A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Sunday:
Real Madrid is without Karim Benzema when it hosts Mallorca in the Spanish league. Benzema injured a tendon and a muscle in his right leg in Madrid’s 3-0 win at Celtic in the Champions League. Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti says that he will give more playing time to Eden Hazard after the player stepped up to lead the team in Glasgow with a goal and two assists. Ancelotti could also rest some other regular starters ahead of the Champions League match against Leipzig on Wednesday and then a derby against Atlético Madrid. Coached by Javier Aguirre, Mallorca has only lost once in four rounds. Undefeated Villarreal visits Real Betis in a clash of teams hoping to compete for a top-four finish. A win would lift Villarreal level on points with overnight leader Barcelona, which is one point ahead of Madrid.
Atalanta can reclaim the Serie A lead with a win over promoted Cremonese. Luis Muriel returns from injury in Atalanta’s attack, while Duvan Zapata remains out. Juventus looks to bounce back from its loss at Paris Saint-Germain when it hosts Salernitana. Also, Silvio Berlusconi’s Monza seeks its first points at Lecce, with coach Giovanni Stroppa likely needing a result to keep his job. Bologna faces Fiorentina in its first match since firing Siniša Mihajlović.
Freiburg can reclaim first place in the Bundesliga with a win or even a draw against visiting Borussia Mönchengladbach. But Freiburg coach Christian Streich says that “doesn’t interest me at all.” His team has 12 points from five games. For Streich, “things are going well at the moment.” Also, Union Berlin faces fellow unbeaten side Cologne. The two teams are the leaders for distance covered per game in the division. Union has never lost a competitive game to Cologne in eight meetings since Urs Fischer has been coach, with six of those ending in his team’s victory.
Lyon has enjoyed a good start to the season with 13 points from six games. Its unbeaten record in the French league, however, ended in a 3-1 defeat at Lorient midweek. The loss highlighted the seven-time champion’s defensive struggles ahead of Sunday’s trip to Monaco. Lyon has produced just one clean sheet so far. But with Jerome Boateng still unfit to play, Lyon coach Peter Bosz will likely stick to the same defensive lineup. Monaco has been struggling with consistency so far and lags five points behind Lyon.
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