MATCHDAY: Bayern, PSG aim to seal titles; City plays Watford
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Saturday:
Bayern Munich can seal a record 10th consecutive Bundesliga title in style with three games remaining with a victory at home over second-placed Borussia Dortmund. Bayern is hoping to continue its strong record against Dortmund after winning their last seven encounters. In Europe’s top five leagues, Bayern is tied for the record of nine consecutive titles with Juventus, which won Serie A every season from 2012 to 2020. For Dortmund, Erling Haaland ended a goal drought by scoring twice against Wolfsburg last week amid speculation over his future. Elsewhere, Leipzig hosts Union Berlin for the second time this week after winning their German Cup semifinal, and Champions League-chasing Freiburg hosts Borussia Mönchengladbach. Bayer Leverkusen visits last-placed Greuther Fürth, Eintracht Frankfurt takes on Hoffenheim, and Cologne plays Arminia Bielefeld.
Paris Saint-Germain is just one point away from sealing a record-equaling 10th league title. With five matches left to play this season, Mauricio Pochettino’s players have the opportunity to wrap up their dominant campaign in front of their home fans against Lens at the Parc des Princes. PSG has a 15-point lead over Marseille and can be crowned even if it loses against Lens on the condition that Marseille does not beat Reims on Sunday. PSG is set to move level with Saint-Etienne, which won its 10th title in 1981 and is fighting to stay up this season. Only two of PSG’s previous titles — in 1986 and 1994 — were conquered before Qatar Sports Investments took over PSG in 2011 with the aim of turning it into a world-class club. Also, Saint-Etienne hosts in-form Monaco and Montpellier travels to Lyon.
Manchester City can move four points clear of second-placed Liverpool in the back-and-forth Premier League title race with a home win over relegation-threatened Watford. A victory for City would put pressure on Liverpool ahead of its Merseyside derby against Everton on Sunday. More intrigue this weekend might lie in the race for Champions League qualification, with two candidates meeting at Emirates Stadium when fifth-placed Arsenal hosts sixth-placed Manchester United. Arsenal is tied on points with fourth-placed Tottenham, with United three points back. Tottenham visits Brentford in a match between Christian Eriksen’s past and present clubs. Last-placed Norwich is eight points from safety heading into a home match against Newcastle, and Leicester hosts Aston Villa in the other game.
Real Betis and Valencia play the final of Spain’s Copa del Rey in Betis’ hometown of Seville. The match will be at Estadio La Cartuja, a neutral ground where Spain’s national team played its group phase matches for last year’s European Championship. Valencia will be seeking its ninth Copa del Rey after winning No. 8 in 2019. Betis’ second and last cup title came back in 2005. The winner will also earn a Europa League berth.
Inter Milan forward Edin Džeko could bring up a century of Serie A goals by scoring twice against his former club as the defending champion hosts Roma. Džeko has a total of 98 goals in the Italian league — 13 for Inter this season and the rest in five years at Roma. A win would send Inter to the top of Serie A, with current leader AC Milan playing at Lazio on Sunday. Inter will also be buoyed after beating Milan 3-0 midweek to reach the Italian Cup final. A win could reignite Roma’s challenge for a Champions League berth. Atalanta has seen its hopes of a top-four finish evaporate following a run of three straight defeats and it visits relegation-threatened Venezia. Two other sides battling the drop, Sampdoria and Spezia, travel to Hellas Verona and Torino respectively.
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