MATCHDAY: Man United can end 2022 in top 4; Barcelona derby

A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Saturday:


Manchester United has the chance to end a turbulent year by moving into the top four of the Premier League when it plays Wolverhampton at Molineux. A win would move Erik ten Hag’s United up to fourth position and two points above Tottenham, which hosts Aston Villa in the first league game of 2023 on Sunday. League leader Arsenal plays at Brighton in the late game. Second-place Manchester City hosts Everton — with Toffees manager Frank Lampard under increased pressure — while third-place Newcastle welcomes Leeds. Also Saturday, it’s: Bournemouth vs. Crystal Palace, and Fulham vs. Southampton.


Robert Lewandowski is a surprise inclusion in Barcelona’s squad for its derby against Espanyol after a court temporarily lifted the three-match suspension he incurred after protesting for being sent off in the last club match before the World Cup break. The Poland striker leads the Spanish league with 13 goals and is a large reason why Xavi Hernández’s team can reclaim the lead with a win. Defender Ronald Araújo has recovered from injury and will be available for Barcelona’s first game since a seven-week World Cup stoppage. Real Sociedad hosts a feisty Osasuna side with the Basque club needing to win to recover third place from Atlético Madrid. Villarreal and Valencia also meet in a regional derby with the pair separated by two points in ninth and 10th place, respectively.


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