Newcastle s Alexander Isak celebrates after scoring his side s second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Nottingham Forest and Newcastle United at the City Ground stadium in Nottingham, England, Friday, March 17, 2023. AP
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Sunday:
Newcastle and Manchester United go head-to-head in a fight for the Champions League spots. Three points separate third-place United and Newcastle in fifth going into the game at St. James' Park.
A win would see Newcastle move above United in the Premier League because of its superior goal difference. At the other end of the league, 19th-place West Ham hosts last-place Southampton with both teams hoping to improve their chances of survival.
Runaway Serie A leader Napoli hosts defending champion AC Milan in the first of three meetings between the clubs this month. The teams will also face each other in the upcoming Champions League quarterfinals. Napoli will be without Serie A scoring leader Victor Osimhen, who is injured.
Napoli has won all seven of its matches without Osimhen across all competitions this season — including against Milan in September. Milan will again be missing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who picked up a thigh injury while on international duty with Sweden after having only recently returned from a long-term knee-injury layoff. Second-place Lazio visits Monza, and Roma hosts relegation-threatened Sampdoria.
Real Madrid hosts Valladolid in the Spanish league, three days before it needs to mount a comeback in the second leg against Barcelona to reach the Copa del Rey final.
Madrid trails Barcelona by 15 points in the league title race. Third-place Atletico Madrid faces fifth-place Real Betis in the most attractive matchup of the round on Sunday.
Atletico is unbeaten in 10 rounds, while Betis is trying to overhaul Real Sociedad to enter the top four spots. Sociedad also faces a tough visit to sixth-place Villarreal, while Celta Vigo welcomes Almeria.
Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain can move nine points clear at the top with a home win against midtable Lyon. PSG also needs to reassure its fans with a convincing performance following the 2-0 home defeat to Rennes before the international break.
Lyon coach Laurent Blanc returns to the club where he took charge from 2013-16. PSG striker Kylian Mbappé will look to add to his 19 league goals and is level in the scoring charts with Lille forward Jonathan David. Lille is at home to Lorient in the day’s lunchtime game.
Struggling Cologne hosts misfiring Borussia Mönchengladbach for a Rhine derby in the Bundesliga with a poor run of results having damaged both teams' hopes of European qualification.
Cologne has dropped to 13th and could yet be sucked into a battle for survival, while Gladbach is 10th and needs to start winning games quickly if it wants to make good on pre-season expectations. Werder Bremen hosts relegation-threatened Hoffenheim to close out the 26th round.
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