What to watch in the leading soccer leagues in Europe
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.