MATCHDAY: City to celebrate EPL title, PSG can clinch French league
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Sunday:
Manchester City will be in the mood to celebrate in its first game since being confirmed as Premier League champion again. Arsenal’s loss at Nottingham Forest on Saturday ensured City goes into its home match with Chelsea with an unassailable four-point lead. City’s players will lift the trophy after what they hope will be a 12th straight win. In other matches, Leeds starts in the relegation zone going into a trip to West Ham, and sixth-placed Brighton can effectively secure a spot in next season’s Europa League with a win at home to already-relegated Southampton.
Paris Saint-Germain can clinch a record 11th league title with a victory at relegation battler Auxerre if second-placed Lens fails to win at Lorient. Auxerre has more to play for than mid-table Lorient as it is only one point above Nantes in 17th place and the final relegation spot. PSG striker Kylian Mbappé looks to move clear of Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette in the top scorer’s race with both locked on 26. Elsewhere, sixth-placed Rennes needs to win at relegated Ajaccio to maintain its slim hopes of fifth spot and a Europa Conference League place next season.
Borussia Dortmund can move to the top of the Bundesliga with one round remaining if it beats Augsburg away. It has Leipzig to thank for the opportunity after its hated rival defeated Bayern Munich 3-1 away on Saturday. Dortmund can move two points clear of Bayern with a win in Augsburg. A draw is of little use because of the defending champion’s vastly superior goal difference. But Dortmund will need to do it without star player Jude Bellingham after the England midfielder stayed home with an unspecified injury. Also, Stuttgart is fighting for survival against Mainz, where the visitor could leave the relegation zone with a win. Also, Bayer Leverkusen hosts Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Valencia and Espanyol seek wins to avoid relegation. Valencia is two points above the drop zone before it hosts Real Madrid in the powerhouse’s first game since Manchester City routed it 4-0 in the Champions League semifinals. Madrid has only second place to play for after Barcelona won the league in the last round. Espanyol is four points from safety in second-to-last place before it visits Rayo Vallecano in a near must-win game. Atletico is in third place right behind Madrid before playing Osasuna at home. Sevilla also hosts Real Betis in a Seville derby a day after a Sevilla player was targeted by a hanging dummy.
Inter Milan and Lazio will be looking for wins to boost their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League in a tight battle for the top four. Third-placed Inter visits Serie A champion Napoli and will be full of confidence after beating city rival AC Milan to reach the final of the Champions League. Inter has won its past eight matches in all competitions and is third in Serie A, a point above Lazio and two above fifth-placed Milan. Lazio visits Udinese and will be looking to turn around a poor run, which has seen it win only one of its past five matches. At the other end of the table, relegation-threatened Spezia visits fellow struggler Lecce. Spezia is level with 18th-placed Hellas Verona and two points below Lecce. Also, Torino hosts Fiorentina, which could rest a number of players ahead of the Italian Cup final against Inter on Wednesday.
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