Derby weekend in European football
LONDON, England (AP):
The 12th round of the Premier League kicks off tomorrow with the north London derby, and a chance for Tottenham to validate their supremacy over Arsenal.
For the first time in 22 years, Tottenham finished above their neighbours last season. Already, Mauricio Pochettino's second-place team has a four-point advantage over Arsene Wenger's Arsenal.
Manchester City are running away at the top of the standings, pushing eight points clear of Manchester United and Tottenham. City striker Sergio Aguero says he will be fit for tomorrow's game at Leicester after being taken to a hospital feeling dizzy during Argentina's game against Nigeria on Tuesday.
United will face Newcastle tomorrow without Phil Jones. Manager Jose Mourinho is annoyed the defender featured for England against Germany last week despite already struggling with a thigh problem.
Champions Chelsea, in fourth, travel to West Bromwich Albion tomorrow. Among the other games, Everton are set to face Crystal Palace, while still under the temporary command of David Unsworth as the club has failed to appoint a permanent successor yet to the fired Spain Ronald Koeman.
Meanwhile, in Spain, Real Madrid play their first derby at Atletico Madrid's new Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
The city rivals are already far behind leaders Barcelona, so if either loses tomorrow they could be facing an 11-point deficit against the thriving Catalan club.
In south Madrid earlier tomorrow Barcelona, winners of 10 of their 11 league matches, play mid-table Leganes.
Second-place Valencia, four points off the lead, will try to extend their seven-game winning streak when they face Espanyol on Sunday.
Valencia, Barcelona, and Atletico are the only unbeaten teams after 11 rounds.
Barcelona's only setback was a 1-1 draw against Atletico at the Metropolitano, where the hosts haven't won in four matches. Atletico have won only two of their six games at the venue inaugurated this season.
Diego Simeone's team has won only two of its last nine games in all competitions.
Real Madrid, who have never overcome an eight-point deficit to Barcelona in the league, are coming off a home win against Las Palmas after two consecutive losses.
After three defeats in a four-game winless run, Borussia Dortmund are desperate to get back on track in the Bundesliga with a win at Stuttgart today.
Dortmund were leading the league by five points from Bayern Munich last month, but are yet to recover after losing at home to Leipzig. Bayern are now six points ahead, with Leipzig sandwiched in second place between them.
Bayern host Augsburg for a Bavarian derby tomorrow when the defending champions will look to extend Jupp Heynckes' record of seven wins across all competitions since his return as coach.
Leipzig, who are four points behind Bayern, visit Bayer Leverkusen for what should be a tough encounter tomorrow.
Cologne and Werder Bremen are still looking for their first wins. Cologne, bottom with only two points after nine defeats, visit Mainz tomorrow, while Bremen hosts promoted Hannover on Sunday.
Less than a week after Italy's failed qualification for the World Cup, Serie A returns with a big weekend.
Six of the top seven teams play one another, highlighted by Roma versus Lazio in the Rome derby tomorrow and leaders Napoli's match against AC Milan.
On Sunday, defending six-time champions Juventus visit surprising Sampdoria, and Inter Milan host Atalanta, which was last season's revelation.
The first derby since longtime Roma captain Francesco Totti retired is the most anticipated meeting between the capital's two clubs in years.
Lazio and Roma have had strong starts and sit fourth and fifth, respectively, in the standings with only one point separating them.
It will be a matchup between last season's Serie A scoring leader, Roma's Edin Dzeko (29 in 37 matches), and this season's scoring leader, Lazio's Ciro Immobile (14 in 11).