A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Sunday:
The race for the Premier League's top four takes centre stage as Manchester United heads to Tottenham and West Ham hosts Leicester. United can consolidate second place with a win at seventh-place Tottenham, which won 6-1 at Old Trafford at the start of the season. Four points separate third-place Leicester and West Ham, which dropped to sixth after Saturday's results. Chelsea and Liverpool are between them. Newcastle is three points clear of the bottom three going into its match at Burnley, while last-place Sheffield United is on the verge of relegation ahead of a home game against Arsenal.
Atlético Madrid needs at least a point from its visit to sixth-place Real Betis to regain the lead in the Spanish league. Real Madrid moved to the top — thanks to a better head-to-head tiebreaker — after beating Barcelona 2-1 in the clásico in Madrid on Saturday. Barcelona stayed one point behind the Madrid city rivals. Seeking its first league title since 2014, Atlético has won only one of its last three league matches. Also Sunday, Valencia hosts fifth-place Real Sociedad and Granada visits relegation-threatened Valladolid. It will be Valencia's first match since defender Mouctar Diakhaby accused an opponent of racially insulting him last weekend.
Inter Milan is aiming for an 11th straight win to restore its 11-point lead atop Serie A when it hosts relegation-threatened Cagliari. Behind it there is a tight battle for second place. AC Milan currently occupies that position and won 3-1 at Parma on Saturday. But Juventus can move to within a point of the Rossoneri with a win at home to Genoa. Atalanta is just a point behind Juve and visits Fiorentina while fifth-place Napoli travels to Sampdoria. Lazio and Roma are also within sight of the top four and the Champions League places. Lazio and Roma play Hellas Verona and Bologna respectively.
It looks like a huge mismatch as third-place Monaco hosts last-place Dijon. While Monaco has lost once in the last 19 games overall, Dijon is facing a 13th straight defeat. Fourth-place Lyon has a tougher-looking home game against midtable Angers. Lyon, which is one point behind Monaco in the chase for a Champions League spot, will be without midfielder Houssem Aouar and forward Tino Kadewere. They are both injured. Fifth-place Lens has five players out due to coronavirus for the home game against Lorient. Rennes continues its push for fifth and a Europa League spot against visiting Nantes. Nantes won the last of its eight league titles 20 years ago but is now languishing in 19th place. Nantes coach Antoine Kombouare played down a locker room clash with captain Nicolas Pallois, saying it was a healthy part of the game.
The Bundesliga’s relegation fight heats up with last-place Schalke hosting Augsburg before Cologne welcomes Mainz. Mainz can leave the relegation zone with a win, and it has looked a different outfit since Bo Svensson took over as coach. Svensson’s team is unbeaten in four games. Cologne is 17th in the 18-team division — two points below Mainz — and on a seven-game winless run since beating Borussia Mönchengladbach. Schalke is 16 points from safety with seven games to play but the Gelsenkirchen-based club still has pride at stake as it prepares for life in the second division. A win over 11th-place Augsburg would be just the team’s second league win in a season that Schalke fans will want to forget.
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The Associated Press