Football Across Europe: February 3 – 7

Premier League (England)

Chelsea vs. Arsenal: Table-leading Chelsea welcome Arsenal to Stamford Bridge on Saturday for the weekend’s first kickoff. Chelsea was held to a draw at Anfield on Tuesday despite a splendid free kick goal from David Luiz. That point still saw them extend their lead over Arsenal, though, as the Gunners suffered a terrible 2-1 defeat at the hands of Watford at home the same evening. Nine points now separate the two London clubs, so Arsenal will be hoping Alexis Sánchez and Mesut Özil can out-shine the likes of Diego Costa, Pedro, and N’Golo Kanté.

Hull City vs. Liverpool: The Reds travel east to KCOM Stadium to take on Hull City on Saturday. Liverpool drew Chelsea on Tuesday through a Georginio Wijnaldum equalizer, though remain fourth in the table, 10 points behind Chelsea. Hull earned a point through a hard-fought and well-deserved draw at Old Trafford on Tuesday which sees them a point above Sunderland at the bottom of the table. Despite losing Robert Snodgrass to West Ham, Hull had a busy January signing window and will look to build on Tuesday’s performance and frustrate another big club.

Tottenham vs. Middlesbrough: Tottenham look to emerge from consecutive draws in league play and notch three points when Middlesbrough visit White Hart Lane over the weekend. Spurs haven’t lost a match in any competition since Dec. 11, and have a great opportunity to put pressure on Chelsea in the title race with a win. Meanwhile, Middlesbrough are 0-3-3 in league play since their last victory and need all the points they can get to stay afloat in the relegation battle.

Manchester City vs. Swansea: Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City can continue to flush out a disappointing first half of the season when Swansea City come to town Sunday. The Citizens are firing after a 4-0 dismantling of West Ham during the week, but need to keep the ball rolling with the top-four race tightening up. Swansea have fought their way out of the bottom of the table with two straight wins, but Paul Clement’s crew will need more of those results to avoid relegation.

Leicester City vs. Manchester United: Speaking of relegation, defending-champions Leicester City are shockingly in the hunt there entering a home showdown with Manchester United. Leicester are just two points from the drop zone after notching one point in their last four outings, giving them the worst record after 23 games by any reigning top-flight champion. United are unbeaten in their last 14, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and company’s league-leading nine draws are halting their dwindling top-four challenge.

La Liga (Spain)

Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao: Having suffered a draw in their last La Liga match, Barcelona will look to manage fitness after a Copa del Rey semifinal first leg away match win against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday before welcoming Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

Sevilla vs. Villareal: Despite a setback in their last La Liga match, Sevilla see themselves level with Barcelona in the La Liga table, only 4 points behind Real Madrid, a team they defeated earlier this month. Villareal sit sixth in the table but come to town with a victory in their last La Liga match.

Celta Vigo vs. Real Madrid: A little more than a week since dumping the La Liga giants out of the Copa del Rey, Celta Vigo welcome Real Madrid once again to Balaídos on Sunday. Cristiano Ronaldo and company will know the results of the two teams closest to them in the table when they kick off, and could be looking to retain their La Liga lead and exact a bit of revenge at the expense of Celta Vigo.

Bundesliga (Germany)

Bayern Munich vs. Schalke 04: Top of the table Bayern Munich welcomes Schalke to the Allianz Arena on Saturday. Unbeaten in 2017, the German powerhouse will look to extend its lead at the expense of a mid-table Schalke squad that comes in on the heels of a loss in their last Bundesliga match.

Borussia Dortmund vs. RB Leipzig: On the heels of a 1-1 draw with Mainz in their last Bundesliga action, Dortmund welcome second place RB Leipzig to the Westfalenstadion on Saturday. Perennial challengers to the Bundesliga title in recent years, Borussia Dortmund find themselves in fourth place early in the new year, 14 points behind Bayern and 11 points behind their visitors, the surprising RB Leipzig. Despite two consecutive wins to open 2017, Leipzig find themselves looking up at Bayern due to the 3-0 defeat suffered in Munich right before Christmas. Bayern’s match will have finished when this one kicks off, though, with a share of the points lead potentially for the taking.

Serie A (Italy)

Juventus vs. Inter Milan: Inter travel to Juventus Stadium in Turin on Sunday to take on the league-leading Bianconeri. Juventus come in with three consecutive victories in all comps since suffering only their fourth Serie A defeat of the season a few weeks ago. Inter have won their last three league matches but were dumped from the Coppa Italia quarterfinals on Tuesday. Nine points separate the two clubs, though Inter is only 5 behind second-place Roma.

Roma vs. Fiorentina: Second place Roma welcome Fiorentina to the Stadio Olimpico next Tuesday evening. Only four points behind table-leading Juventus, Roma will be keen to close the gap further or remain on pace, depending on the result of Juve’s match on Sunday against Inter. Despite advancing to the Coppa Italia semis on Wednesday, Roma comes in needing to right the ship after suffering a loss in their last league match on Sunday, a gutting 3-2 defeat to Sampdoria. Fiorentina come in fresh off a 2-1 win on Wednesday against bottom of the table Pescara.

Ligue 1 (France)

Monaco vs. OGC Nice: It will be a clash of the two top French teams at Stade Louis II on Saturday afternoon when Monaco welcome Nice to town. Though Monaco hold a vastly superior goal differential, the two clubs are level on points atop Ligue 1, with PSG lurking a mere three points behind. Monaco were held to a 1-1 draw with PSG on Sunday. Nice beat Guingamp 3-1 on Sunday after settling for draws in their previous three Ligue 1 affairs.



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