European Weekend Preview: Liverpool hosts Arsenal, Napoli travels to Roma, and more

European Weekend Preview: Liverpool hosts Arsenal, Napoli travels to Roma, and more

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European Weekend Preview: Liverpool hosts Arsenal, Napoli travels to Roma, and more

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With cup fixtures taking center stage across Europe midweek, the domestic leagues resume this weekend with some intriguing fixtures to keep an eye on.

In England, Liverpool welcome Arsenal to Anfield on Saturday, as Jurgen Klopp’s men look to bounce back from a disappointing performance at Leicester City on Monday. The Reds are losing ground in the Premier League top-four race, and have found it tough to earn a string of positive results in 2017. Arsenal, who currently sit in fourth place, would like some payback after falling, 4-3, to the Reds back in August.

La Liga sees current leaders Barcelona welcome Celta Vigo to the Camp Nou on Saturday. Luis Enrique’s side will try to keep their top spot in Spain’s top-flight after a 6-1 win against Sporting Gijon on Wednesday. Elsewhere, Real Madrid travels to Eibar earlier on Saturday, looking to earn a comfortable victory after a midweek draw vs. Las Palmas. Atletico Madrid hosts Valencia in the top match on Sunday.

In Germany, RB Leipzig travels to F.C. Augsburg on Friday as the round kicks off. Leipzig will look to make it three league wins in-a-row, while Augsburg tries to win consecutive matches. Borussia Dortmund hosts Bayer Leverkusen in one of Saturday’s early fixtures looking for their third consecutive win. Leverkusen has lost two in-a-row in all competitions, and could definitely use a huge win away-from-home.

The mouth-watering fixture in Italy takes place in Rome on Saturday. Second-place Roma welcomes Napoli to the Olimpico looking to make it five league fixtures unbeaten against the visitors. Napoli, who sit five points behind their hosts, know a defeat Saturday could see the end of their possible title challenge. Inter travels to Cagliari on Sunday, while leaders Juventus travel to Udinese.

The top contest in France sees Bordeaux hosting Lyonon Friday. Bordeaux is looking for their third consecutive win, while Lyon is looking to make it five wins in-a-row in all competitions. Second-place Paris Saint-Germain welcomes Nancy to the Parc de Princes in Saturday’s early contest, while third-place Nice travels to Dijon later on Saturday. Leader Monaco welcomes Nantes to the Stade Louis II in Sunday’s late fixture.

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

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Manchester United looks to build on last weekend’s EFL Cup victory as they welcome Bournemouth to Old Trafford on Saturday. Jose Mourinho’s side is still making a late push at a top-four finish and will need to continue winning if they want to do so. Bournemouth has struggled for consistency, and the club has not won a match since Dec. 31. Eddie Howe’s side is slipping closer to the relegation zone and know a loss on Saturday would add more pressure onto the sputtering Cherries.

Crystal Palace travels to West Brom also on Saturday, looking for a good performance after last weekend’s 1-0 win vs. Middlesbrough. West Brom have had a nice season under Tony Pulis and are five matches unbeaten in league-play.

Tottenham hosts Everton at White Hart Lane in Sunday’s early match. The sides played out a 1-1 draw earlier this season on Merseyside, and both will be looking for three points come Sunday. Manchester City travels to Sunderland in Sunday’s other fixture, as Pep Guardiola’s men look to make it nine matches unbeaten in all competitions. Sergio Aguero is in fine form for the Citizens after netting a brace midweek in an F.A. Cup replay vs. Huddersfield Town.

SATURDAY

  • Manchester United vs. Bournemouth
  • Leicester City vs. Hull City
  • Stoke City vs. Middlesbrough
  • Swansea City vs. Burnley
  • Watford vs. Southampton
  • West Bromwich Albion vs. Crystal Palace
  • Liverpool vs. Arsenal

SUNDAY

  • Tottenham Hotspur vs. Everton
  • Sunderland vs. Manchester City

MONDAY

  • West Ham United vs. Chelsea

SPANISH LA LIGA

Real Betis and Real Sociedad kick off the round as the two sides square off at Benito Villamarin on Friday.

In Saturday’s early fixture, Granada travel to Leganes as both sides look to try to inch up the table. Leganes currently sits in 16th, and will look to start off the month with a win. Granada sits two places back of their opponents, and are coming off a 2-1 win  against Alaves on Wednesday.

Villarreal hosts Espanyol on Saturday looking to get closer to a Champions League qualification spot. The sixth-place hosts have won three of their last four in all competitions, and will be favored at home. Espanyol is coming off a 2-2 midweek draw at Celta Vigo, and knows a win would see them get closer to the top six.

The round concludes with third-place Sevilla traveling to Alaves on Monday afternoon. The visitors will want to keep pace with Barcelona and Real Madrid near the top and know a positive result away-from-home will do so.

