European soccer weekend: Bayern Munich with out Lewandowski, French title tussle and long-awaited Copa del Rey ultimate
We check out the important thing soccer matches this weekend throughout Europe’s prime leagues in Spain, France, Germany and Italy.
RB Leipzig hope to capitalise on the absence of Robert Lewandowski in a top-of-the-table conflict in opposition to Bayern Munich, whereas title rivals Paris Saint-Germain and Lille face off in France and there is an all-Basque Copa del Rey ultimate… virtually a yr later than deliberate.
AFP Sport selects a number of the standout motion in Europe this weekend:
Bayern face Leipzig check
RB Leipzig vs Bayern Munich, Saturday 1630 GMT
Bundesliga leaders Bayern, with out the injured Lewandowski, go to second-placed Leipzig initially of a spell which may outline the European champions’ season.
The Bavarian giants sit 4 factors away from their opponents with eight league matches remaining as they bid for a ninth straight Bundesliga title.
Bayern are unbeaten in six matches in opposition to Leipzig, though 4 of these video games have been drawn.
However Hansi Flick’s males may have one eye on Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg in opposition to Paris Saint-Germain on the Allianz Enviornment.
Leipzig are nonetheless within the working for a home double, having additionally reached the German Cup semi-finals.
High two collide in France
Paris Saint-Germain vs Lille, Saturday 1500 GMT
Lille’s shock loss at Nimes earlier than the worldwide break allowed PSG to retake prime spot on aim distinction, however Christophe Galtier’s aspect will look to wrest the benefit again within the capital as they aim a primary Ligue 1 crown since 2011.
Mauricio Pochettino may hand Neymar a primary begin in virtually two months following his restoration from a thigh harm. The PSG boss has the added bonus of a contemporary South American contingent after CONMEBOL postponed March’s World Cup qualifiers.
That’s in stark distinction to Kylian Mbappe who featured in all three France matches, together with Wednesday’s 1-0 victory in Sarajevo on the way in which again from the lengthy journey to Kazakhstan.
Burak Yilmaz was in advantageous kind for Turkey, scoring 4 occasions in three video games, and is Lille’s joint-top scorer on 9 objectives this season alongside Canadian worldwide Jonathan David.
Atletico enter dwelling straight
Sevilla vs Atletico Madrid, Sunday 1900 GMT
Luis Suarez hit his five hundredth profession aim in final month’s slim win over Alaves to maintain Atletico 4 factors away from his former membership Barcelona heading into the ultimate 10 video games of the marketing campaign.
The Uruguayan’s 19 objectives in La Liga are second solely to Lionel Messi (23) this season and greater than double that of his team-mate Marcos Llorente, Atletico’s second main scorer with 9.
With their Champions League goals extinguished by Chelsea, Diego Simeone’s aspect have only one remaining aim — to carry off Barca and Actual Madrid and repeat their 2013/14 title triumph.
Sevilla’s 55 factors at this stage is the membership’s second most ever, two shy of their tally from the 2016/17 season. They too have been knocked out of Europe’s prime membership competitors within the final 16 however look a strong guess to return with a 10-point cushion over Actual Sociedad.
Lengthy-awaited Cup ultimate Basque derby
Athletic Bilbao v Actual Sociedad, Saturday 1930 GMT
The 2020 Copa del Rey ultimate, which was initially scheduled for final April and noticed its semi-finals performed earlier than the primary coronavirus lockdown in Spain, sees the Basque rivals face off in Seville.
The winners will solely maintain the trophy for 2 weeks earlier than the 2021 ultimate, although, additionally at La Cartuja.
However Bilbao will likely be hoping for a golden fortnight, with Marcelino’s aspect additionally on this season’s showpiece in opposition to Barcelona.
Saturday’s match would be the first ever Cup ultimate Basque derby.
Bilbao have received the event 23 occasions, second solely to Barca, whereas Sociedad have lifted the trophy twice.
Desperation on either side of Turin divide
Torino vs Juventus, Saturday 1600 GMT
As Juventus try to remain in contact with Serie A leaders Inter Milan, metropolis rivals Torino are in a struggle of their very own in opposition to relegation having received simply 4 occasions all season.
Juve’s pursuit of a tenth successive Italian title sustained one other heavy blow with defeat by Benevento final day trip leaving Andrea Pirlo’s workforce 10 factors off the tempo.
Nonetheless, they’ve prevailed on 10 of their previous 11 visits to Torino, at present in seventeenth place, and misplaced simply one of many final 29 top-flight conferences between the 2 sides.
Torino are banking on the expertise of former participant Davide Nicola to maintain them up. The 48-year-old rescued Crotone from the brink in 2016/17, amassing 20 factors from the ultimate 9 video games to spare them from the drop.
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