MATCHDAY: Man City has attacking concerns, Napoli vs. Inter
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Sunday:
Manchester City could be without three of its key attackers for a home match against Everton in the Premier League. Kevin De Bruyne is definitely missing after contracting the coronavirus while England players Jack Grealish and Phil Foden were hurt during the international break and are doubts. The other game sees Tottenham play its first home game under Antonio Conte when Leeds travels to north London. Since Conte has arrived, Spurs have won a game in the Europa Conference League and drawn with Everton in the league.
Real Madrid visits Granada without both Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard after both of its stars-in-decline returned from the international break with health issues. Bale hurt a leg muscle with Wales, while Hazard has a stomach virus. Coach Carlo Ancelotti hasn’t relied on either injury-prone veteran much, however, and will have his first-choice attack in Karim Benzema and Vinícius Júnior available. Fellow front-runner Real Sociedad has top scorer Mikel Oyarzabal back after a month out with a leg injury for its home match against Valencia. Sociedad hasn’t lost in 12 league games since a defeat in its season opener. Sociedad is tied on points with Sevilla atop the Spanish league standings with Madrid trailing the pair by one point. Fifth-place Real Betis visits Elche needing to end a three-game losing streak across all competitions during which Manuel Pellegrini’s side has been outscored 9-0. Getafe also hopes to escape last place with a win over Cádiz.
League leader Napoli hosts defending champion Inter Milan for a potentially decisive clash in Serie A. Inter is seven points behind Napoli after 12 rounds and can ill afford to fall any more behind Luciano Spalletti’s unbeaten team. Napoli has only dropped points twice so far this season, while Inter has four draws and one defeat already. Also Sunday, it’s: Sassuolo vs. Cagliari, Salernitana vs. Sampdoria, Bologna vs. Venezia; and Genoa vs. Roma.
High-flying Freiburg hosts Eintracht Frankfurt with both teams in unaccustomed roles. Freiburg was third ahead of the Bundesliga’s 12th round, while Frankfurt was still laboring in 14th place after a difficult start to the season under new coach Oliver Glasner. Glasner’s team has shown signs of improvement after a draw with Leipzig followed by a win over Greuther Fürth. Mainz hosts Cologne to close out the round.
Surprise package Lens travels to Brest looking to avoid a third successive away loss. After finishing seventh last season, Lens has been building on the momentum and climbed to second in the French league behind runaway leader PSG ahead of the latest round. Brest is now undefeated in four games but stands just above the relegation zone on goal difference. Also Sunday, nine-time champion Marseille travels to Lyon looking to rediscover its attacking form.