MATCHDAY: Arsenal, Man City in action; Madrid derby

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


Arsenal will try to bolster its lead of the Premier League when it visits Leicester. Key midfielder Thomas Partey could return for Arsenal, which has a two-point gap and a game in hand on Manchester City. Second-placed City plays at relegation-threatened Bournemouth. Leeds is just one point above last-placed Southampton. Saints visit Elland Road after beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last week. Aston Villa visits Everton. West Ham hosts Nottingham Forest. In the nightcap, Liverpool will try to bounce back from a stunning 5-2 loss at home to Real Madrid in the Champions League when it takes on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.


Real Madrid hosts Atletico Madrid needing to win the capital derby to ensure it keeps Barcelona in striking distance and its league title defense alive. Barcelona leads the defending champion by eight points and visits modest Almeria on Sunday. Atletico is out of title contention but fighting for a top-four finish to keep its Champions League spot. Atletico has not won at the Santiago Bernabéu since 2016. Its last loss there came a month ago in the Copa del Rey. Third-placed Real Sociedad will be hoping to either move closer to Real or further from Atletico with a win at a struggling Valencia that has lost five in a row to slide into the drop zone. Rayo Vallecano aims to continue its surprisingly strong campaign when it visits a Cadiz in need of a point to escape the relegation one. Mallorca also visits Espanyol with coach Javier Aguirre facing one of his former teams.


Runaway league leader Napoli can extend its advantage to 18 points with a win at Empoli, which needs a result to avoid being dragged into a relegation fight. Napoli is on a six-match winning streak in all competitions and has conceded just one goal in those matches. Moreover, league leading scorer Victor Osimhen has 10 in his past nine matches for Napoli. Empoli is winless in its past four Serie A matches to leave it 11 points above the bottom three. Lecce is just a point behind Empoli and is full of confidence after holding Roma to a draw and beating Atalanta in its last two matches. Lecce hosts Sassuolo, which is just seven points above the drop zone.


Borussia Dortmund can go top of the Bundesliga with a win over struggling Hoffenheim. Bayern Munich's poor start to 2023 has allowed Dortmund to close the gap and it's only behind Bayern on goal difference. American coach Pellegrino Matarazzo has lost both of his first two games at Hoffenheim, which is without a win since October. Leipzig hosts Eintracht Frankfurt in a meeting of teams who are still fighting in the Champions League and in a tight battle to qualify for next season's competition. Wolfsburg is without a win in five games before it plays Cologne. In games that could be key to the relegation fight, Schalke plays Stuttgart, Werder Bremen hosts Bochum and Hertha Berlin takes on Augsburg.


After losing its grip on second place following a shaky run of form, Lens needs to put a run of wins together to get back in the hunt for an automatic Champions League spot next season. Victory at Montpellier will lift northern side Lens over Monaco and into third place. But Montpellier has improved since coach Michel Der Zakarian returned to take charge again and the southern side seeks a third straight win. In the other game, rock-bottom Angers is on a 16-game winless streak as it hosts Lyon.


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The Associated Press