European Weekend Preview: Championship Sunday in EPL, Bayern faces Leipzig, and more

European Weekend Preview: Championship Sunday in EPL, Bayern faces Leipzig, and more

European Soccer

European Weekend Preview: Championship Sunday in EPL, Bayern faces Leipzig, and more

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The English Premier League season comes to a close on Sunday with Liverpool and Manchester City both remaining neck-and-neck in the title race.

Jurgen Klopp’s side sit a point back of City and need to win for any chance of earning their first league crown since 1990. The Reds host Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield, coming off a shocking upset of Barcelona in the Champions League semifinals. Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum each netted braces in the win.

Manchester City are seeking back-to-back league titles under Pep Guardiola and face an easier opponent on Sunday. The Citizens travel to Brighton & Hove Albion who will be playing for pride in their final home match of the campaign. Vincent Kompany’s magical strike on Monday against Leicester City put Man City in front of Liverpool going into Sunday.

Elsewhere, the Bundesliga title race continues as Bayern Munich takes on RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund entertain Fortuna Dusseldorf. Lyon remains a point clear of St. Etienne for third place in France but face a tough test against Marseille on Sunday. AC Milan and Roma continue pushing for top four finishes in Italy but both teams face stiff competition this weekend. Getafe, Valencia, and Sevilla all can rotate spots in La Liga’s top six.

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

English Premier League

Another pair of top ten sides meet on Sunday as Leicester City welcomes Chelsea to town. Brendan Rodgers’ side are coming off a 1-0 loss to Manchester City, a match in which they frustrated the hosts for most of the 90 minutes. Jamie Vardy and James Maddison are the go-to guys in the Foxes offensive attack. Chelsea booked a place in the Europa League final after ousting Eintracht Frankfurt on penalties. It very well could be the final Premier League match at Chelsea for Eden Hazard who has been linked to a move to Real Madrid this summer.

Here’s all of this weekend’s EPL fixtures:

  • Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Manchester City
  • Burnley vs. Arsenal
  • Crystal Palace vs. Bournemouth
  • Liverpool vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers
  • Fulham vs. Newcastle United
  • Manchester United vs. Cardiff City
  • Southampton vs. Huddersfield Town
  • Tottenham vs. Everton
  • Watford vs. West Ham United
  • Leicester City vs. Chelsea

Spanish La Liga

Sevilla’s hopes of clinching a top four spot continue this weekend as they visit Atletico Madrid on Sunday. The visitors have lost two straight and three of the last four in league play. Pablo Sarabia and Wissam Ben Yedder have combined for 28 league goals this season and should be a handful for Diego Godin and Co. Atletico saw a four-match winning run snapped last weekend, losing 3-0 at Espanyol. Antoine Griezmann leads the team with 15 goals but some other players may need to step up in order for Atletico to earn a home win.

Fourth-place Getafe has the toughest test of the weekend, traveling to champions Barcelona. The Catalan side suffered a 4-0 second leg loss at Anfield which eliminated them from the UCL. Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez were invisible in that match, being held in check by the Liverpool backline. Suarez is out for the remainder of the season so Messi will be the main attacking threat for Barcelona. Getafe has won two of their last five league matches, leaning on the play of forwards Jorge Molina and Jaime Mata (28 goals combined).

Here’s all of this weekend’s La Liga fixtures:

Sunday

  • Athletic Bilbao vs. Celta Vigo
  • Atletico Madrid vs. Sevilla
  • Barcelona vs. Getafe
  • Real Betis vs. Huesca
  • Girona vs. Levante
  • Rayo Vallecano vs. Valladolid
  • Valencia vs. Alaves
  • Villarreal vs. Eibar
  • Leganes vs. Espanyol
  • Real Sociedad vs. Real Madrid

German Bundesliga

Bayern Munich can clinch the Bundesliga title with a road win over RB Leipzig on Saturday. Niko Kovac’s side have not tasted a league loss since Feb. 2nd, recently beating Hannover 3-1 at home. Robert Lewandowski will lead the line while Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman can provide chances out wide for the visitors. Leipzig can finish the season in second, should they win their final two matches and Borussia Dortmund slip up. Ralf Rangnick’s side are riding a 17-match unbeaten run in all competitions and will be a favorite to compete for the title in 2019-20. Yussuf Poulsen and Timo Werner (31 league goals combined) will be a handful for Bayern to stop.

Borussia Dortmund needs a win on Saturday vs. Fortuna Dusseldorf for any chance of staying in the title race. The hosts drew 2-2 at Werder Bremen last weekend, coughing up a two-goal advantage after halftime. Bad news for Dortmund is that Dusseldorf defeated them 2-1 earlier this season. Benito Raman and Dodi Lukebakio have 20 goals and six assists between them this campaign, with the latter scoring vs. Dortmund back in December.

Here’s all of this weekend’s Bundesliga fixtures:

Saturday

  • Hoffenheim vs. Werder Bremen
  • Borussia Dortmund vs. Fortuna Dusseldorf
  • Bayer Leverkusen vs. Schalke
  • RB Leipzig vs. Bayern Munich
  • Stuttgart vs. Wolfsburg
  • Augsburg vs. Hertha Berlin
  • Hannover vs. Freiburg
  • Nuremberg vs. Borussia Monchengladbach

Sunday

  • Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Mainz

Italian Serie A

AS Roma’s hopes of top four continue this weekend as they host champions Juventus at the Olimpico. The hosts are riding a six-match unbeaten run which included draws against Inter Milan and Fiorentina. Edin Dzeko is always a threat inside of the box, while Stephan El Shaarawy leads the team with 11 goals. Juventus has already clinched the Scudetto but would like to end the season with three straight victories. Cristiano Ronaldo has 21 goals to his name this campaign, but Mario Manduzkic scored the winning goal vs. Roma back in December.

Here’s all of this weekend’s Serie A fixtures:

Saturday

  • Atalanta vs. Genoa
  • Cagliari vs. Lazio
  • Fiorentina vs. AC Milan

Sunday

  • Torino vs. Sassuolo
  • Sampdoria vs. Empoli
  • Frosinone vs. Udinese
  • Spal vs. Napoli
  • AS Roma vs. Juventus

Monday

  • Bologna vs. Parma
  • Inter Milan vs. Chievo Verona

French Ligue 1

Ligue 1’s headliner comes on Sunday as Marseille welcomes Lyon to the Stade Velodrome. The hosts can still compete for a top-four spot, but they need at least seven points to do so. Mario Balotelli has eight goals in 13 appearances for the club, while Florian Thauvin is an exciting playmaker who can score and set up goals. Lyon comes into the weekend a point higher than St. Etienne and on a three-match unbeaten run. Former Celtic and Fulham man Moussa Dembele has 13 goals since arriving from Glasgow while Martin Terrier and Memphis Depay can both contribute goals. Lyon trounced Marseille 4-2 back in September.

Here’s all of this weekend’s Ligue 1 fixtures:

Friday

  • St. Etienne vs. Montpellier

Saturday

  • Angers vs. PSG
  • Amiens vs. Toulouse
  • Caen vs. Stade Reims
  • Dijon vs. Strasbourg
  • Nice vs. Nantes
  • Nimes vs. Monaco

Sunday

  • Rennes vs. Guingamp
  • Lille vs. Bordeaux
  • Marseille vs. Lyon

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