European soccer midweek: What to watch in the main countries
By The Associated Press
Dec. 18, 2017
What to watch in the leading soccer leagues in Europe in midweek:
The League Cup has reached the quarterfinal stage and the biggest four clubs to get this far — Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal — were kept apart in the draw.
City, which holds an 11-point lead in the Premier League and has not lost a domestic game this season, is at Leicester on Tuesday as Pep Guardiola looks to stay on course to win his first trophy in English soccer. Arsenal is at home against West Ham in Tuesday's other game.
On Wednesday, Chelsea hosts Bournemouth and United travels to second-tier Bristol City, the only team remaining from outside the Premier League. Bristol City as already beaten Premier League sides Crystal Palace and Stoke in its run to the last eight.
United is the defending champion.
— By Steve Douglas in Manchester.
The country's biggest two clubs, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, meet in the third round of the German Cup on Wednesday.
Dortmund, the defending champion, has regained some confidence after an eight-game winless run by earning two straight victories under newly hired coach Peter Stoeger. Yet, a trip to Bayern should be much tougher than matches against Hoffenheim and Mainz.
Bayern leads the Bundesliga by 11 points at the halfway stage and has won 14 of 15 games across all competitions since Jupp Heynckes returned as coach. Heynckes is bidding to repeat his feat of leading Bayern to the German Cup-Bundesliga-Champions League treble, as he did in his previous stint in 2013.
Borussia Moenchengladbach hosts Bayer Leverkusen and Werder Bremen is at home against Freiburg in Wednesday's other matches. Schalke hosts Cologne on Tuesday.
— By Ciaran Fahey in Berlin.
Napoli, Roma and Juventus each play lower-ranked opponents in single-elimination matches for spots in the Italian Cup quarterfinals.
Serie A leader Napoli hosts Udinese in Tuesday's only match. On Wednesday, three-time defending champion Juventus hosts Genoa, Roma welcomes Torino, and Atalanta faces Sassuolo.
If the seedings hold, Juventus will face Roma in the quarterfinals and Napoli will meet Atalanta.
Quarterfinal matches on the other side of the draw are already set: Lazio will play Fiorentina on Dec. 26 and a Milan derby will be played a day later.
Paris Saint-Germain is assured of having a commanding lead in the French league heading into the winter break. The question now is, how big will it be?
PSG is nine points ahead of both Monaco and Lyon going into a home match against Caen on Wednesday, when there is a full round of games before Ligue 1 stops for three weeks.
Monaco hosts seventh-place Rennes and Lyon is at next-to-last Toulouse.
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