A look at what’s happening around European soccer on Saturday:
Tottenham expects to have Lucas Moura and Carlos Vinicius back for the visit of Leeds as Jose Mourinho’s side tries to end a four-game winless run. The Brazilian attackers missed the draw with Wolverhampton on Sunday and were also set to be out of the midweek clash with Fulham before its postponement. With just two points after 16 games, Sheffield United now plays a Crystal Palace side that has conceded 11 goals in its last three games. Arsenal academy graduate Emile Smith Rowe is eyeing a fourth start for the club against West Bromwich Albion. The 20-year-old midfielder has helped Arsenal secure back-to-back wins to move away from relegation danger to 13th. Wolverhampton is 12th ahead of its trip to struggling Brighton, having struggled to reproduce the form which helped the team to two successive seventh-place finishes since returning to the Premier League in 2018.
Real Madrid will be without Sergio Ramos for its home match against a surging Celta Vigo led by the Spanish league’s top scorer. Iago Aspas leads the competition with nine goals in 16 games. The striker has also assisted on six goals. Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane called Aspas “a world-class player.” Zidane left Ramos off his squad with a stomach problem reportedly ailing the Spain defender. Madrid will be looking to rebound from its draw at Elche last round that left it in second place and two points behind leader Atlético Madrid. Celta has been transformed since the arrival of coach Eduardo Coudet in November. It has won five and drawn one in its last six games, moving away from the threat of relegation and up to eighth place. Fourth-place Sevilla visits Real Betis in Spain’s most hotly contested city derby in Seville. Fifth-place Villarreal hosts Levante.
Schalke visits Hertha Berlin and is desperate to end its club-record winless run in the Bundesliga before it becomes the league record as well. Schalke’s run without a Bundesliga victory is already at 29 games. That’s just two off the all-time record set by Tasmania Berlin during the 1965-66 season. Schalke hopes new coach Christian Gross can guide the confidence-hit team to its first league win since beating Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-0 on Jan. 17 last year. Hertha is also low on confidence with just one win from its last six games, and Bruno Labbadia’s team is already close to the relegation zone. Bayer Leverkusen and Leipzig can take over top spot from Bayern Munich for one night at least with wins at Eintracht Frankfurt and Stuttgart, respectively. Second-place Leverkusen is ahead of Leipzig on goal difference, and Bayern is not playing till Sunday. Union Berlin visits Werder Bremen, Hoffenheim hosts Freiburg, Augsburg travels to Cologne and Arminia Bielefeld welcomes Gladbach.
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