European football matchday: Atletico Madrid keen to widen gap on Barcelona, Real Madrid

Leading scorer Luis Suárez has four yellow cards and one more would mean he would miss the next round's derby with Real Madrid.

The Associated Press February 28, 2021 15:51:44 IST
European football matchday: Atletico Madrid keen to widen gap on Barcelona, Real Madrid

Chelsea's Olivier Giroud scores during their Champions League round of 16 first leg match against Atletico de Madrid. AFP

A look at what's happening in European football on Sunday:

SPAIN

Atlético Madrid visit Villarreal needing a win after hitting a slump that has let Barcelona and Real Madrid get back in the Spanish league title hunt. Diego Simeone's team have only one win in their last four games in the competition, and they travel to Villarreal after having lost to Chelsea 1-0 in the Champions League.

Leading scorer Luis Suárez has four yellow cards and one more would mean he would miss the next round's derby with Madrid.

Unai Emery's Villarreal are in sixth place after a run of five draws and one loss.

Granada host Elche looking to build on their elimination of Napoli from the Europa League. Real Betis are at Cádiz seeking to keep up their good run in 2021, while Iago Aspas returns from a one-game suspension to lead Celta Vigo against relegation-threatened Valladolid.

GERMANY

Freiburg's visit comes at just the right time for confidence-battered Bayer Leverkusen. Christian Streich's Freiburg haven't beaten Leverkusen for seven games, giving some encouragement to his under-pressure counterpart Peter Bosz.

Bosz's team was knocked out of the Europa League by Swiss side Young Boys on Thursday, another blow after Leverkusen were knocked out of the German Cup by fourth-tier Rot-Weiss Essen.

Leverkusen's goal of Champions League qualification is also under threat with just two wins from their nine Bundesliga games in 2021. Leverkusen are missing important players such as Lars Bender, Julian Baumgartlinger and goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky due to injuries. Hradecky's replacement, Niklas Lomb, has been prone to costly mistakes.

Union Berlin host Hoffenheim for a duel between teams stretched by injuries. Relegation contender Mainz hope to build on some encouraging results with a win at home over Augsburg.

FRANCE

Lyon will move to the top of the league on goal difference if they win at Marseille and Lille loses at home to lowly Strasbourg.

Marseille's fans will be in optimistic mood, however, after unpopular president Jacques-Henri Eyraud was replaced and Jorge Sampaoli named as the new coach.

In another boost for Marseille supporters, striker Arkadiusz Milik and goal-scoring winger Florian Thauvin are back from injury.

Fourth-placed Monaco look to make it 12 league games unbeaten when they host Brest. Niko Kovac's slick Monaco side has not lost since mid-December and comfortably won at PSG 2-0 last weekend.

Updated Date:

also read

LaLiga: Barcelona edge closer to top spot after Ousmane Dembele's late winner against Real Valladolid
Sports

LaLiga: Barcelona edge closer to top spot after Ousmane Dembele's late winner against Real Valladolid

Victory makes it six in a row for them in LaLiga, another win – particularly after an unconvincing performance – enhancing the sense that momentum now lies with Atletico's rivals.

LaLiga: Atletico Madrid held by Real Betis, Diego Simeone asks team to 'resist' in title push
Sports

LaLiga: Atletico Madrid held by Real Betis, Diego Simeone asks team to 'resist' in title push

Atletico Madrid had been knocked off the top by Real Madrid for the first time since December when they went on to mount a run that saw them go 10 points clear with a game in hand

LaLiga: Atletico Madrid dealt another title blow after 0-1 defeat by Sevilla
Sports

LaLiga: Atletico Madrid dealt another title blow after 0-1 defeat by Sevilla

Marcos Acuna headed in the winner for Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, with Atletico's grip on first place loosening even further and their in-form rivals primed to take advantage.