European football matchday: Manchester United host Leeds for first time since 2004; Neymar-less PSG take on Lille
One of the Premier League’s fiercest rivalaries is renewed when Manchester United hosts Leeds for the first time since 2004.
A look at what’s happening around European soccer on Sunday:
One of the Premier League’s fiercest rivalaries is renewed when Manchester United hosts Leeds for the first time since 2004. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was playing then for a United side that was reigning champion. Now he’s managing a side seventh in the league and without a title since 2013, while Leeds is 14th. The clash on Sunday higher up the standings sees Tottenham and Leicester meeting in search of wins to go to second. It’s Sam Allardyce’s first game in charge of West Bromwich Albion, which hosts Aston Villa in a central England derby sitting next-from-last in the standings. Sheffield United is still sticking by manager Chris Wilder despite being in last place with only one point after 13 matches heading into the match against Brighton, which is a point outside the relegation zone.
Real Madrid visits Eibar needing a win to pull away from Real Sociedad and pull level on points with league leader Atlético Madrid. Madrid enters the match at Eibar in third place, behind Sociedad on goal difference. Zinedine Zidane will be without forward Vinícius Júnior who his coach said is feeling ill with what appeared to be gastroenteritis. Eibar has yet to win at home in seven tries, but it has proven a hard side to beat in recent weeks. José Mendilibar's side is unbeaten in five rounds, a run in which it has conceded only two goals. Cádiz and Granada can both pull level on points with Barcelona with respective wins against Getafe and Real Betis. Celta Vigo hosts Alavés seeking a fourth consecutive win under new coach Eduardo Coudet, who arrived last month.
One of the Milan clubs will end the weekend on top of Serie A. Current leader AC Milan has a one-point advantage over Inter Milan and visits Sassuolo. Milan was hoping to welcome back Zlatan Ibrahimović but the forward was injured again during training on Friday and is expected to be out until January. A Sassuolo win would move it to two points below Milan. Milan is one of two unbeaten teams in Serie A, along with Juventus. Inter is the in-form team in the league, with five successive wins, and it hosts promoted side Spezia. Roma and Napoli are four and five points behind Milan, and visit Atalanta and Lazio respectively. Also, it’s Torino vs. Bologna, Benevento vs. Genoa, and Cagliari vs. Udinese.
After Wolfsburg lost its unbeaten record to Bayern Munich on Wednesday, it has the chance to bounce back at home against promoted team Stuttgart, which sits an impressive seventh. Wolfsburg can move up to fourth with a win and push Borussia Dortmund. Freiburg hosts Hertha Berlin in a meeting of teams which had aspirations of fighting for the European places but are instead hovering on the fringes of the relegation zone.
Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain travels to play title rival Lille under pressure and without the injured Neymar. PSG has already lost four league games and a fifth would leave it two points behind Lyon and four behind Lille approaching the midseason winter break. Neymar has not recovered from a sprained ankle sustained last weekend against Lyon and is out until January. Lille has lost only once and is close to full strength. PSG will welcome back center half Marquinhos after a minor hip injury. Montpellier can profit from Marseille's draw to move up into fourth place providing it wins at Brest, while Monaco is at last-place Dijon.
Prosecutors in Turin have since last year been exploring allegations of false accounting and irregularities in the transfer and loans of players.
Lewandowski, the league's top scorer on 13 goals, is set to miss the derby against Espanyol and games against Atletico Madrid and Getafe.
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