European Weekend Preview: Man City host Liverpool, Sevilla visit Atletico, and more

European Weekend Preview: Man City host Liverpool, Sevilla visit Atletico, and more

European Soccer

European Weekend Preview: Man City host Liverpool, Sevilla visit Atletico, and more

In the final European domestic action for two weeks, there are some teasing matches coming up this weekend across the top five leagues.

Manchester City host Liverpool in the English Premier League on Sunday as both sides try to inch closer to the fop-four. Pep Guardiola’s side are coming off a Champions League exit midweek in Monaco, while Liverpool are coming off a 2-1 home league win against Burnley last Sunday. A day prior, Arsenal travel to the Hawthorns to face West Bromwich Albion in a top-ten match-up.

In Spain, three top-half fixtures will take center stage with two taking place on Saturday. Eibar host Espanyol in a battle of eighth vs. ninth at the Estadio Municipal de Ipurua, while league leaders Real Madrid travel to Athletic Bilbao looking to keep themselves in the top spot. On Sunday, Atletico Madrid battle Sevilla in a top-four battle, while Barcelona welcome Valencia to the Camp Nou.

Bundesliga action kicks off on Friday with Borussia Dortmund hosting Ingolstadt at the Signal Iduna Park. Thomas Tuchel’s side will look to avoid any slip-ups against a possible relegation candidate. Hertha Berlin travel to Koln on Saturday, while Bayern Munich also are on the road, at Borussia Monchengladbach on Sunday.

Italy sees two top-half matches as Torino host Inter on Saturday, and league leaders Juventus travel to Sampdoria on Sunday. Lazio and Napoli are also on the road against struggling sides, while Roma welcome Sassuolo to the Olimpico.

Two bottom-four matches take place in France this weekend as Metz host Bastia to kick off the round on Friday. Last-place Lorient travel to Nancy on Saturday as both sides look to propel up the table, and out of danger.  League leaders Monaco travel to Caen on Sunday after a huge Champions League victory midweek. Paris Saint-Germain welcome Lyon to the Parc des Princes in Sunday’s final match, with both sides sitting in the top-four.

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

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE 

After several top-flight teams were in F.A. Cup action last weekend, the English Premier League resumes this weekend with a full slate.

League leaders Chelsea look to keep their strong run in-tact as they face Stoke at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday. Antonio Conte’s men are coming off a 1-0 F.A. Cup quarterfinal victory last Monday against Manchester United, where his side fully dominated. Stoke are sitting in ninth, and held Manchester City to a scoreless draw last time out.

Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth look to make it consecutive league wins as they welcome Swansea City to the Vitality Stadium. The Cherries defeated West Ham United 3-2 last weekend behind Joshua King’s hat-trick. Swansea fell 2-1 at Hull City, and Paul Clement’s side would like to get back on track with a win.

Tottenham Hotspur welcome Southampton to White Hart Lane on Sunday looking to build off last weekend’s 6-0 drubbing of Millwall in their F.A. Cup quarterfinal tie. Mauricio Pochettino’s side however will be without leading scorer Harry Kane after the striker injured his ankle in the victory last weekend. Look for Son-Hueng Min to fill the void. Southampton are coming off a 4-3 road win at Watford on Mar. 4th.

SATURDAY

  • West Bromwich Albion vs. Arsenal
  • Crystal Palace vs. Watford
  • Everton vs. Hull City
  • Stoke City vs. Chelsea
  • Sunderland vs. Burnley
  • West Ham United vs. Leicester City
  • A.F.C. Bournemouth vs. Swansea City

SUNDAY

  • Middlesbrough vs. Manchester United
  • Tottenham Hotspur vs. Southampton
  • Manchester City vs. Liverpool

SPANISH LA LIGA

Las Palmas and Villarreal open the round with a match-up at the Gran Canaria on Friday. The visitors took the 2-1 win in the first meeting of the season, and would like to make it four league wins in-a-row overall. Palmas fell 4-3 at Espanyol last Friday and would like to get back on track with a win.

Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid travel to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday looking to remain in top spot. Madrid are unbeaten in their last five matches overall, and are looking to sweep the season series over their hosts. Athletic Bilbao have held consecutive clean sheets for the first time this season, and would like to make it three-in-a-row.

Alaves welcome Real Sociedad to Mendizorroza on Saturday looking to make it three consecutive matches unbeaten.  The hosts sit in 10th, but could jump up as high as eighth paired with a win and other results this weekend. Real Sociedad have won their last three fixtures on the road, and a win could help boost their chances for a European spot.

Atletico Madrid welcome Sevilla to the Vicente Calderon on Sunday, looking to remain in the title race. After advancing to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals this past Wednesday, Diego Simeone’s side now turn their attentions to league play where they sit 10 points off their city rivals in top-spot. Sevilla are coming off a Champions League exit to Leicester City.

