A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Sunday:
Spectators will return to an English football stadium for the first time since last year when a crowd of 4,000 is allowed into the FA Cup semifinal match between Leicester and Southampton. Only locals from the Wembley area will be allowed in rather than fans of the clubs. It’s part of a trial for the return of spectators that will require all attendees to produce a negative coronavirus test result. Leicester, the 2016 Premier League champion, is looking to reach its first FA Cup final since 1969. Southampton lifted the cup in 1976. In Sunday’s two Premier League games, Manchester United looks to consolidate second place when it plays Burnley at Old Trafford. Fulham is seven points from safety as it faces midtable Arsenal.
After failing to win its last two games, Atlético Madrid must beat last-place Eibar at home to ensure it stays top of the Spanish league. Atlético will be without Luis Suárez and João Félix, the team’s leading attacking players, due to injury. Versatile midfielder Marcos Llorente is back from a one-game suspension. Second-place Real Madrid, which trails Atlético by one point, crosses the Spanish capital to face Getafe. Madrid’s already depleted defense took another hit when left back Ferland Mendy was ruled out with a left leg injury. Center back Nacho Fernández and holding midfielder Casemiro are suspended. That leaves Zinedine Zidane needing to patch up a makeshift backline with reserve team player Víctor Chust. Fourth-place Sevilla can add to its already commanding hold on the last Champions League berth by beating fifth-place Real Sociedad. Also: Real Betis hosts Valencia; Alavés faces Huesca; Osasuna welcomes Elche; and Celta Vigo is at Cádiz.
will be without Cristiano Ronaldo for a key match at Atalanta. The star striker has a “flexor issue,” coach Andrea Pirlo said. did not specify which flexor muscle Ronaldo had injured. Third-place is one point ahead of Atalanta and one point behind AC Milan amid a tight race for the Champions League places. Milan hosts Genoa in the lunchtime fixture, while Italian leader Inter Milan faces a tricky visit to Napoli in the late game. Roma aims to follow up its qualification for the Europa League semifinals with a victory at relegation-threatened Torino and Lazio hosts Benevento. Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi may miss the meeting with his brother and coaching counterpart Filippo Inzaghi as he recovers from the coronavirus. Also, Spezia plays Bologna.
Borussia Mönchengladbach did its coach’s future team Borussia Dortmund a favor by defeating Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday. That gives Dortmund the chance Sunday to cut the gap on Frankfurt in the last place for Champions League qualification. Frankfurt has a seven-point lead but Dortmund can reduce it to four points with five games remaining if it beats visiting Werder Bremen. Gladbach coach Marco Rose will take over Dortmund next season, giving current coach Edin Terzić the task of trying to qualify for Europe’s top club competition on his behalf. Sunday’s other game between Mainz and Hertha Berlin was postponed due to an outbreak of COVID-19 at the capital club. Hertha’s next three games have been called off as the team is in self-isolation for two weeks, complicating the club’s bid to avoid relegation.
Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain is without several key players for the visit of improving Saint-Etienne, while title rivals Monaco and Lyon are both away from home against struggling sides. With only five games left after this round, PSG can ill afford a ninth defeat but a win will move it just one point behind leader Lille. However, PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino has to select from a squad missing star forward Neymar as well as central midfielders Leandro Paredes and Idrissa Gueye. All three are suspended. Central defenders Marquinhos and Abdou Diallo are injured, while goalkeeper Keylor Navas is rested so he can recover from a sore shoulder. Third-place Monaco plays at struggling Bordeaux and fourth-place Lyon completes the 33rd round at 19th-place Nantes. Lyon is one point behind Monaco and two behind PSG in one of the closest title races for many years. None of the top four can afford to drop points with so few games remaining.
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