Football Match Today: Manchester United Face West Brom, Arsenal and Real Madrid Also in Action
A look at what’s happening in European football on Sunday:
Manchester United needs a victory at second-to-last West Bromwich Albion to stay in sight of Manchester City in the Premier League race. United has dropped eight points behind City after winning just one of its last four games. West Brom is 13 points from safety and looks destined for relegation after just one win in 13. Everton can move level on points with fourth-place Liverpool with a home win over third-to-last Fulham, while Arsenal hosts Leeds in a match between mid-table teams. Wolverhampton visits Southampton in the early kickoff.
Real Madrid hosts Valencia seeking revenge for its most lopsided loss in the league. Valencia, which has struggled this campaign, dealt Madrid a 4-1 defeat at Mestalla Stadium in November. Carlos Soler scored three goals from the penalty spot in that particularly error-prone effort by Madrid. Madrid cannot afford to fall any further behind runaway leader Atletico Madrid, which is eight points clear with a game in hand. Sergio Ramos and Eden Hazard are still out with injuries. Fifth-place Villarreal faces Real Betis seeking to end a run of four draws. Real Sociedad plays Getafe before it prepares for its trip to Turin, Italy, where it will meet Manchester United in the Europa League. Levante hosts Osasuna before back-to-back games against Atletico over the coming week.
Inter Milan can move to the top of Serie A but it faces an in-form Lazio side which is looking for a seventh successive win. A win would move Inter a point above Milan after the leader lost at Spezia 2-0 on Saturday. Victory would move Lazio into the top four. It is level on points with Roma, which would move into third with a win at home to Udinese. At the other end of the table, relegation-threatened sides Cagliari and Crotone have tough home games against Atalanta and Sassuolo, respectively. Also, Sampdoria hosts struggling Fiorentina.
The Bundesliga battle for Champions League places takes center stage with Eintracht Frankfurt hosting Cologne and Wolfsburg dueling with Borussia Monchengladbach. Frankfurt is the leagues most in-form team with six wins from seven games this year. Bayer Leverkusen is ahead on goal difference after drawing with Mainz 2-2 on Saturday but Frankfurt can reclaim fourth and even go to third depending on Wolfsburg’s result against Gladbach. Third-place Wolfsburg is two points ahead of Frankfurt ahead of its late game, and unbeaten at home. But Gladbach will see the opportunity to boost its own chances of Champions League qualification. Gladbach is just four points behind Frankfurt.
Lille needs only a draw at home against mid-table Brest to reclaim first place from Paris Saint-Germain. But a victory will maintain its three-point lead over defending champion PSG, and move coach Christophe Galtier’s impressive side five points clear of third-place Lyon. As Lille seeks an eighth straight win overall, Monaco is also in fine form and can notch a ninth straight victory by beating Lorient at home in the lunchtime kickoff. While Lille;s defense has been rock solid in allowing only one goal in the past seven games, Monaco has conceded 10 in eight matches. Still, coach Niko Kovac’s resurgent Monaco is poised to move one point behind Lyon.