What to watch this weekend

January 27, 2018
Real Madrid's Marco Asensio (left) and Karim Benzema
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte.
Liverpool's Roberto Firmino and Manchester City's Kyle Walker (right) vie for the ball during their English Premier League match at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool, England on January 14.
Jamaican forward Leon Bailey (right) celebrates with Bayer Leverkusen teammate Kevin Volland
Napoli's Marek Hamsik
Paris St Germain's Javier Pastore
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SPAIN

After embarrassing elimination by Leganes in the Copa del Rey, Real Madrid returns to the league to face a side it has struggled against in recent years.

Madrid hasn't won at Valencia since 2013, losing twice in that period. The European champions were held to a 2-2 home draw by Valencia this season.

Fourth in the standings, Madrid trails Valencia by five points with a game in hand. Barcelona, which hosts relegation-threatened Alaves tomorrow, is 19 points ahead of Madrid and 11 in front of second-place Atletico Madrid.

Atletico, winless in three games and coming off elimination to Sevilla in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals, hosts next-to-last Las Palmas tomorrow.

 

ENGLAND

Chelsea is looking to avoid a second cup loss in four days.

After being knocked out of the League Cup by Arsenal in Wednesday's semi finals, Chelsea hosts Newcastle in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday with manager Antonio Conte again complaining about the lack of depth in his squad.

Liverpool is also in an all-English Premier League (EPL) match, against West Bromwich Albion, while Watford visits Southampton.

Tottenham travels to Newport, which is also in the fourth tier, today.

Manchester City visits second-tier club Cardiff tomorrow as the EPL leaders continue their bid for an unlikely quadruple.

City has reached the League Cup final and is also through to the last 16 of the Champions League.

 

GERMANY

The competition is fierce behind first-place Bayern Munich with four points separating second-place Bayer Leverkusen and Hannover in 10th.

The 20th round of games starts with Eintracht Frankfurt hosting Borussia Moenchengladbach on Friday, with the winner rising to second. Even a draw would be enough for 'Gladbach to overtake Leverkusen.*******

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could return for Borussia Dortmund at home against Freiburg today. The troubled forward was left out of the squad for the last two games amid reports of a move to Arsenal.

Bernd Hollerbach will make his debut as Hamburger SV coach at Leipzig today. Hamburg is in danger of relegation after six games without a win.

Bayern, which leads by 16 points, welcomes a Hoffenheim side today that has never won in Munich.

 

ITALY

It looks like being a fight between Juventus and Napoli for the title.

Napoli, holding a one-point lead, hosts Bologna tomorrow while Juventus travels to Chievo Verona today.

Third-place Lazio is eight points off the lead ahead of its match at AC Milan, held three days before the teams meet in the first leg of the Italian Cup semi finals.

Inter Milan heads to relegation-threatened Spal seeking a first win in the league since beating Chievo 5-0 on December 3. Inter has slipped to fourth, 11 points behind Napoli.

 

FRANCE

With Paris Saint-Germain eight points clear, the fight for second place is turning into a three-way contest between Lyon, Marseille and Monaco.

Lyon is second, one point ahead of Marseille and two in front of Monaco, but there could be a shake-up this weekend.

In tomorrow's big game, Marseille's well-organised defence will be put to the test by visiting Monaco. Marseille has kept a clean sheet in five straight games and in 10 of the past 13.

Although Monaco is leaking goals, it is at least potent in attack, scoring 20 in the past eight matches.

Lyon travels to Bordeaux tomorrow with confidence high following tomorrow's home win against PSG and victory at Monaco in the French Cup on Wednesday.

PSG hosts Montpellier today. While Montpellier has the best defence in the league with 15 goals conceded in 22 games, PSG has scored a division-high 68.

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