European Weekend Preview: Chelsea battles Man United, Milan looks to rebound and more

By NICK IUELE

English Premier League table-toppers Chelsea will take on Manchester United this weekend. The Blues are still undefeated on the season, while United is tied for second position with Manchester City with 18 points. Chelsea will look to rebound from a Champions League loss to Shakhtar as the Red Devils try to close the EPL gap.

In Italy, AC Milan faces a virtual must-win on Sunday against Genoa at the San Siro. The Italian giants are currently in 15th place in the table, five spots below Genoa. Another loss, which would be Milan’s six of the season, could mean a sacking is in the near future for boss Massimiliano Allegri.

Real Madrid will look to continue their ascent up the table against a solid Mallorca side on Sunday. Despite losing in Champions League during the week, Madrid is in fine La Liga form and has moved up to fourth position after a very shaky start. A win and a Malaga loss could put Madrid in automatic UCL position.

Here is a look at this weekend’s European action:

ENGLAND

Everton and Liverpool square off in the Merseyside Derby on Sunday. The Toffees have only lost once this season and sits in the fourth position in the table. Liverpool, who only has two wins to this point, will be desperate to not only beat their rivals but also take all three points to begin moving up.

Arsenal looks to rebound against Queens Park Rangers after suffering a loss to Norwich last weekend. The Gunners have now lost two in a row in all competitions and will need to right the ship quickly if they want to get into the Europe conversation.

Here are this weekend’s English Premier League matches:

Aston Villa vs. Norwich City

Arsenal vs. Queens Park Rangers

Reading vs. Chelsea

Stoke City vs. Sunderland

Wigan Athletic v.s West Ham United

Manchester City v. Swansea City

Everton vs. Liverpool

Newcastle United vs. West Bromwich Albion

Southampton vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Chelsea vs. Manchester United

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ITALY

After suffering a loss to Juventus last week, Napoli will try to take all three points from Chievo Verona to fend of third-place Lazio. The Juve loss was Napoli’s first of the season and the two goals allowed were two of only three allowed all season. Napoli should take this match with ease to keep pace.

Roma plays Udinese on Sunday. I Lupi are in fifth place right now and can remain in European qualification position with a positive result. Udinese is battling an up and down season, but is still a mid-table club.

Here are this weekend’s Serie A matches:

Siena vs. Palermo

AC Milan vs. Genoa

Catania vs. Juventus

Bologna vs. Inter Milan

Fiorentina vs. Lazio

Sampdoria vs. Cagliari

Torino vs. Parma

US Pescara vs. Atalanta

AS Roma vs. Udinese

Napoli vs. Chievo Verona

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SPAIN

Surprise success Real Betis faces a battle against Valencia this weekend. Valencia has been a much improved club in the last few weeks, moving up to ninth in the table. Betis could need all three points to stay in in the fifth spot.

Barcelona takes on Rayo Vallencano on Saturday. Despite being undefeated and in the top spot at the table, Barca has not been their dominant selves so far this term. With clubs like Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Malaga surging, Messi and Co. will need to not only continue to win, but improve as well.

Here are this weekend’s La Liga matches:

Espanyol vs. Malaga

Real Betis vs. Valencia

Celta Vigo vs. Deportivo La Coruna

Rayo Vallecano vs. Barcelona

Real Zaragoza vs. Sevilla FC

Levante vs. Granada

Atletico Madrid vs. Osasuna

Athletic Bilbao vs. Getafe

Mallorca vs. Real Madrid

Valladolid vs. Real Sociedad

——————

GERMANY

Schalke eyes to continue their excellent form against Nurnberg. Schalke is firmly in third place in the Bundesliga table with 17 points and the club is coming off a huge UCL win over Arsenal.

Bayern Munich will puts their perfect 8-0-0 record on the line against fifth-place Bayer Leverkusen. Munich has only lost once in all competitions this season and has looked like one of the best teams in the world at times. Leverkusen will have their work cut out for them in Munich on Sunday.

Here are this weekend’s Bundesliga matches:

FC Augsburg vs. Hamburg SV

Fortuna Dusseldorf vs. VfL Wolfsburg

Mainz vs. TSG Hoffenheim

SC Freiburg vs. Borussia Dortmund

Schalke 04 vs. Nurnberg

SpVgg Greuther Furth vs. Werder Bremen

VfG Stuttgart vs. Eintracht Frankfurt

Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen

Hannover 96 vs. Borussia Monchengladbach

FRANCE

Marseille is in danger of losing their share of the top spot in Ligue 1 if they lose to a good Lyon club this weekend. The table-toppers suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Troyes last round and are not tied with with Paris-St. Germain, technically in second on goal differential.

Paris St. Germain can take complete control of the table with all three points against Nancy. PSG is coming off a UCL win and have yet to lose in league play this term. However, a loss and a Lyon win over Marseille buts Lyon in the top spot, as only one point separates the three sides.

Here are this weekend’s Ligue 1 matches:

St. Etienne vs. Stade Rennes

Lille vs. Valenciennes

AS Nancy Lorraine vs. Paris St-Germain

Montpellier vs. Nice

Sochaux vs. Evian Thonon Gaillard

Stade de Reims vs. Troyes

Toulouse vs. Brest

Lorient vs. AC Ajaccio

Bastia vs. Bordeaux

Marseille vs. Lyon

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