MATCHDAY: Arsenal faces London derby test, PSG rests Messi

A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Sunday:

ENGLAND

Arsenal faces the latest test of its Premier League title credentials in a London derby with Chelsea. Manchester City's late win against Fulham on Saturday saw the reigning champions move back to the top of the table, meaning Arsenal will need a victory at Stamford Bridge to reclaim first place. Tottenham hosts Liverpool in another battle at the top. Liverpool has lost its last two league games and will not want to lose any further ground. New manager Unai Emery will see his Aston Villa side take on Manchester United, while Southampton hosts Newcastle and West Ham is at home to Crystal Palace.

ITALY

It’s a big Serie A Sunday with the Rome derby followed by the derby d’Italia featuring Juventus vs. Inter Milan. Jose Mourinho’s Roma is fourth and Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio is fifth and the two Roman clubs are separated by just one point. Sixth-place Inter is two points ahead of eighth-place Juventus, which is seeking its fourth straight win in the league. Also, it’s Bologna vs. Torino, Monza vs. Hellas Verona and Sampdoria vs. Fiorentina.

FRANCE

League leader Paris Saint-Germain will be without star forward Lionel Messi and central defender Presnel Kimpembe for the trip to fourth-place Lorient. Both players are nursing Achilles tendon problems and are being rested as a precautionary measure. Messi could be replaced in attack by 20-year-old Hugo Ekitike. Third-place Rennes looks for a sixth straight win when it travels to seventh-place Lille. But Rennes is missing forward Martin Terrier as he nurses a minor hamstring injury. Lyon’s new coach Laurent Blanc looks for a third straight win when his side visits Marseille.

SPAIN

Atlético Madrid hosts Espanyol needing a convincing victory after the embarrassing end to a Champions League campaign that left Diego Simeone’s side bottom of its group and without even a Europa League consolation prize. Atlético is third in the Spanish league, 11 points behind leader Barcelona, and cannot afford to fall further behind. Fourth-place Real Betis is level on points with Atlético before it hosts a struggling Sevilla in the Seville derby. Villarreal hosts Mallorca seeking a first win in its fourth game under new coach Quique Setién after he replaced Unai Emery following his move to Aston Villa. Real Sociedad also welcomes Valencia.

GERMANY

Union Berlin hopes to reclaim top spot in the Bundesliga with a win at struggling Bayer Leverkusen, but it won’t be easy for the visitors. Leverkusen is a team stacked with talent just waiting to spark under new coach Xabi Alonso. Alonso has overseen one win, three draws and three defeats in seven games across all competitions since the former midfield maestro took over from the fired Gerardo Seoane. “We need a win,” said Alonso, whose team has slipped into the relegation zone. Union is coming off a 1-0 victory at Belgian side Royale Union Saint-Gilloise that secured its continued participation in the Europa League. Freiburg also welcomes Cologne for what promises to be another hard-fought encounter.

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The Associated Press