European soccer weekend: Lille, wounded Bayern Munich and Cup do-over in Spain
The absence of Robert Lewandowski has left Bayern with an enormous gap in assault, compounded by the unavailability of Serge Gnabry, who’s isolating after contracting Covid-19.
Lille can dial up the stress on the Ligue 1 chasing pack, Bayern Munich face a thorny take a look at following their Champions League exit and Athletic Bilbao will once more attempt to win the Copa del Rey.
AFP Sport selects a few of the standout motion in Europe this weekend:
Lille in sport of cat and mouse
Lille vs Montpellier, Friday 1900 GMT
Searching a primary French title since successful a league and cup double in 2011, Lille can provisionally go six factors clear with victory in opposition to Montpellier as they’ve the benefit of kicking off this weekend’s Ligue 1 fixtures.
One other enhance is the return of Jonathan David, who has made a rapid restoration from an ankle damage that sidelined him in opposition to Metz, having scored the winner away to Paris Saint-Germain at the beginning of April.
Nevertheless, Montpellier are unbeaten in 13 video games in all competitions and making a late push for Europe. Subsequent week in addition they face Canet-en-Roussillon within the French Cup quarter-finals, the fourth-tier amateurs who embarrassed Marseille final month.
No time to mourn for Bayern
Wolfsburg vs Bayern Munich, Saturday 1330 GMT
After seeing their Champions League defence led to Paris, Bayern Munich return to home motion with RB Leipzig able to pounce on any slip-up in a title race that appeared over earlier this month.
The absence of Robert Lewandowski has left Bayern with an enormous gap in assault, compounded by the unavailability of Serge Gnabry, who’s isolating after contracting COVID-19 .
Wolfsburg are undefeated at dwelling this marketing campaign and have gained 9 of their previous 12 video games regardless of shedding a seven-goal thriller at Eintracht Frankfurt final week, presenting a tricky proposition for a Bayern aspect who might say goodbye to teach Hansi Flick at season’s finish.
Take two as Athletic eye Copa redemption
Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona, Saturday 1930 GMT
One of many weirder repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic is the possibility of instant redemption for Athletic Bilbao within the Copa del Rey, within the second ultimate in as many weeks in Seville.
With final season’s all-Basque ultimate delayed nearly a 12 months within the hope of permitting followers to attend, Athletic have needed to wait simply two weeks for a shot at avenging their 1-0 loss to Actual Sociedad.
They play Barcelona at an empty La Cartuja in a gathering of the competitors’s two most profitable golf equipment. Barca have gained the trophy 30 occasions and Athletic 23, ending runners-up 5 occasions because the final of these in 1984.
Champions League musical chairs in Italy
Atalanta vs Juventus, Sunday 1300 GMT
Whereas a tenth successive Serie A crown seems past attain for Juventus, the prospect of lacking out on the Champions League just isn’t past the realm of risk both for Andrea Pirlo’s crew.
Juventus occupy third place in Italy however defeat at Atalanta, winners of eight of their previous 9, might permit Napoli to exchange the Turin membership within the high 4.
The match in Bergamo is a costume rehearsal of types for subsequent month’s Italian Cup ultimate, though Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini dangers lacking the Could 19 showpiece following a row over an out-of-competition doping take a look at.
Ajax goal first leg of double
Ajax vs Vitesse, Sunday 1600 GMT
As Ajax streak clear within the Eredivisie, on target for a record-extending thirty fifth title, the Amsterdam giants can safe the primary a part of a home double within the Dutch cup ultimate in opposition to Vitesse Arnhem.
Roma snapped Ajax’s 24-game unbeaten run within the first leg of the Europa League quarter-finals however solely PSV Eindhoven have taken factors off Erik ten Hag’s aspect within the Eredivisie in 2021.
Vitesse gained the cup in 2017 for the primary time and will but obtain the membership’s greatest top-flight end, having come third in 1997-98.
The 2020 ultimate between Utrecht and Feyenoord was cancelled after the Dutch season was terminated early on account of the pandemic.
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