FRIDAY

  • Real Betis vs. Real Sociedad

SATURDAY

  • Leganes vs. Granada
  • Eibar vs. Real Madrid
  • Villarreal vs. Espanyol
  • Barcelona vs. Celta Vigo

SUNDAY

  • Sporting Gijon vs. Deportivo
  • Atletico Madrid vs. Valencia
  • Las Palmas vs. Osasuna
  • Athletic Bilbao vs. Malaga

MONDAY

  • Alaves vs. Sevilla

GERMAN BUNDESLIGA

League leaders Bayern Munich face a trip to Koln on Saturday looking to extend their lead at the top of the Bundesliga table. Carlo Ancelotti’s side has won back-to-back fixtures in all competitions, and are unbeaten in their last 15 matches. Koln drew, 1-1, with Bayern back at the Allianz Arena on Oct. 1, and know an upset win would earn them their first victory since Feb. 4.

The mouth-watering clash of the round takes place as Saturday’s final fixture of the day as Borussia Monchengladbach hosts Schalke at Borussia-Park. Gladbach has won three matches in-a-row in three different competitions. Striker Lars Stindl has been on fire, netting five goals in those three wins. A win for the hosts would should see them continue up the table.

Sunday’s late match sees two U.S. internationals go head-to-head as Bobby Wood leads Hamburg SV against John Brooks’ Hertha Berlin side. Berlin defeated Hamburg 2-0 in their earlier meeting at the Olympiastadion back in October. Hamburg would like a huge win to lift them out of the bottom three.

FRIDAY

  • F.C. Augsburg vs. RB Leipzig

SATURDAY

  • Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayer Leverkusen
  • FSV Mainz 05 vs. Wolfsburg
  • F.C. Koln vs. Bayern Munich
  • SV Werder Bremen vs. SV Darmstadt
  • 1899 Hoffenheim vs. Ingolstadt
  • Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Schalke 04

SUNDAY

  • Eintracht Frankfurt vs. SC Freiburg
  • Hamburg SV vs. Hertha Berlin

ITALIAN SERIE A

A.C. Milan hosts Chievo Verona in Saturday’s late contest, looking to make it five league matches unbeaten. Back-to-back wins over Fiorentina and Sassuolo have seen Milan go up to seventh in the league table. They currently sit three points from the final Europa League qualification spot, and a win Saturday paired with other results could see them go as high as fifth. Chievo looks to make it consecutive league wins after a 2-0 win over Pescara last weekend.

Sunday’s early fixture sees Atalanta host Fiorentina in a battle of 4 vs. 8. The hosts are unbeaten in their last six fixtures, with four consecutive wins ending a perfect month of February. A 2-0 win over Napoli last weekend with 10-men have the team buzzing looking for a top-four finish. Fiorentina has lost two of their last three matches in all competitions, and would enjoy a road win against one of Italy’s top sides.

Elsewhere, Inter Milan travels to Cagliari looking to avoid slipping out of the top-six. Stefano Piolo’s side is coming off February defeats to Juventus and Roma and would like to make a late push for a top-four finish. Cagliari is coming off a 2-1 road win at Crotone last weekend, and would like to sweep the season series from Inter this weekend.

SATURDAY

  • Roma vs. Napoli
  • Sampdoria vs. Pescara
  • Milan vs. Chievo Verona

SUNDAY

  • Atalanta vs. Fiorentina
  • Cagliari vs. Inter Milan
  • Crotone vs. Sassuolo
  • Empoli vs. Genoa
  • Torino vs. Palermo
  • Udinese vs. Juventus
  • Bologna vs. Lazio

FRENCH LIGUE 1

Paris-Saint Germain looks for consecutive league wins on Saturday as they welcome Nancy to the Parc des Princes. Unai Emery’s side manhandled Marseille at the Stade Velodrome a week ago and should have an easier time with their 16th-place visitors. Nancy has lost four of their last five in Ligue 1 play and will look to play spoilers away from home.

Third-place Nice travels to Dijon on Saturday looking to keep their surprising campaign going. The visitors have won their last two fixtures, and three of their last four. A 2-1 win over Dijon back in December saw a brace from Mario Balotelli lead the way to three points. Dijon is coming off back-to-back defeats, and are a point from safety currently sitting in 18th place.

After falling, 5-1, against PSG a week ago, Marseille looks to bounce back on Sunday as they travel to bottom-place Lorient. Rudi Garcia’s side are 3-0-3 in their last six matches, will look to climb back in the race for a Europa League spot. Lorient has lost three-in-a-row and has been outscored 6-0 in that span.

FRIDAY

  • Bordeaux vs. OL Lyon

SATURDAY

  • Paris Saint-Germain vs. Nancy
  • Montpellier vs. Guingamp
  • Bastia vs. Saint-Etienne
  • Dijon vs. Nice
  • Caen vs. Angers
  • Metz vs. Rennes

SUNDAY

  • Lorient vs. Marseille
  • Toulouse vs. Lille
  • Monaco vs. Nantes

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