A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Saturday:
Manchester City travels to Leicester looking to provisionally go top of the Premier League, with Pep Guardiola's team currently two points behind Arsenal, which plays Sunday. Leicester is starting to find some form, though, after a poor start to the season and has won its last two games to climb out of the relegation zone. Chelsea manager Graham Potter makes his first return to Brighton since leaving the team mid-season to take over the Blues, while Liverpool aims to recover from a stunning loss to last-place Nottingham Forest when it hosts struggling Leeds, which is on a four-game losing streak under American manager Jesse Marsch.
Barcelona, Atlético Madrid and Sevilla will all try move past their early exits from the Champions League group phase when they refocus on the Spanish league. Barcelona visits Valencia three days after it bowed out of the continent’s elite competition for a second straight season. Coach Xavi Hernández says that the game at Mestalla comes at a “moment in the season that requires a reaction” from his team. A win by Barcelona would pull it level on points with leader Real Madrid. Third-place Atlético visits Cádiz after its painful exit from the Champions League. Its players missed a stoppage-time penalty and two chances to put in the blocked spot kick in a 2-2 draw against Bayer Leverkusen that knocked it out on Wednesday. Sevilla hosts Rayo Vallecano, while Celta Vigo is at Almería.
Serie A leader Napoli looks to extend its record winning streak to 13 matches across all competitions when it hosts ninth-place Sassuolo. The Partenopei can also extend their lead over defending champion AC Milan to six points ahead of the Rossoneri’s game at Torino on Sunday. Napoli, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are the only unbeaten squads in Europe’s five major leagues. Also, Juventus looks to bounce back from its Champions League elimination when it visits Serie B champion Lecce without center forward Dušan Vlahović, who picked up a knock against Benfica midweek. Inter Milan hosts struggling Sampdoria with Romelu Lukaku likely to have a spot on the bench after returning midweek from injury.
Bayern Munich can go top of the Bundesliga with a win over Mainz — at least until leader Union Berlin plays Sunday — but will have to do it without a trio of key players. Manuel Neuer is still recovering from a persistent shoulder injury, while Leroy Sané has a thigh muscle injury and Thomas Müller is being rested after a series of minor injuries and illnesses. Still, Bayern will hope to continue its form from Wednesday's 3-0 win over Barcelona. Leipzig is unbeaten in eight games but coach Marco Rose has warned his team to be wary of struggling Bayer Leverkusen, which showed plenty of fight in a dramatic 2-2 draw with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday. Borussia Dortmund has won two of its last six games as Edin Terzic's team heads to Eintracht Frankfurt, while Stuttgart plays Augsburg and Wolfsburg takes on last-place Bochum.
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The Associated Press