A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Sunday:
Liverpool travels to Brighton in the fourth round of the FA Cup. The Merseyside team was humbled by Brighton 3-0 this month in the Premier League and Jurgen Klopp called it his worst loss with the Reds. Wrexham, which is owned by actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, faces Sheffield United, while Stoke plays Stevenage.
Real Madrid hosts Real Sociedad in a meeting of the second- and third-placed teams in the league. Madrid needs to win to pull back within three points of leader Barcelona. Sociedad can move level on points with Carlo Ancelotti’s side if it triumphs at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Atletico Madrid visits Osasuna after Diego Simeone’s side was eliminated from the Copa del Rey quarterfinals by fierce rival Madrid. Athletic Bilbao is at Celta Vigo. Bilbao and Osasuna are flying high after also reaching the Copa del Rey final four. Struggling Valencia needs a win when it visits Valladolid.
AC Milan will be hoping to end a terrible run when the defending champion hosts relegation-threatened Sassuolo. Tuesday’s 4-0 loss at Lazio left the team without a win in its past five matches. Ending that streak would lift Milan back up to second, a point ahead of Inter Milan, ahead of the Serie A derby next weekend. Runaway leader Napoli is 10 points ahead of Inter and can extend that advantage with a win at home against Roma. José Mourinho’s team also needs the points in a tight battle for the Champions League qualifying spots. Roma is sixth but just three points behind Inter. Lazio is level on points with Roma and hosts Fiorentina. Juventus hosts Monza and finds itself just a point ahead of its opponent after a 15-point penalty for false accounting.
Bayer Leverkusen welcomes Borussia Dortmund for a Bundesliga clash between teams that have started 2023 with wins. While Leverkusen appears to be adapting to the ideas of new coach Xabi Alonso, Dortmund has been counting on some inspired substitutions from Edin Terzić. Gio Reyna scored both late winners against Mainz and Augsburg. But Dortmund’s dependence on substitutes to grind out results has increased the pressure on Karim Adeyemi, Donyell Malen and Youssoufa Moukoko, who all failed to shine after starting in both of Dortmund’s games so far this year. It remains to be seen if Terzić gives them another chance in Leverkusen. Also, Cologne visits last-placed Schalke.
Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier welcomes back midfielder Marco Verratti for the league leader’s home game against Reims. Verratti has shrugged off a thigh injury and could line up at Parc des Princes. Star striker Kylian Mbappé will look to add to his 196 goals for PSG as he closes in on Edinson Cavani’s club record of 200. A win would put PSG five points clear at the top. But mid-table Reims is on an 11-match unbeaten run which includes holding PSG to 0-0 at home in October. Elsewhere, Lille is unbeaten in six games ahead of a trip to Nice.
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