-place Borussia Dortmund traveling to fifth-place Hertha Berlin on Saturday. Six points separate the sides, as both look to advance their way up the table. Also, Bayern Munich host Eintracht Frankfurt in a battle of 1 vs. 6 at the Allianz Arena.

The FA Cup quarterfinals kick off in England on Saturday with Manchester City traveling to Middlesbrough in the early match. Pep Guardiola’s men are coming off a scoreless draw vs. Stoke City in Premier League play on Wednesday. Middlesbrough will look to repeat their 2-0 upset of the Citizens back in the 2014/15 F.A. Cup fourth round. Non-league side Lincoln City travels to Arsenal on Saturday, looking to make it consecutive upsets over Premier League opposition.

Elsewhere in England, four matches will take place in the English Premier League with Everton hosting West Bromwich Albion being the top fixture. Ronald Koeman’s men are coming off a 3-2 defeat at Tottenham last Sunday, while West Brom fell 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace.

In Italy, Juventus hosts AC Milan in the mouth-watering fixture of the round as the hosts look to extend their lead at the top of Serie A. Milan snatched a 1-0 victory in the sides first league meeting back in October before Juventus eliminated Milan in the Coppa Italia quarterfinals back in January. A total of 17 points separates the two sides as Juventus looks to escape Roma and Napoli who are right behind them in the standings. Milan sits two places off from a European qualification spot, and will look to take the season series over the Old Lady.

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

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

With six top-flight teams participating in the F.A. Cup quarterfinals this weekend, many league matches had to be postponed to a later date. However, A.F.C. Bournemouth welcomes West Ham United to the Vitality Stadium looking to bounce back after a string of nine matches without a win. Eddie Howe’s side earned an important point at Manchester United last weekend, and will hope that jump starts their surge up the table. West Ham are coming off a 2-1 home defeat against league leaders Chelsea this past Monday.

In a huge bottom-five showdown at the KCOM Stadium, Hull City hosts Swansea looking to move closer to Premier League safety. Marco Silva’s side currently sit in 19th, four points clear of safety. Swansea sits in 16th, and have done well under Paul Clement. They are five points clear of the bottom three, and will look for an important road win against a desperate opponent.

Sunday’s only fixture of the round sees Liverpool welcome Burnley to Anfield. Jurgen Klopp’s men earned an important 3-1 home win against Arsenal a week ago, and will look to make it consecutive league wins. Burnley has gone five matches without a win, and will look to earn their first league road win of the campaign. They are one of two sides (Leicester City) that have failed to win a league match away from home in 2016/17.

SATURDAY

  • A.F.C. Bournemouth vs. West Ham United
  • Everton vs. West Bromwich Albion
  • Hull City vs. Swansea City

SUNDAY

  • Liverpool vs. Burnley

ENGLISH F.A. CUP

Tottenham Hotspur look for a place in the F.A. Cup semifinals with a home win over third-tier Millwall on Sunday. Despite a shaky performance in the fourth round against Wycombe, Spurs advanced to the quarterfinals after a 3-0 road win at Fulham. Harry Kane’s hat-trick propelled Mauricio Pochettino’s side to a date with one of this year’s Cinderella sides. Millwall may be sitting in the third-tier of English Football, but don’t tell their past victims that. The underdogs have ousted Bournemouth, Watford, and, most recently, Leicester City out of the tournament and will look for a huge upset away from home.

SATURDAY

  • Middlesbrough vs. Manchester City
  • Arsenal vs. Lincoln City

SUNDAY

  • Tottenham Hotspur vs. Millwall

SPANISH LA LIGA

La Liga action kicks off on Friday with Espanyol hosting Las Palmas at Cornella. Four points separate the sides in the league table, with the visitors looking to make in three matches unbeaten. Atletico Madrid travel to Granada on Saturday, while league leaders Barcelona travel to Deportivo on Sunday. Real Madrid host Real Betis in Sunday’s late match, looking to keep pace with Barcelona at the top.

In Saturday’s early contest, Valencia hosts Sporting Gijon at the Mestalla looking to bounce back after a 3-0 defeat last weekend at Atletico Madrid. The hosts comfortably sit in 13th place, but will look to win over a struggling Gijon side. The visitors sit in 19th, and are winless in their last four. During that spell, Gijon has been outscored, 12-3, and will need to start picking up positive results if they want to avoid relegation.

League leaders Barcelona travel to fourth-from-bottom Deportivo on Sunday looking for a much more comfortable win than in midweek. Luis Enrique’s side made history on Wednesday, coming back from a 4-0 first leg deficit against PSG to advance to the UCL Quarterfinals. Deportivo may sit five points clear of the relegation zone, but an upset win over Barcelona could spark them to league safety.

Real Madrid welcomes Real Betis to the Santiago Bernabeu in Sunday’s late match looking to keep pace with Barcelona. Zinedine Zidane’s side is coming off a 4-1 win at Eibar last weekend in league-play, prior to this weekend’s success over Napoli in the Champions League. Betis are in 14th and are winless in their last two matches.

