MATCHDAY: English guns join League Cup; Barca may play Piqué

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


It's the start of the third round of the League Cup, with Everton and Bournemouth meeting in an all-Premier League match and fellow top-flight teams Brentford and Leicester facing fourth-tier opposition. All Premier League teams are likely to rotate heavily. Bournemouth is the home team against Everton, with both teams coming off losses at the weekend that left them just above the relegation zone. Brentford hosts Gillingham and Leicester is at home to Newport County. It is the stage of the competition where teams playing in Europe enter the League Cup. Those teams play on Wednesday.


Barcelona may still count on Gerard Piqué when it visits Osasuna in its last match before the World Cup break. Piqué was included in Xavi Hernández's squad even though he bid farewell at the Camp Nou at the weekend after announcing his retirement from soccer. Piqué may be needed as Xavi won't have Jules Koundé available because of an injury. Barcelona has won four in a row in the league since losing at Real Madrid last month. Last-placed Elche will continue its quest to win its first game of the season when it hosts Girona, while Valladolid visits Athletic Bilbao.


Serie A leader Napoli hosts 14th-placed Empoli looking to extend its winning streak in the league to 10 games. Napoli will likely still be without winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who also missed a win over Atalanta last weekend because of acute lower back pain. Defending champion AC Milan, which is six points behind Napoli in second, visits relegation-threatened Cremonese. Also, Udinese visits Spezia looking to end a six-match winless streak that has seen it fall from near the top to eighth place.


After finally taking the Bundesliga lead from Union Berlin at the weekend, Bayern Munich will look to stretch its advantage with a win over Werder Bremen. Borussia Dortmund could face a tricky task away to a much-improved Wolfsburg which is unbeaten in seven games in all competitions. Stuttgart plays Hertha as both teams look to move away from the relegation fight, while Borussia Mönchengladbach takes on Bochum. The games are players' last chance to impress Germany coach Hansi Flick before his World Cup squad is named Thursday.


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