What to watch in the leading football leagues in Europe this weekend:

December 16, 2017
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne (left) shoots past a diving Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris during their English Premier League match at the Etihad stadium in Manchester, England last season. The game ended 2-2.
Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann
Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi
Borussia Dortmund's Pierre- Emerick Aubameyang
Paris St Germain's Edinson Cavani (right) celebrates with his teammate Neymar after scoring.
1
2
3
4
5

ENGLAND

Tottenham run into the record-breaking Manchester City juggernaut at the Etihad Stadium today. A 15-game winning run has propelled City 11 points clear at the Premier League summit.

"They're the best team in England," Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said, "and one of the best in Europe."

Tottenham's February 2016 triumph at the Etihad is the only time Pochettino has won away with the club in 16 attempts against the other members of the recent top six: City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal.

While Tottenham climbed to fourth by beating Brighton 2-0 on Wednesday, Pochettino's team is 18 points behind City. North London rival Arsenal has slipped to seventh ahead of today's home game against Newcastle.

Burnley is the surprise package of the season, going to Brighton sitting sixth. Third-place Chelsea hosts Southampton. Tomorrow sees second-place Manchester United face West Bromwich Albion and fifth-place Liverpool take on Bournemouth.

SPAIN

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid remain the only unbeaten teams after 15 rounds, and both face struggling opposition this weekend.

Atletico head into today's game against Alaves six points behind Barcelona, the consequence of drawing twice as many games six as the leaders.

Alaves is just inside the relegation zone but has won two straight since Abelardo Fernandez took over as the team's third coach of the season.

Barcelona host Deportivo La Coruna tomorrow. Valencia, five points off the lead in second, visits mid-table Eibar today.

Real Madrid, fourth in the standings, are playing at the FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

GERMANY

Peter Stoeger will seek a second successive win at the start of his reign as Borussia Dortmund coach in today's home game against Hoffenheim.

Stoeger has a contract until the end of the season, and Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann is reportedly the favorite to take the Dortmund job on a permanent basis next term.

Dortmund were leading the standings after seven games but have slumped to sixth. Bayern Munich have a nine-point lead after 16 matches.

Bayern are well placed for a record-extending sixth straight Bundesliga title. Jupp Heynckes's team visits Stuttgart, which have five wins and one loss from its seven home games.

Second-place Schalke face Eintracht Frankfurt.

ITALY

Serie A leader Inter Milan face a tricky challenge against Udinese today.

Inter are unbeaten while Udinese are at the wrong end of the standings, seven points off the relegation zone. However, new coach Massimo Oddo has sparked an upturn in form, winning two matches after losing to Napoli in his opening game.

With a lack of squad depth exposed, Inter struggled midweek before eventually beating third-division Pordenone on penalties. Coach Luciano Spalletti brought on a number of key substitutes in an attempt to progress to the quarterfinals in regulation time.

Inter are a point ahead of Napoli and two above Juventus.

Torino host Napoli today as well, while Juventus travel to Bologna the following day. AC Milan visit Hellas Verona tomorrow after beating the same opponents 3-0 in the Italian Cup midweek.

FRANCE

Paris Saint-Germain look to avoid a second straight away defeat when it play improving Rennes today.

Rennes are revitalised under new coach Sabri Lamouchi and Wednesday's League Cup victory against Marseille were its fourth win in five games, with the other match drawn.

PSG's unbeaten start to the season ended with a shock 2-1 loss at promoted Strasbourg two weeks ago. Coach Unai Emery's side bounced back with a home win against Lille and also knocked Strasbourg out of the League Cup.

Striker Edinson Cavani hopes to end a mini slump for PSG by scoring for the first time in four games.

PSG have a nine-point lead over Lyon, Monaco and Marseille, three teams separated by goal difference.

Marseille visit Lyon tomorrow.

Other Sports Stories