European football matchday: Top 3 in action in England, Dortmund host Bayern in 'Klassiker'

Chelsea are at West Ham in the lunchtime kickoff and City play at Watford in the late game.

The Associated Press December 04, 2021 15:01:31 IST
European football matchday: Top 3 in action in England, Dortmund host Bayern in 'Klassiker'

Chelsea's Mason Mount celebrates after scoring against Watford. AP

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

ENGLAND

Chelsea lead Manchester City in the Premier League by a point but manager Thomas Tuchel has not been happy with his side's last two performances. Chelsea are at West Ham in the lunchtime kickoff and City play at Watford in the late game. Between the fixtures, Liverpool, who are in third place two points behind Chelsea, play Wolverhampton.

Pep Guardiola's City are almost back at full strength with Kevin De Bruyne back in training after contracting coronavirus. Ilkay Gundogan, John Stones and Kyle Walker, who missed Wednesday's win for the defending champions at Aston Villa with knocks, are back in contention.

Last-placed Newcastle host Burnley, who are also in the relegation zone, still searching for their first win after 14 rounds. Southampton, who are two places but five points above the drop zone, play ninth-placed Brighton.

GERMANY

Borussia Dortmund host Bayern Munich for the "Klassiker" with one point separating leader Bayern from second-placed Dortmund in the Bundesliga table. Erling Haaland is back in action for Dortmund and scored on his return from a hip muscle injury last week. Bayern have won their last six games against Dortmund going back to 2019 but have some players still out after a recent coronavirus outbreak, and midfielder Leon Goretzka is an injury doubt.

On-form Bayer Leverkusen host Greuther Fürth, and Hoffenheim can break into the Champions League places with a win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

Mainz host Wolfsburg, Augsburg play Bochum and Arminia Bielefeld take on Cologne.

All Bundesliga games are being played with sharply reduced crowds because of a rise in virus infections in Germany. Leading politicians agreed on a cap on crowds of 15,000 people but some states are using their own lower limits.

SPAIN

The top teams are in action with one eye on important upcoming Champions League's matches. Leaders Real Madrid visit San Sebastián with the goal of dealing a serious blow to surprise contenders Real Sociedad. The Basque Country club is level with Atlético Madrid as the closest chaser to Carlo Ancelotti's Madrid at seven points off the lead. Madrid have won seven in a row across all competitions.

Atlético host Mallorca and fourth-placed Sevilla welcome Villarreal with both hoping for Madrid to stumble.

Seventh-placed Barcelona have a test against fifth-placed Real Betis at Camp Nou. Only Madrid has qualified for the Champions League knockout rounds. Barcelona, Atlético, Sevilla and Villarreal all need favourable results in their final group phase games next week to reach the round of 16.

ITALY

Roma coach José Mourinho faces his former team as Inter Milan visit the Italian capital. Mourinho steered Inter to the treble of Serie A, Italian Cup and Champions League success in 2010. Inter are third, just two points below league leader Napoli, who host fourth-placed Atalanta.

AC Milan are only a point behind Napoli and entertain bottom-placed Salernitana. That comes just three days before a must-win Champions League match against Liverpool but Milan coach Stefano Pioli can't afford to rest players with an-ever lengthening injury list.

FRANCE

League leaders Paris Saint-Germain travel to fifth-placed Lens without Neymar, who won't play again this year after an ankle injury last weekend. Neymar's ligament damage is expected to rule him out for six to eight weeks. In his absence, PSG lacked an attacking spark midweek in a goalless draw with Nice. Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria, who were particularly disappointing in that game, are, however, expected to start at Lens.

Also, second-placed Marseille host Brest looking for a third straight win, and Lille take on Troyes.

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