Spanish 'Clasico' the top attraction in Europe this weekend

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

What to watch in the leading soccer leagues in Europe this weekend:


For the first time in more than a decade there will be a "clasico" between Barcelona and Real Madrid without either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Spanish rivals meet Sunday at the Camp Nou Stadium with Messi out with a broken arm and Ronaldo far away in Italy playing for Juventus.

The last time the game lacked both stars was in 2007, a 1-0 victory for Madrid at Camp Nou, when Brazilian midfielder Julio Baptista scored the winner.

This weekend's match could be decisive for Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui, who is in danger of being fired following a series of poor results.

Barcelona tops the league with 18 points, four more than seventh-place Madrid, which has lost three of its last four matches.

Second-place Espanyol visits Valladolid on Friday, while third-place Alaves hosts Villarreal on Sunday. Sevilla, two points off the lead in fourth spot, hosts Huesca on Sunday, while fifth-place Atletico Madrid plays Real Sociedad on Saturday.

By Tales Azzoni in Madrid.


Paris Saint-Germain keeps on winning in the French league, and keeps on falling short in the big European games, having been dominated for long spells in Wednesday's 2-2 home draw with Napoli.

It may be a relief to return to domestic duty on Sunday although PSG faces a tough trip to bitter rival Marseille as the visitors seek an 11th straight win in the league, a feat that would equal Tottenham's opening mark during the 1960-61 campaign in England.

Second-place Lille hosts Caen on Saturday and third-place Montpellier travels to Toulouse the same day. Marseille is fourth, trailing Montpellier on goal difference.

After two games in charge, Monaco coach Thierry Henry is finding out how difficult his task is going to be with an injury-hit squad low on confidence. The team is 19th and needs to escape the relegation zone quickly to take pressure off the former France forward. A home win against fellow struggler Dijon on Saturday would be a timely boost for Henry and his side.

By Jerome Pugmire in Paris.


After having its perfect start to the season interrupted with a draw against Genoa last weekend, Juventus will look to begin a new winning streak at Empoli on Saturday.

The seven-time defending champion showed the result against Genoa may have been a momentary lapse when it won 1-0 at Manchester United in the Champions League on Tuesday.

In the most attractive match of the weekend, second-place Napoli hosts Roma on Sunday, with both coming off strong midweek performances in the Champions League.

On Monday, third-place Inter Milan attempts to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat at Barcelona when it visits fourth-place Lazio.

AC Milan hosts Sampdoria on Sunday aiming to rebound from last weekend's derby loss to Inter.

By Andrew Dampf in Rome.


The standout match of the 10th round in the Premier League sees first-place Manchester City visit Tottenham at Wembley Stadium on Monday, a day after the venue stages an NFL game between Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles.

City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, just back from injury, has voiced concern about the likely standard of the playing surface given the short amount of time between the two games.

Asked if he had experience of playing on an NFL field, he replied: "Yes, in a preseason, and it's not nice. It's going to be difficult. I'm not sure how it's going to be."

City is tied on 23 points with second-place Liverpool, which hosts Cardiff on Saturday. Mohamed Salah will look to score for the third straight match for the home side.

Third-place Chelsea has a worry over star forward Eden Hazard's back injury ahead of its trip to Burnley on Sunday. Also that day, fourth-place Arsenal is away to Crystal Palace and Manchester United hosts Everton.

By Steve Douglas, Manchester.


Two Borussias lead the Bundesliga with Dortmund, in particular, high on confidence after a 4-0 defeat of Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Lucien Favre's side is undefeated after 12 competitive games this season, but will be wary of hosting Hertha Berlin on Saturday. Hertha is undefeated for three matches and buoyant after a 2-0 win over Bayern Munich.

Paco Alcacer could return for Dortmund after sitting out the win over Atletico. He has seven goals in just four league appearances. His club's goal difference is 27-8 after eight rounds.

Favre's former side Borussia Moenchengladbach is also in form and can join Dortmund on 20 points on Friday with a win at Freiburg.

Bayern, which broke its run of four games without a victory last weekend, visits Mainz on Saturday, when it hopes to overtake third-place Werder Bremen.

Werder hosts struggling Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.

By Ciaran Fahey in Berlin.


More AP soccer: and