Promises to build a wall. Descript ...
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Sunday:
Atlético Madrid can win La Liga in the second-to-last round if it beats Osasuna at home and Real Madrid fails to win at Athletic Bilbao. Atlético holds a two-point advantage over defending champion Madrid. Madrid holds the head-to-head tiebreaker. Third-placed Barcelona needs both front-runners to stumble to have a shot at getting back into the fight on the final weekend. Barcelona is four points behind Atlético before hosting Celta Vigo. All the matches for round 37 are to be played simultaneously.
Leader Lille can seal its first Ligue 1 title in 10 years if it draws at home to Saint-Etienne and defending champion Paris Saint-Germain loses against Reims. Alternatively, a win for Lille and a draw for PSG will also put coach Christophe Galtier’s side in the clear. Monaco can still overtake PSG for second and the automatic Champions League spot but still has to seal third and a place in the qualifying rounds. Lyon is pushing Monaco hard, having won their recent encounter, and is only one point behind in fourth. French Cup finalist Monaco is at home to seventh-placed Rennes, while Lyon is at struggling Nimes. Marseille and Lens are level on points and just one ahead of Rennes. All three have their eyes on fifth and the Europa League place. There is tension at the bottom, as Strasbourg, Lorient, Nantes and Nimes continue their battle to stay up.
Liverpool’s bid to qualify for the Champions League is going down to the wire having revived its top-four bid by not losing for more than two months. Starting with already-relegated West Bromwich, the deposed Premier League champion is likely to need to win all three remaining games to make the Champions League. Sunday’s away game is followed by the short trip to Burnley and then a home fixture against Crystal Palace. Liverpool is in fifth place, four points behind Chelsea with a game in hand. Tottenham, in seventh place, hosts Wolverhampton chasing Europa League qualification. Everton, which is behind Tottenham on goal difference, plays last-placed Sheffield United. The first game of the day is between Crystal Palace and Aston Villa whose only remaining target is to finish as high as possible.
AC Milan knows a win at relegation-threatened Cagliari will secure it a return to the Champions League for the first time since the 2013-14 season. But it will be without the injured Zlatan Ibrahimović. Napoli can also boost its chances of qualifying for the Champions League when it visits lowly Fiorentina. At the other end of the table, Benevento hosts bottom club Crotone knowing that defeat will ensure it joins the visitors in Serie B next season. Already-relegated Parma hosts Sassuolo, and Udinese welcomes Sampdoria.
Schalke delivered a parting gift to Borussia Dortmund by beating Eintracht Frankfurt, giving its bitter rival a chance to clinch its Champions League qualification place with a win at Mainz. Dortmund, which won the German Cup on Thursday, can move four points clear of fifth-placed Frankfurt with one round of the Bundesliga remaining. Only the top four qualify. Mainz is safe due to other relegation rivals’ results on Saturday, but will be keen to extend an unbeaten run that goes back to February. Leipzig hosts Wolfsburg in the penultimate round’s last game, when it will hope to get over its cup final loss to Dortmund by securing second place. A draw would be enough for third-placed Wolfsburg to secure Champions League qualification for the third time.
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