A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Sunday:
Manchester United has been winning games but hardly convincingly in the run-up to the derby against Manchester City at Old Trafford that wraps up the 10th round in the Premier League. United is on a three-match winning run in all competitions, with all the victories by a one-goal margin and requiring second-half winners against modest opponents in Brentford, Sheffield United and FC Copenhagen. City is looking to reduce its deficit to leader Tottenham to two points. There are five games in all. Liverpool hosts Nottingham Forest, Everton is at West Ham, Brighton is at home to Fulham and Aston Villa takes a four-match winning run at home into a match against Luton.
Atletico Madrid hosts Alaves looking to take advantage of Barcelona’s loss against Real Madrid on Saturday and move ahead of the defending champions with a sixth consecutive victory in the Spanish league. Atletico is in fourth place at two points behind Barcelona and six points behind leader Madrid. Atletico is led by Antoine Griezmann’s seven league goals this season. Real Sociedad visits Rayo Vallecano after the Basque side beat Benfica in the Champions League. Athletic Bilbao hosts Valencia, while Real Betis welcomes Osasuna.
Romelu Lukaku should expect a hostile reception when the Roma striker visits his former club, Inter Milan, at the San Siro. Inter fans had planned on handing out tens of thousands of whistles to blow at every Lukaku touch in the Serie A game but local authorities have attempted to ban the whistles. It’s a key match with Inter having claimed first place entering the weekend and Jose Mourinho’s Roma improving. Mourinho, who will also be facing one of his former clubs, is suspended. Another big game features AC Milan visiting Napoli in a matchup of the last two Serie A champions.
Bayer Leverkusen can reclaim the lead of the Bundesliga with a win at home to Freiburg. Leverkusen and coach Xabi Alonso are unbeaten this season. They're aiming to take back the top spot in the league from Bayern Munich, which beat Darmstadt 8-0 on Saturday with a hat trick from Harry Kane. Coming off a 1-0 win over Newcastle in the Champions League, Borussia Dortmund can continue its title challenge by beating Eintracht Frankfurt but will have to get past a Frankfurt defense which has conceded just six goals so far, the best record in the league this season.
Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain needs a win at Brest to keep pace with provisional leader Nice in the French league. PSG looks to extend its winning run to four games in all competitions after thrashing AC Milan 3-0 in the Champions League. Brest trails PSG by just three points but its form has dipped lately with two draws and a loss in its last three games. Monaco can snatch the top spot back with a victory at Lille. Gennaro Gattuso and Fabio Grosso were teammates when they helped Italy win the World Cup in 2006, but they will sit on opposite benches as coaches when Marseille hosts bottom side Lyon.
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer
The Associated Press