The Liverpool-Manchester United shock will be the main highlight of the 26th day of the English championship on Sunday, while FC Barcelona, in the lead in Spain but deprived of many executives, must avoid the return of Real Madrid.
. England derby
The weekend in England will be marked on Sunday by the clash between Liverpool and Manchester United, the two most successful clubs in the country. In bad shape in recent weeks and swept away at Anfield by Real Madrid in the knockout stages of the Champions League (5-2), the Reds (6th) are once again starting to believe in a direct qualification for the C1 after their success on Wednesday against Wolverhampton (2-0). But they don’t have much leeway either and shouldn’t flinch against the Red Devils. The task will be difficult, Manchester United, fresh winner of the League Cup, its first trophy for six years, and 3rd in the championship, having the wind in its sails. The distance duel for the title also continues between the leader Arsenal, who receive Bournemouth, and their runner-up Manchester City, opposed to Newcastle (5th).
. Barca in danger
In Spain, a risky match for FC Barcelona! With Ousmane Dembélé, Pedri and Robert Lewandowski in the recovery phase, Gavi, Raphinha and coach Xavi suspended for accumulating yellow cards, the Catalans receive Valencia on Sunday with the obligation to win, a week after their 1-0 defeat in the pitch of the promoted Almeria. In the event of another misstep, it will be a boon for Real Madrid, which travels to Seville on Sunday to face Betis, deprived of Nabil Fekir (operated on the anterior cruciate ligament of the left knee), because a success, combined with a defeat for Barça, would bring them back to within four points of the lead.
. Dortmund tests its claims
Author of an impressive series in 2023 of seven consecutive victories in the Bundesliga (nine including the Champions League and the Cup), Borussia Dortmund (2nd, 46 points) is testing its title claims on Friday against Leipzig (4th, 42 pts). ) at the start of the 23rd day of the championship. Four days from traveling to Chelsea in the round of 16 second leg of the C1, Marco Reus’ teammates have the opportunity to equal the club’s best series of victories in the Bundesliga, that of 2011/12 which resulted in the title for Jürgen Klopp’s players at the time, the last to escape Bayern. The Munich, leaders with 46 points on goal difference, could like last week find themselves under pressure when moving on the lawn of the poorly ranked Stuttgart (15th, 19 pts). Thomas Müller’s teammates will want to reassure themselves four days before receiving Paris SG, for the shock of the knockout stages of the Champions League. The opportunity for Julian Nagelsmann to rev up Sadio Mané, who is coming back from injury and who played half an hour against Union Berlin last week (3-0 victory).
. Naples, suspense killer
With an 18-point lead over Inter Milan, Napoli are on course to clinch their first league title in 33 years. There is therefore almost no more suspense in Italy even if Lazio (4th), traveling to the Maradona stadium, will try to maintain a semblance of uncertainty. At the same time, Inter Milan, dolphin of Napoli, should not have too many worries against Lecce (15th) while AC Milan, 3rd ex-aequo, goes to the lawn of Fiorentina. Juventus and the returning Paul Pogba continue their recovery operation on their side. Sanctioned by 15 penalty points due to accounting fraud, Juve (7th) is currently far behind in the race for Europe before going to Roma.