MATCHDAY: Chelsea faces Madrid, Villarreal plays Bayern
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Wednesday:
The remaining first-leg games in the Champions League quarterfinals see Chelsea host Real Madrid in a rematch from last season’s semifinals and Bayern travel to Villarreal. Chelsea is the defending champion but mired in off-field problems with the club up for sale. Real Madrid — the current Spanish league leader — will look to put up a better showing against Chelsea than last season, when the 13-time champions were held to a draw at home and beaten 2-0 at Stamford Bridge. Villarreal only qualified for the Champions League by winning last season’s Europa League and is the biggest surprise so far, getting through to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2009. Eliminating Juventus in the last 16 shows how dangerous Unai Emery’s team could be against Bayern, which is looking to become European champions for a seventh time.
Burnley hosts Everton in a match carrying huge significance in the relegation fight in the Premier League. Burnley is in next-to-last place and four points adrift of Everton, which is one spot above the relegation zone. Both have played two fewer games than the other two teams in the bottom four — Watford and last-place Norwich. Everton has lost five of its last six league games under recently hired manager Frank Lampard and has an extremely tough run of games to finish the season, starting with its next four opponents — Manchester United, Leicester, Liverpool and Chelsea. Burnley has big problems of its own, losing its last four games and failing to score in any of them.
Augsburg can take another step toward Bundesliga survival with a home win over Mainz. The teams were initially supposed to play on March 12, before the game was postponed because of a coronavirus outbreak at Mainz. The team returned to action and lost to Borussia Dortmund four days later but has since showed no ill-effects from the unforeseen break, routing Arminia Bielefeld 4-0 then recovering to get a 1-1 draw at Borussia Mönchengladbach. Augsburg beat Wolfsburg over the weekend to move three points above Bielefeld and Hertha Berlin in the relegation zone and two points above Stuttgart.
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