What to watch in the main European football leagues

December 23, 2017
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo
Barcelona's Lionel Messi
Juventus' Paulo Dybala
Manchester City's David Silva
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SPAIN

Barcelona will visit the Santiago Bernabeu today looking to make a knockout blow to Real Madrid's teetering title defence.

Madrid is in fourth place and 11 points behind leader Barcelona, although it has a game in hand.

A win for Barcelona, which is undefeated in all competitions since losing both legs of the season-opening Spanish Super Cup, would put Zinedine Zidane's side in an enormous hole before the winter break.

Second-place Atletico Madrid will also try to benefit from the match between its title rivals.

Third-place Valencia also plays today and faces a tough regional derby against Villarreal.

ENGLAND

On a 16-match winning run, Manchester City takes a lead of 11 points into a home match against injury-hit Bournemouth.

Second-place Manchester United visits Leicester while Chelsea, three points further back in third place, is away to Everton.

ITALY

The best attack faces the best defence as Juventus hosts Roma today.

Juventus is second in Serie A with 41 points one less than Napoli in what is shaping up to be the tightest title race in years. Inter Milan is third on 40 points, with Roma on 38 but with a game in hand on the top three.

Roma has conceded only 10 in 16 matches but its defence will be tested by Juventus, which has scored 44 in 17 matches.

The sides had mixed fortunes midweek: Paulo Dybala broke his goal drought and also set up one as Juventus beat Genoa 2-0 in the Italian Cup. It would have faced Roma in the quarterfinals but the capital side lost at home to Torino 2-1.

Elsewhere, Napoli hosts Sampdoria, while Inter will be looking to bounce back from its defeat to Udinese its first loss all season when it visits Sassuolo.

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