Leeds United s Joe Gelhardt, center, is closed down by Arsenal s Granit Xhaka, left, and Arsenal s Thomas Partey during the English Premier League soccer match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road in Leeds, England, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. (AP)
Arsenal hosts third-tier side Sunderland in the League Cup while enjoying a resurgence in form in the Premier League that has lifted Mikel Arteta's side to fourth. Pablo Mari and Albert Sambi Lokonga will miss the game for Arsenal with the coronvirus, while Sead Kolasinac is out with an ankle injury. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is expected to be missing from the squad again, having not been involved in the last three games following internal disciplinary action and being stripped of the captaincy.
Barcelona faces a tough test when it travels to play Sevilla in the league. Sevilla is riding high in the La Liga standings with 37 points and second place, just six points behind leader Real Madrid and with a game in hand. In the day's other game, Alaves will try to turn around a poor run of form and emerge from the relegation zone when it plays mid-table Villareal.
Juventus hosts Cagliari looking to end the year on a positive note. The Bianconeri are on a four-match unbeaten run while relegation-threatened Cagliari is coming off a 4-0 loss to Udinese at home. Fourth-place Atalanta looks to bounce back from a loss to Roma when it visits relegation-threatened Genoa. Last-placed Salernitana was blocked by local health authorities from traveling to Udine for its match at Udinese after a member of the team tested positive. If new PCR tests for the rest of the Salernitana players come back negative, the team could still travel Tuesday. In Serie B, Lecce's match with Vicenza scheduled for Monday was postponed. Seven more matches on Wednesday will conclude Serie A for 2021.
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