What to watch in the lead­ing soc­cer leagues in Europe

Kingston Whig-Standard - - SPORTS -

A se­lec­tion of games to watch this week­end from the lead­ing soc­cer leagues in Europe:


While the Copa Lib­er­ta­dores fi­nal is at­tract­ing most of the at­ten­tion in Spain, the Span­ish league goes on as planned.

Barcelona will de­fend its lead in the Cata­lan derby against Es­panyol on Satur­day, while sec­ond-placed Sevilla vis­its Va­len­cia. On the same day, third-placed Atletico Madrid hosts fourth-placed Alaves.

A few hours be­fore the highly an­tic­i­pated Copa fi­nal be­tween Ar­gen­tine ri­vals River Plate and Boca Ju­niors at San­ti­ago Bern­abeu Sta­dium on Sun­day, Real Madrid plays at Huesca, which hasn’t won in 14 straight matches in all com­pe­ti­tions this sea­son. The pro­moted club’s only win came on the open­ing week­end.


Manch­ester City can knock Chelsea out of re­al­is­tic ti­tle con­tention in the Premier League by win­ning at Stam­ford Bridge on Satur­day. On cur­rent form, that is likely to hap­pen.

While first-place City has won seven straight league games and re­mains un­beaten, Chelsea has lost two of its last three games to drop 10 points be­hind and into fourth place.

Sec­ond-place Liver­pool is the other un­beaten team and can put pres­sure on City — in fact, go above them in the stand­ings — with a win at Bournemouth in Satur­day’s early game.

Tot­ten­ham man­ager Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino must de­cide whether to rest key play­ers against Le­ices­ter, ahead of an away match at Barcelona on Tues­day when his team likely needs to win to ad­vance. Tot­ten­ham is in third place and two points ahead of Chelsea and Arse­nal, which hosts Hud­der­s­field.


Ju­ven­tus coach Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri is play­ing one of the big­gest matches in Serie A, the “Derby d’Italia” against In­ter Mi­lan.

“The match on Wed­nes­day against Young Boys is much more im­por­tant,” Al­le­gri said of his team’s next Cham­pi­ons League game. “In the Cham­pi­ons League, we’re play­ing for top spot which, look­ing at the other groups, is very im­por­tant.”

Third-place In­ter is al­ready 11 points be­hind Ju­ven­tus, the league leader.

Napoli, which is eight points be­hind Ju­ven­tus, hosts Frosi­none on Satur­day.


It’s derby day in the Bun­desliga, with the 93rd meet­ing be­tween Borus­sia Dort­mund and Schalke tak­ing cen­tre stage.

Satur­day’s Ruhr Derby in Gelsenkirchen sees vis­it­ing Dort­mund, which has a sev­en­point lead, tak­ing on a ri­val look­ing to make up lost ground af­ter a poor start to the sea­son. Schalke is al­ready 19 points be­hind Dort­mund, which is un­beaten in the league.

Dort­mund is a vastly dif­fer­ent side to the one that threw away a 4-0 lead at home in the 4-4 draw be­tween the sides last sea­son, when it also lost to Schalke 2-0 in Gelsenkirchen.

Bay­ern, which is nine points be­hind Dort­mund, hosts pro­moted Nurem­berg in a Bavar­ian derby on Satur­day.

Nurem­berg hasn’t won at Bay­ern in 14 games and has won only twice this sea­son since re­turn­ing to the top flight.

Sec­ond-placed Borus­sia Moenchenglad­bach is at home to Stuttgart on Sun­day.

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