MATCHDAY: Man U visits Leeds, Bayern out to make amends

February 19, 2022 GMT
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo acknowledges fans after the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford stadium, in Manchester, England, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo acknowledges fans after the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford stadium, in Manchester, England, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo acknowledges fans after the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford stadium, in Manchester, England, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
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Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo acknowledges fans after the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford stadium, in Manchester, England, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
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Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo acknowledges fans after the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford stadium, in Manchester, England, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Sunday:

ENGLAND

Manchester United can open up a four-point gap in the race for the final Champions League qualification spot by beating fierce rival Leeds at Elland Road in the Premier League. Fourth-place Man United is a point ahead of West Ham and Arsenal. Arsenal has played two fewer games than United, though. Man United is looking to build on a 2-0 midweek win over Brighton. Wolverhampton isn’t out of the running for the top four, either, and hosts Leicester. Wolves are six points behind Man United, having played two fewer games.

SPAIN

Barcelona visits Valencia in a Spanish league match wedged between its Europa League tie with Napoli. Xavi Hernández’s team was held 1-1 by the Italian side in their first leg of the playoffs this week, when Barcelona wasted several scoring chances at Camp Nou. Barcelona needs a win at Mestalla Stadium to restore its hold on fourth place in the league after both Atlético Madrid and Villarreal moved ahead on Saturday. Barcelona defenders Gerard Pique and Dani Alves are both suspended for the game. Second-place Sevilla visits Espanyol trailing leader Real Madrid by seven points. Julen Lopetegui will be missing defenders Karim Rekik (injury) and Marcos Acuña (suspended). Sevilla has drawn its last two away games in the league. Athletic Bilbao hosts Real Sociedad in the Basque Country’s fiercest regional rivalry.

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GERMANY

Greuther Fürth is bracing for a reaction at Bayern Munich after the Bavarian powerhouse’s shock 4-2 loss at promoted Bochum in the Bundesliga and its 1-1 draw with Salzburg in the Champions League. Bayern is under pressure to meet expectations against the bottom side. Nothing less than a win will stifle murmurs of criticism against Julian Nagelsmann’s team. Borussia Dortmund is under even more pressure against Borussia Mönchengladbach after its dismal performance against Rangers in the Europa League and its 5-2 loss at home to Bayer Leverkusen still fresh in the memory. Relegation-threatened Hertha Berlin is looking for its first win of the year when it hosts Leipzig in the late game. Another defeat is likely to spell the end for coach Tayfun Korkut.

FRANCE

Marseille and Nice continue their fight for second place and automatic entry into the Champions League. Second-place Marseille holds a four-point lead over third-place Nice with 14 games remaining and has striker Arkadiusz Milik back in form after a recent glut of goals. Coach Christophe Galtier’s Nice is at home to Angers in the early game and Marseille completes the round of matches at home to struggling Clermont. Fourth-place Strasbourg is only one point behind Nice but has a tough trip to improving Saint-Etienne, which is fighting to stay up and showing some encouraging signs under veteran coach Pascal Dupraz.

ITALY

Inter Milan has the chance to leapfrog AC Milan and go top of the Italian league if it beats midtable Sassuolo at home. League leader Milan stumbled Saturday with a 2-2 draw at last-place Salernitana, leaving Inter two points behind in second. Inter has played two fewer games than its city rival. Also Sunday in Serie A, it’s: Fiorentina vs. Atalanta; Venezia vs. Genoa; and Udinese vs. Lazio.

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