Football Across Europe: February 8 – 13

Premier League (England)

Arsenal vs. Hull City: Arsenal fell to Chelsea last weekend 3-1, with only a stoppage time goal from substitute Olivier Giroud getting them on the score sheet. With the loss, they fall to fourth in the table and now 12 points behind the leaders and only a point clear in the top four. Saturday, Alexis Sanchez and company welcome a Hull City side to Emirates who are fresh off a 2-0 win at Anfield, a shocking result and one much needed for the Tigers. Though still in the relegation zone, they’ve been a new club of late under manager Marco Silva and will be looking for yet another upset over a Premier League giant.

Manchester United vs. Watford: United dismantled the reigning Premier League champions Leicester on Sunday, showing all their quality and firepower in a 3-0 win with goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic a few moments apart just before half and Juan Mata early in the second. They welcome Watford, who come in with two consecutive league wins, including over Arsenal on the last of January. United are only two points behind Arsenal and the top four and will be looking to show they will be a force to be reckoned with in the second half of the season.

Liverpool vs. Tottenham: Liverpool‘s miserable 2017 continued on Saturday, falling 2-0 to Hull at home and failing to build on their draw with Chelsea the match prior. Spurs only needed a Harry Kane penalty to defeat Middlesbrough on Saturday and are unbeaten in their last five league matches. Jürgen Klopp’s Reds will now look to fight to remain in the top four with their league hopes all but gone. Spurs find themselves alone in second, though are still 9 points back from Chelsea and will be looking to add every point possible as they fight to catch the leaders.

Burnley vs. Chelsea: Burnley defeated Manchester City on the last on January before suffering a 2-1 defeat to Watford on Saturday. It will be a difficult task indeed next as they welcome Chelsea to Turf Moor for the early Sunday kickoff. Burnley have not lost or even conceded at home in 2017, but they have not faced Chelsea yet. For the Blues, they are 9 points clear atop the table and come in fresh off a 3-1 thumping of Arsenal which saw goals from Marcos Alonso and Cesc Fàbregas sandwiched around a world-class stunner from Eden Hazard.

Bournemouth vs. Manchester City: Bournemouth have also not enjoyed 2017 thus far, with only a point to show for their last four league matches. They conceded six goals to Everton on Saturday and will have to show a vastly improved defensive effort if they’re to challenge their visitors. Speaking of those visitors, City travel to the south coast with renewed form, with three straight league wins behind them, in which they managed a 9-1 combined differential. Gabriel Jesus has been a revelation for City, registering a goal and assist in his February 1 debut followed by two more goals on Saturday, the latter of which in stoppage time to defeat Swansea. Sergio Agüero has had to settle for a bench role of late, but City look like a dangerous side once again.

La Liga (Spain)

Alavés vs. Barcelona: Goals from Paco Alcácer, Lionel Messi, and Aleix Vidal saw Barcelona handily defeat Atletico on Saturday. With Real Madrid‘s match against Celta Vigo postponed due to severe weather, the win sees Barca inch within a point of the league lead, though Real has two games that will need to be made up now. Alavés have suffered only one defeat in their last five, but only have one win across the same stretch, a 4-2 win over Sporting de Gijón on Sunday.

Osasuna vs. Real Madrid: Osasuna welcome La Liga leaders Real Madrid to El Sadar on Saturday. They have only two points to show for their last five league matches, including a 3-2 loss to Real Sociedad on Sunday. The league leaders come in after weather postponed their last match against Celta Vigo. They’ve won four of five league matches in 2017 and will be looking to extend their lead over an Osasuna club in last place.

Bundesliga (Germany)

Darmstadt 98 vs. Borussia Dortmund: Bottom of the table Darmstadt welcome visitors Dortmund on Saturday. They have a mere point to show for their last five Bundesliga matches and are seven points from safety. After suffering a draw against Mainz, Dortmund come into the match on the heels of a 1-0 victory through a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goal over an upstart RB Leipzig club.  They still find themselves 12 points back of Bayern and level on points with Hoffenheim for fourth place in the table.

Ingolstadt vs. Bayern Munich: Relegation-threatened Ingolstadt welcome the league leaders Bayern Munich to the Audi Sportpark on Saturday, two points from safety and looking to pull the upset. The going will be tough against the league leaders, though they do come in on the heels of a disappointing draw against Schalke last weekend. Long-time Bayern and Germany legend Philipp Lahm announced that this will be his last season, and Bayern will look to finish out yet another Bundesliga title season.




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