European Look Ahead: Arsenal face City, Madrid battles Valencia, and more

European Look Ahead: Arsenal face City, Madrid battles Valencia, and more

European Soccer

European Look Ahead: Arsenal face City, Madrid battles Valencia, and more

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City arsenal

 

By JOHN BOSCHINI

Manchester City's title dreams are on the brink as a crowded weekend of fixtures takes center stage in the Premier League

Arsenal are not out of the woods yet in their quest for fourth place and they welcome City to the Emirates on Easter Sunday. The Gunners are equal with north-London rivals Tottenham and five points clear of Chelsea. Should Chelsea pull off a shocker and win the Champions League and finish fifth, only the top three will make next season's tournament.

Manchester United could be as many as eight points clear of City by the time kick off rolls around at the Emirates. Should City lose, an eight-point gap with six games to play seems insurmountable. Every Premier League team will play twice over the next six days as the fixture list becomes more and more congested.

First and third in La Liga square off on Sunday when Real Madrid welcome Valencia. Real Madrid will be desperate for a win to keep Barcelona at arm's length and negate their upcoming Clasico matchup but it's Valencia that need to start stringing together results. Valencia had a strong hold on third place but are now only one point ahead of fourth-placed Malaga and three points away from dropping out of the Champions League places.

Here is a look ahead to the Easter weekend fixtures around Europe.

ENGLAND

Twenty games will be played in six days as the final Premier League table begins to take shape. Tottenham face a very difficult road trip to the Stadium of Light to face a Sunderland team that has lost only twice at home since Thanksgiving weekend. Tottenham, on the other hand, haven't won away from home in six games. Chelsea will hope to capitalize at home against Wigan and then away to Fulham on Monday.

Bolton could slink back into the relegation zone unless they get results against Fulham and Newcastle. Owen Coyle's club is only one point from safety.

FRIDAY

Swansea City vs. Newcastle United, 11:30 a.m.

SATURDAY

Sunderland vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 7:45 a.m.
Bolton Wanderers vs. Fulham, 10 a.m.
Chelsea vs. Wigan Athletic, 10 a.m.
Liverpool vs. Aston Villa, 10 a.m.
Norwich City vs. Everton, 10 a.m.
West Bromwich Albion vs. Blackburn Rovers, 10 a.m.
Stoke City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers, 12:30 p.m. 

SUNDAY

Manchester United vs. Queens Park Rangers, 8:30 a.m.
Arsenal vs. Manchester City, 11 a.m.

MONDAY

Everton vs. Sunderland, 10 a.m.
Newcastle United vs. Bolton Wanderers, 10 a.m.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Norwich City, 10 a.m.
Aston Villa vs. Stoke City, 12:30 p.m.
Fulham vs. Chelsea, 3 p.m. 

Spain

If Levante are to finish off their underdog story and qualify for next season's Champions League they must first get past a dangerous Atletico Madrid side. Atletico are only five points off fourth place themselves and have produced a number of good performances. Should Levante come up short, Malaga will be five points clear assuming they can dispatch 19th-placed Racing Santander at home.

Villarreal can move as high as 15th and breathe a little easier if they can win by at least two goals against Real Betis.

SATURDAY

Espanyol vs. Real Sociedad, 12 p.m.
Getafe vs. Sporting Gijon, 12 p.m.
Rayo Vallecano vs. Osasuna, 12 p.m.
Real Zaragoza vs. Barcelona, 2 p.m.
Real Betis vs. Villarreal, 4 p.m. 

SUNDAY

Levante vs. Atletico Madrid, 6 a.m.
Mallorca vs. Granada, 10 a.m.
Athletic Bilbao vs. Sevilla, 12 p.m.
Real Madrid vs. Valencia, 3:30 p.m. 

MONDAY

Malaga vs. Racing Santander, 3 p.m.

Germany

Bayern Munich are quietly reeling in Borussia Dortmund as the title race heats up in the Bundesliga. Munich are three points behind thanks to Dortmund's thrilling 4-4 draw with Stuttgart last weekend. Don't expect much change in the deficit as Bayern Munich welcome relegation-threatened Augsburg and Dortmund take on a Wolfsburg side they thrashed 5-1 in November.

SATURDAY

Bayern Munich vs. FC Augsburg, 9:30 a.m.
FC Cologne vs. Werder Bremen, 9:30 a.m.
Kaiserslautern vs. TSG Hoffenheim, 9:30 a.m.
SC Freiburg vs. Nurnberg, 9:30 a.m.
VfB Stuttgart vs. Mainz, 9:30 a.m.
VfL Wolfsburg vs. Borussia Dortmund, 9:30 a.m.
Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Hertha Berlin, 12:30 p.m.

SUNDAY

Schalke 04 vs. Hannover 96, 9:30 a.m.
Hamburg vs. Bayer Leverkusen, 11:30 a.m. 

Italy

The Champions League race will take a huge step forward this weekend when Lazio welcomes Napoli on Sunday. The two teams have been going in opposite directions as Lazio have lost three of four while Napoli just recently had a nine-game unbeaten streak broken by Juventus. With Lazio preparing to take on Juventus next weekend, a result is vital to their Champions League hopes.

SATURDAY

AC Milan vs. Fiorentina, 9 a.m.
Atalanta vs. Siena, 9 a.m. 
Cagliari vs. Inter Milan, 9 a.m. 
Cesena vs. Bologna, 9 a.m. 
Chievo Verona vs. Catania, 9 a.m. 
Lecce vs. AS Roma, 9 a.m. 
Novara vs. Genoa, 9 a.m. 
Udinese vs. Parma, 9 a.m. 
Palermo vs. Juventus, 12:30 p.m.
Lazio vs. Napoli, 3 p.m. 

France

Lyon are in danger of falling away from the top three and must start picking up results with eight games to play. Montpellier and Paris Saint-Germain are still level at the top of the table but Montpellier has played a game more. They play relegation-threatened Sochaux while PSG faces a tricky home stand against Marseille.

SATURDAY

AC Ajaccio vs. St Etienne, 1 p.m.
Brest vs. Lille, 1 p.m.
Dijon FCO vs. AS Nancy Lorraine, 1 p.m.
Evian Thonon Gaillard vs. Stade Rennes, 1 p.m.
Montpellier vs. Sochaux, 1 p.m.
Valenviennes vs. Toulouse, 1 p.m.
Lyon vs. AJ Auxerre, 3 p.m.

SUNDAY

Caen vs. Bordeaux, 11 a.m.
Nice vs. Lorient, 11 a.m.
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Marseille, 3 p.m. 

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What do you think of this weekend's games? Can City stay in the title race? Who will qualify for the Champions League from Spain? Can Lazio turn their season around?

Share your thoughts below.

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