MATCHDAY: Chelsea Host Newcastle United; Barcelona Face Osasuna

A look at what’s happening in European football on Sunday:


Chelsea host Newcastle in the first game at Stamford Bridge since owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the British government over Russia’s war on Ukraine. The west London club has to operate under government spending controls while a buyer is sought for the frozen asset.

One of the most recent Premier League takeovers involved Newcastle being bought by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund despite human rights activists trying to block the deal.

On the field, Chelsea are trying to increasingly secure their hold on third place in the league, while Newcastle are aiming to push further than the current 10 points away from the relegation zone.

Last-place Norwich, who lost to Chelsea on Thursday, travel to Leeds who are only two points above the relegation zone after losing both matches since American coach Jesse Marsch took charge.

Everton, who host Wolverhampton, are only a point above the drop zone after winning one of their five league matches since Frank Lampard was hired as manager. Next-from-last Watford plays at Southampton.

In the pursuit of European qualification spots, Arsenal host Leicester and West Ham takes on Aston Villa.


Second-place Sevilla visit Rayo Vallecano needing to end thier winless streak on the road if they hope to challenge Real Madrid for the Spanish league title. A run of four consecutive draws for Sevilla in away games has helped Madrid open up an eight-point gap at the top.

Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla have battled injuries all season. Their injured list currently includes playmaker Papu Gómez and defender Diego Carlos. Midfielder Joan Jordán is suspended.

Barcelona host Osasuna and need a win to reclaim third place from Atlético Madrid and strengthen their hold on one of the four Champions League spots. Barcelona’s season-best run of four consecutive victories was halted by a 0-0 draw against Galatasaray in the Europa League on Thursday.

Real Betis host Athletic Bilbao after five games without a win, their worst stretch of an otherwise excellent campaign for the team coached by Manuel Pellegrini. Betis have slid from third to fifth in recent rounds.

Real Sociedad welcome Alavés and are also trying to stay in the fight for a spot in European competitions next season.


Inter Milan and Napoli will be looking to overturn a miserable series of results to keep the pressure on Serie A leader AC Milan.

Defending champion Inter, who have won only one of their last five matches to slip five points behind Milan, visit Torino.

Napoli lost to Milan last weekend and have won only one of their past six matches in all competitions. They visit Hellas Verona knowing that a win would send them back to within three points of Milan.

Roma and Atalanta are both nine points below the top four and face Udinese and Genoa, respectively. Fiorentina hosts Bologna.


Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino has spoken of sleeping badly since his team’s stunning midweek defeat — and exit — in the Champions League against Real Madrid in the round of 16.

So a lunchtime kickoff against Bordeaux might not be what he needs. Bordeaux are in the last place, however, and Pochettino said he plans to field some young players hungry to show what they can do.

PSG can afford to experiment given the 12-point lead.

Elsewhere, a win for third-place Marseille at Brest would move them level with second-place Nice in the automatic Champions League spot.


Borussia Dortmund host coronavirus-hit Arminia Bielefeld as they bid to cut Bayern Munich’s lead in the Bundesliga. While still comfortable at the top, Bayern have uncharacteristically dropped points in three of their last five games, drawing the last two, giving Dortmund an opportunity they perhaps didn’t anticipate at this stage of the season.

Bayern lead by 10 points with eight games to play, but Dortmund can cut the gap to four if they wins both of their games in hand – against Bielefeld on Sunday and Mainz on Wednesday.

Bayer Leverkusen will hope to consolidate third place with a derby win over Cologne, and Leipzig can reclaim fourth place with a win at last-place Greuther Fürth.

Fourth is the last place for Champions League qualification. Also, Eintracht Frankfurt hosts Bochum in a midtable clash.

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