European soccer weekend: Man City, Bayern can clinch titles
Pep Guardiola could seal his first Premier League trophy with Manchester City on Saturday, just as former club Bayern Munich hopes to wrap up a sixth consecutive Bundesliga title.
What to watch in the leading soccer leagues in Europe this weekend:
A potentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to clinch the Premier League title with a win over fierce rival Manchester United has come at the wrong time for Manchester City.
Saturday’s derby match at the Etihad Stadium arrives in the middle of City’s two-legged Champions League quarterfinal against Liverpool.
With City 3-0 down from the first leg, there’s the likelihood that Guardiola will field a weakened team against United in light of the second leg against Liverpool on Tuesday.
With a win, City would wrap up the Premier League title in record time, with six games still to play. United’s 2000-01 team holds the record with five matches to spare.
United is 16 points behind City in second place, two ahead of a Liverpool team also playing in a derby this weekend.
Hours before the Manchester derby, Liverpool visits Merseyside rival Everton and coach Juergen Klopp has a similar dilemma to Guardiola in terms of picking a team with Tuesday in mind.
West Bromwich Albion, in last place and 10 points from safety, will be on the brink of relegation if it fails to beat Swansea.
By Steve Douglas in Manchester.
Bayern will seal the title with five games to spare with a win at Augsburg on Saturday
Most of the excitement will be elsewhere with five of the nine games involving neighbors fighting for the same goals.
Second-last Cologne hosts Mainz for a relegation battle that seems to be the home side’s last chance to avoid the drop. Cologne is six points behind Saturday’s opponent with six games remaining.
Wolfsburg travels to Freiburg for another clash between relegation candidates while last-place Hamburger SV faces a tough task against visiting Schalke, which is second and on a seven-game winning run.
Borussia Dortmund hopes to get over last weekend’s 6-0 mauling in Munich at home to Stuttgart. Dortmund, in third place, is nervously looking over its shoulder at Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt, all vying for Champions League qualifying places.
Leipzig and Leverkusen clash on Monday, a day after Eintracht hosts Hoffenheim.
By Ciaran Fahey in Berlin
Unbeaten all season in the league, Barcelona is on track to lift the trophy.
With eight games remaining, the Catalan club has a nine-point lead over Atletico Madrid heading into Saturday’s game against Leganes.
There’s little prospect of second-place Atletico Madrid catching Barcelona but the Spanish capital derby at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday provides a chance for the visitors to stretch their lead over Real Madrid to seven points.
Fourth-place Valencia, which hosts Espanyol on Sunday, has a 15-point cushion over fifth-place Villarreal in the push for the final Champions League spot.
Villarreal is in contention for the Europa League places, along with Real Betis, Sevilla and Girona.
In the fight against relegation, last-place Malaga on Friday plays at second-bottom Deportivo La Coruna, which is winless in eight matches under coach Clarence Seedorf.
On Sunday, 18th-place Las Palmas visits Levante, which is one position higher.
— By Tales Azzoni in Madrid
All but guaranteed a fifth league crown in six years, Paris Saint-Germain is chasing a domestic record.
With seven matches left, PSG is 16 points clear of defending champion Monaco ahead of Friday’s trip to Saint-Etienne.
PSG will be crowned champion if it wins and second-place Monaco fails to secure a point against Nantes on Saturday.
Coach Unai Emery, out of contract at the end of the season, is likely to be replaced however after PSG experienced another premature exit from the Champions League last month.
Emery wants to set a record points tally in Ligue 1.
“We want to win, to keep progressing, to show how strong we are,” Emery said. “Once we are champions, we want to continue to have the best statistics possible.”
PSG already owns the record with 96 points from the 2015-16 season. The club can finish with 104 points this term.
The battle for second place is very much on. Monaco has a five-point lead over third-place Marseille, with Lyon two points further back.
On Sunday, Marseille hosts Montpellier and Lyon travels to Metz.
— By Samuel Petrequin in Paris
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