What to watch in the main European football leagues

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November 04, 2017
Chelsea's Marcos Alonso (right), vies for the ball with Tottenham Hotspur's Victor Wanyama during their English Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Wembley stadium in London, in August. Chelsea won the game 2-1. (AP Photo)
PSG's Neymar (right)
Real Madrid's Marcelo (left), vies for the ball with Betis' Antonio Barragan during the Spanish La Liga match between Real Madrid and Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, in September. (AP Photo)
AC Milan's Nikola Kalinic (left) celebrates with his teammate Franck Kessie after scoring the opening goal during a Serie A match between AC Milan and Udinese, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy in September. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Bayern's Joshua Kimmich (right) makes an acrobatic play to beat Timo Werner to the ball during the Germanr Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig in Munich, Germany, last week.
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What to watch in the main European football leagues

ENGLAND

It's Manchester against London in the Premier League tomorrow.

Manchester City, the league's last unbeaten, sits five points clear of neighbour United ahead of the visit of Arsenal. And the goals are flowing from Pep Guardiola's side, with 35 in the opening 10 games 12 more than United.

Jose Mourinho takes United to former club Chelsea amid criticism of his team's recent performances.

"Similar performances for some clubs are magic, are examples of brilliant tactics and amazing attitude of the players," Mourinho said, "and for other teams the same kind of performance becomes conservative, negative, so many adjectives."

But Chelsea counterpart Antonio Conte is in a more fragile position after the Premier League champions lost to Roma 3-0 in the Champions League.

Tottenham, which is between United and Chelsea in third, returns to domestic action after humbling Real Madrid 3-1 to qualify for the Champions League knockout phase. Tottenham hosts bottom-place Crystal Palace after losing its last two domestic games in the League Cup and Premier League.

SPAIN

The leading clubs resume their Spanish title challenges after a tricky week in the UEFA Champions League.

Barcelona takes on fifth-place Sevilla holding a four-point lead over Valencia at the summit. But the Catalan side showed signs of weariness when it drew 0-0 at Olympiakos in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Madrid rivals Real and Atletico are already eight points behind Barcelona after 10 matches.

Real Madrid, which hosts Las Palmas tomorrow, is reeling from away losses in the league to Girona and to Tottenham in the Champions league.

Atletico Madrid, whose chances of advancing in the Champions League are virtually over after drawing with Qarabag, is at Deportivo La Coruna today. Atletico has been struggling recently, with only one victory in eight matches. Valencia, which has won six games in a row in the league, hosts Leganes today.

GERMANY

It's first versus second and third versus fourth in Germany today.

With only one win in six games in all competitions, Borussia Dortmund is low on confidence. But it's still only three points behind Bayern Munich going into the meeting with the Bundesliga leader today.

"The mood in the camp isn't quite what it was at the start," Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic said, reflecting on how 19 points were taken from a possible 21 in the opening weeks of the season.

Dortmund's Champions League hopes have also gone miserably, collecting only two points from four games. RB Leipzig is also third in its group but with a far more realistic shot at making the last 16 despite losing to Porto on Wednesday.

Leipzig, which is a point behind Dortmund in third place in the Bundesliga, hosts fourth-place Hannover today

ITALY

Vincenzo Montella's future as AC Milan coach is under scrutiny ahead of their Serie A game at Sassuolo today.

Despite an offseason of heavy spending, Milan has won only one of its last six matches and was thoroughly outplayed in a 2-0 loss to Juventus last weekend.

Gennaro Gattuso, Milan's youth squad coach and former gritty midfielder, is being mentioned as a possible replacement for Montella.

Serie A leader Napoli will need to find a solution for a long-term injury to left back Faouzi Ghoulam before a visit to Chievo Verona.

Second-place Inter Milan hosts Torino and six-time defending champion Juventus welcomes bottom side Benevento.

Benevento has lost all of its matches and is one more loss away from matching Manchester United's streak of 12 to open the 1930 season as the worst ever start in Europe's five major leagues.

FRANCE

Unbeaten leader Paris Saint-Germain faces a testing trip today to Angers, which is one of the league's toughest sides to beat at home.

Second-place Monaco is four points behind and, should PSG drop points, is poised to take advantage with a home game against mid-table Guingamp. Monaco hopes to welcome back top scorer Radamel Falcao after two games out with muscle fatigue.

Nice challenged for the title for long spells last season, but is now looking just over its shoulder at the relegation zone. Lucien Favre's side has lost seven times already and is in 17th place ahead of a must-win home game against Dijon tomorrow. More dropped points could jeopardise Favre's position.

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