A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Saturday:
Manchester City can move back to the top of the Premier League with a win against Fulham. Early season leader Arsenal does not play until Sunday, meaning it is an opportunity for Pep Guardiola's team to take advantage and keep the pressure on the London club, which faces a test of its title credentials against Chelsea. At the other end of the table, the bottom three are all in action. Nottingham Forest hosts Brentford, Wolves are at home against Brighton, and Leicester travels to Everton. Leeds, meanwhile, will look to build on last week's shock win at Liverpool when it hosts Bournemouth.
Gerard Pique, a defender who has helped Barcelona win 30 titles in his long career, will play his final game at Camp Nou when Almería visits. The game comes two days after Pique made the surprise announcement that he's retiring at 35. A win by Barcelona would lift it ahead of league leader Real Madrid. Osasuna is at Celta Vigo seeking a victory that would keep it in the fight for a European competition berth. Cádiz visits Getafe looking to build on its 3-2 win in the last round over Atlético Madrid. Valladolid hosts Elche.
Serie A leader Napoli will be without one of its best players for the top-of-the-table clash at second-placed Atalanta. Georgia winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who has been a revelation, was ruled out of the trip with “acute lower back pain.” A win for unbeaten Napoli would send the team eight points clear at the top of the standings, albeit possibly only for a few hours before third-placed AC Milan hosts Spezia. Milan is six points behind Napoli. Napoli lost its first match in any competition this season at Liverpool in the Champions League on Tuesday. It still won the group. Milan also qualified for the last 16 and, with that achieved, will be looking to refocus on defending the Serie A title. The Rossoneri fell to their second league defeat last week, at Torino, but rested several players and are also struggling with injuries. Spezia is only three points above the relegation zone. Bottom club Cremonese visits Salernitana, which has pushed itself away from the drop zone with three wins in its past four matches. Also, Empoli hosts Sassuolo.
With Bundesliga leader Union Berlin not playing till Sunday, the chasing pack has a chance to increase the pressure. Bayern Munich can go top with a win or even a draw at Hertha Berlin. The 10-time defending champion is just a point behind Union and has a superior goal difference. Hertha has lost its last five games against Bayern by a combined score of 18-4. Borussia Dortmund can move a point behind Union with a win at home over relegation-threatened Bochum. Schalke visits Werder Bremen for a duel between promoted sides. Bremen was eighth ahead of the 13th round while Schalke was bottom. Also, Mainz hosts Wolfsburg, Leipzig visits Hoffenheim and Eintracht Frankfurt plays in Augsburg.
Second-placed Lens travels to struggling Angers looking to boost its Champions League bid with a fourth straight league win. After 13 rounds, the northern side is just five points off leader Paris Saint-Germain and has good hopes it will return to Europe’s top tournament after a 20-year absence. After his hat trick against Toulouse last weekend, in-form striker Lois Openda should again lead Lens’ attacking line. In a sharp contrast with its rival’s form, Angers has lost its last five games and sits at the bottom of the standings. Ajaccio hosts Strasbourg in the other game.
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The Associated Press