FRIDAY

  • Las Palmas vs. Villarreal

SATURDAY

  • Eibar vs. Espanyol
  • Athletic Bilbao vs. Real Madrid
  • Alaves vs. Real Sociedad
  • Real Betis vs. Osasuna

SUNDAY

  • Leganes vs. Malaga
  • Atletico Madrid vs. Sevilla
  • Sporting Gijon vs. Granada
  • Deportivo vs. Celta Vigo
  • Barcelona vs. Valencia

GERMAN BUNDESLIGA

In Germany, Borussia Dortmund welcome Ingolstadt to the Signal Iduna Park for Friday evening action. Thomas Tuchel’s side saw a three-match winning run in league play snapped at Hertha Berlin last Saturday. With three points separating third through fifth in the table, Dortmund would like an important win. Ingolstadt are winless in their last three matches, and are seven points from safety.

Hoffenheim host Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday looking to keep their strong hopes of European football alive. Julian Nagelsmann’s side are four matches unbeaten, and will look to sweep Leverkusen for the season after a 3-0 success back in October. Bayer Leverkusen are coming off a Champions League Round of 16 exit midweek, and need to get back to winning ways after a five-match winless streak.

In Sunday’s top showdown, Bayern Munich travel to Borussia Monchengladbach in a battle of first vs. ninth. Carlo Ancelotti’s side will look to their 18-match unbeaten run going in all competitions, while Robert Lewandowski looks to add to his 21 league goals this season. Gladbach are coming off a Europa League exit to fellow Bundesliga side Schalke, and a league defeat to Hamburg. Striker Lars Stindl leads the side with seven league goals.

FRIDAY

  • Borussia Dortmund v.s Ingolstadt

SATURDAY

  • Wolfsburg vs. SV Darmstadt
  • F.C. Koln vs. Hertha Berlin
  • F.C. Augsburg vs. SC Freiburg
  • SV Werder Bremen vs. RB Leipzig
  • Hoffenheim vs. Bayer Leverkusen
  • Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Hamburg SV

SUNDAY

  • FSV Mainz 04 vs. Schalke 04
  • Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Bayern Munich

ITALIAN SERIE A

Torino welcome Inter Milan to the Olimpico di Torino in Italy’s top fixture of the weekend. The hosts fell last Monday at Lazio 3-1, but will look to star striker Andrea Belotti for a spark this weekend. Belotti, 23, has 24 goals this season in all competitions and is heavily targeted by a lot of Europe’s top teams. Inter rolled past Atalanta 7-1 at the Giuseppe Meazza last Sunday, and will hope to do the same against another top-half side.

Milan welcome Genoa to the Giuseppe Meazza in Saturday’s late match looking to bounce back from last Friday’s 2-1 defeat at Juventus. It was Milan’s first defeat since Feb. 5th after going six matches unbeaten. Genoa, who sit in 16th, have lost four of their last six fixtures and would like a spark to get them away from a relegation battle.

Sassuolo head to Roma on Sunday for a late showdown at the Olimpico. Roma won the first meeting this season 3-1 thanks to goals from leading scorer Edin Dzeko and Radja Nainggolan. Despite exiting the Europa League this week, Roma still have a strong chance for a Champions League qualification spot. Sassuolo have lost two of their last three, but are unbeaten on the road in their last three matches.

SATURDAY

  • Torino vs. Inter Milan
  • A.C. Milan vs. Genoa

SUNDAY

  • Empoli vs. Napoli
  • Atalanta vs. Pescara
  • Bologna vs. Chievo Verona
  • Cagliari vs. Lazio
  • Crotone vs. Fiorentina
  • Sampdoria vs. Juventus
  • Udinese vs. Palermo
  • Roma vs. Sassuolo

FRENCH LIGUE 1

On Friday, Marseille travel to Lille looking to make it three league wins in a row. Rudy Garcia’s side defeated Angers 3-0 last weekend thanks to a brace from Florian Thauvin. A victory would inch the visitors closer to a Europa League qualification spot. Lille defeated Nancy 2-1 last weekend, and will look to leading scorer Nicolas de Preville for goals this weekend.

Nice travel to Nantes on Saturday looking to keep pace with Monaco and PSG in the top-three. The visitors are unbeaten in their last six matches, while fighting back for a 2-2 home draw vs. Caen last weekend. Alassane Plea leads the team with 11 goals, while Mario Balotelli has chipped in 10. Nantes bounced back nicely last weekend with a 3-2 road win at Montpellier.

In the mouth-watering fixture of the weekend, PSG welcomes Lyon to the Parc des Princes in Sunday’s late match. Unai Emery’s side are 11 matches unbeaten in league play and will be favored at home. Lyon advanced to the Europa League quarterfinals after a tough two-legged affair with Roma. Leading scorer Alexandre Lacazette has 22 league goals on the season, and will look to lead his team to a huge road win.

FRIDAY

  • Metz vs. Bastia
  • Lille vs. Marseille

SATURDAY

  • Nantes vs. Nice
  • Nancy vs. Lorient
  • Bordeaux vs. Montpellier
  • Toulouse vs. Rennes
  • Angers vs. Guingamp

SUNDAY

  • Caen vs. Monaco
  • Dijon vs. Saint-Etienne
  • Paris Saint-Germain vs. Lyon

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