FRIDAY

  • Espanyol vs. Las Palmas

SATURDAY

  • Valencia vs. Sporting Gijon
  • Sevilla vs. Leganes
  • Malaga vs. Alaves
  • Granada vs. Atletico Madrid

SUNDAY

  • Real Sociedad vs. Athletic Bilbao
  • Deportivo vs. Barcelona
  • Celta Vigo vs. Villarreal
  • Real Madrid vs. Real Betis

 

GERMAN BUNDESLIGA

Germany’s action this weekend kicks off on Friday as Bayer Leverkusen hosts Werder Bremen at the BayArena. Bremen won the first meeting of the season between these two, 2-1, back in October. Leverkusen was smoked by Borussia Dortmund a week ago and would like some momentum heading into their Champions League second leg at Atletico Madrid next Wednesday.

League leaders Bayern Munich will look for their third consecutive league victory as they welcome Eintracht Frankfurt to the Allianz Arena on Saturday. Carlo Ancelotti’s side are coming off a 5-1 demolition of Arsenal in the Champions League, which advanced the Germans into the quarterfinals. Frankfurt fell, 2-1, vs. Freiburg last Sunday, and could very well drop out of European qualification with a loss this weekend paired with other results.

After a huge 1-0 home win over Hertha Berlin last Sunday, Hamburg will look for another home win against visiting Borussia Monchengladbach on Sunday. The hosts are in 16th and could jump up a few spots with a win at home. Gladbach are in ninth place and coming off back-to-back league wins over Schalke and Ingolstadt respectively. A win paired with other results could see Gladbach go as high as sixth by the end of the round.
FRIDAY

  • Bayer Leverkusen vs. SV Werder Bremen

SATURDAY

  • Bayern Munich vs. Eintracht Frankfurt
  • Hertha Berlin vs. Borussia Dortmund
  • SV Darmstadt vs. FSV Mainz 04
  • SC Freiburg vs. 1899 Hoffenheim
  • RB Leipzig vs. Wolfsburg
  • Ingolstadt vs. F.C. Koln

SUNDAY

  • Schalke 04 vs. F.C. Augsburg
  • Hamburg SV vs. Borussia Monchengladbach

ITALIAN SERIE A

In Sunday’s top match of the round, Inter Milan welcomes Atalanta to the Giuseppe Meazza looking for their second consecutive league win. Stefano Pioli’s side are coming off a 5-1 thrashing of Cagliari last Saturday where Ivan Perisic netted a brace. Atalanta is unbeaten in their last seven matches, and will look to keep pace with the fop-four.

Roma travel to Palermo in Sunday’s late match as the visitors are coming off a 2-1 home defeat vs. Napoli last weekend. Striker Edin Dzeko will be the main threat for Roma, as the Bosnian already has 19 league goals this season. Palermo, who sit in 18th ,will look for revenge after a 4-1 road defeat against Roma back in October.

FRIDAY

  • Juventus vs. A.C. Milan

SATURDAY

  • Genoa vs. Sampdoria

SUNDAY

  • Sassuolo vs. Bologna
  • Chievo Verona vs. Empoli
  • Fiorentina vs. Cagliari
  • Inter Milan vs. Atalanta
  • Napoli vs. Crotone
  • Pescara vs. Udinese
  • Palermo vs. Roma

 

FRENCH LIGUE 1

Leaders Monaco welcome Bordeaux to the Stade Louis II in Saturday’s featured match. The hosts rolled to a 4-0 road victory over Bordeaux back in December, and will look for a similar result at home. Lyon host Toulouse on Sunday, while Paris Saint Germain travel to minnows Lorient looking to keep pace with Monaco at the top.

Ligue 1 action kicks off the weekend with a double-header on Friday. Caen travels to Nice looking to sweep the season series from the hosts. An Ivan Santini penalty-kick was all Caen needed to earn three points back in November. Third-place Nice is unbeaten in their last five matches, with four of those being victories. Strikers Alassane Plea and Mario Balotelli have totaled 20 league goals between them and will be tough to slow down.

Marseille welcomes Angers to the Stade Velodrome looking for a repeat of a week ago. The hosts shrugged off Lorient, 4-1, away from home in a match which saw four different players getting their names on the scoresheet. A win for the hosts could see them finish the round in fifth, just behind Lyon in fourth. Angers are in 10th place and looking for their fifth consecutive league win.

Fourth place Lyon welcome Toulouse to the Parc OL on Sunday looking to make it seven matches unbeaten in all comps. The arrival of Memphis Depay from Manchester United has given Lyon another attacking element while striker Alexandre Lacazette has 22 league goals on the season. Toulouse is coming off three consecutive draws, recently a 1-1 home draw vs Lille.

FRIDAY

  • Nice vs. Caen
  • Marseille vs. Angers

SATURDAY

  • Monaco vs. Bordeaux
  • Nancy vs. Lille
  • Montpellier vs. Nantes
  • Rennes vs. Dijon
  • Guingamp vs. Bastia

SUNDAY

  • Saint-Etienne vs. Metz
  • OL Lyon vs. Toulouse
  • Lorient vs. Paris Saint-Germain

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