MATCHDAY: Arsenal tries to stay top; Madrid hosts Girona

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


Arsenal tries to reclaim top spot in the Premier League with a win over last-placed Nottingham Forest at home, having fallen a point behind overnight leader Manchester City. Arsenal has a perfect record at Emirates Stadium and has won its last eight home league games, but is coming off a disappointing draw at Southampton last weekend and a loss to PSV Eindhoven in the Europa League. “There’s no time to feel sorry for ourselves. We have to react,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said. In the late kickoff, Manchester United has a chance to leapfrog Chelsea into fifth place when it hosts West Ham and former United manager David Moyes at Old Trafford.


Real Madrid hosts Girona needing a win to restore a three-point lead of the league over Barcelona. Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema will miss his third consecutive game due to muscle fatigue. Coach Carlo Ancelotti says Benzema did not feel “comfortable” after training on Friday and he is “still not 100%.” Madrid lost its first game of the season in any competition this week when it fell 3-2 at Leipzig in the Champions league. Girona looks like an easy opponent for the defending champion to rebound against. The Catalan club, which was promoted last season, has one draw and four losses in its five away games. Villarreal visits Athletic Bilbao in Quique Setién’s first league game since replacing Unai Emery as Villarreal coach. Real Sociedad plays Real Betis at home with both wanting to capitalize on Atlético Madrid’s loss on Saturday that jeopardized its hold on third place. Osasuna also welcomes Valladolid.


Defending champion AC Milan needs to win at Torino to move back within three points of Serie A leader Napoli, which beat Sassuolo 4-0 on Saturday. The Rossoneri are expected to start with center forward Olivier Giroud on the bench ahead of a decisive Champions League game against Salzburg on Wednesday. Also, third-placed Lazio hosts Salernitana looking for its sixth straight clean sheet in the league; and fourth-placed Atalanta visits Empoli. Also, there’s Cremonese vs. Udinese and Spezia vs. Fiorentina.


Union Berlin is the surprise of the Bundesliga and can retake top spot from Bayern Munich if it beats Borussia Mönchengladbach. Union will need to recover its momentum after slipping up in a 2-1 loss to relegation-threatened Bochum last week, though a 1-0 win over Braga in the Europa League on Thursday came as a boost. New Schalke coach Thomas Reis takes charge of his first game at home to Freiburg. Cologne plays Hoffenheim with little rest after having to complete its Europa Conference League win over Slovácko on Friday afternoon. That game was scheduled for Thursday but only six minutes could be played before thick fog brought the contest to a halt.


There are seven games in the league, with Lorient hosting Nice and looking for a win to move level on points with second-placed Lens.


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