Preview: Napoli goes for title; Manchester City can topple Arsenal

AP , Sunday 30 Apr 2023

Napoli could end a wait of more than three decades for the Serie A title

Napoli
Napoli s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, left, celebrates with team mate Victor Asimhen after scoring during the Serie A soccer match between Sassuolo and Napoli, at the Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia, Italy, on Feb. 17, 2023.

A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Sunday:

ENGLAND

Manchester City can finally topple Arsenal and take the lead in the Premier League by beating Fulham away. City seized the advantage in the title race after beating Arsenal 4-1 on Wednesday, moving two points behind the long-time leader with two games in hand. Arsenal doesn't play till Tuesday when Chelsea visits Emirates Stadium.

The race to finish in the other Champions League qualification places will intensify, with fourth-placed Manchester United hosting sixth-placed Aston Villa and fifth-placed Tottenham visiting seventh-placed Liverpool. Seven points separate United and Liverpool.

Third-placed Newcastle can move within sight of securing a top-four finish by beating last-placed Southampton at home, while Bournemouth hosts Leeds in a meeting of relegation-threatened teams.

ITALY

Napoli could end a wait of more than three decades for the Serie A title. Napoli will know the permutations before its match against Salernitana. If second-placed Lazio fails to win at Inter Milan earlier in the day, then a Napoli win will clinch the scudetto. Salernitana won't be joining the party willingly.

It hasn’t lost a match in more than two months. Inter will also be desperate for a win against Lazio to move level with fourth-placed AC Milan and Roma in a tight battle for the Champions League qualifying places.

Juventus is third, two points behind Lazio, and visits Bologna. At the other end of the table, Hellas Verona could move out of the relegation zone with a win at Cremonese, which is second from last. Bottom club Sampdoria visits Fiorentina. Also, Sassuolo hosts struggling Empoli.

GERMANY

Bayern Munich has an unexpected chance to return to the top of the Bundesliga with a win at home over last-placed Hertha Berlin. Bochum did Bayern a favor on Friday by holding Borussia Dortmund to a draw, meaning Bayern can move on points ahead of its rival with four games remaining.

Even without Dortmund’s slip up, Bayern was under pressure after winning just two games from seven across all competitions since Thomas Tuchel was appointed coach. Bayern is out of the Champions League and German Cup and has only the Bundesliga remaining if it wants to avoid the humiliation of ending the season without a trophy.

Hertha has also had a change of coach in its bid to escape relegation, though Pál Dárdai’s return failed to stir a response in the team’s 4-2 loss at home to Werder Bremen last weekend. Confidence is low for the trip to Munich. Wolfsburg hosts Mainz to finish the 30th round.

FRANCE

Paris Saint-Germain has an eight-point lead over Marseille and can inch closer to a record 11th league title with a win over mid-table Lorient. The defending champion will rely as ever on the brilliance of Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi to stretch its winning run to four games despite unconvincing team performances lately.

Lorient is winless in its last five games. Marseille leads Lens by a point in the race for second place, an automatic Champions League spot. Marseille hosts Auxerre, which sits one point above the relegation zone. Auxerre is on a good run of form with three wins and a draw from its last four games and could create problems for Marseille, which has struggled at home. Auxerre right back Akim Zedadka will be available after serving a suspension. Monaco faces Montpellier without injured forward Breel Embolo. Embolo’s absence has put more pressure on striker Wissam Ben Yedder, who hasn’t found the net in his last four games. Montpellier will be without captain Teji Savanier, who was sent off against Rennes last weekend.

Bottom side Angers could be the first team officially relegated when it visits Rennes. Angers has been rocked by sexual scandals. Club president Said Chabane resigned in March because of accusations of sexual assault. Chabane was also taken into police custody this month on suspicion of organized money laundering. Meanwhile, Angers defender Ilyes Chetti received a four-month suspended prison sentence for sexual assault this month.

SPAIN

Four teams in danger of the drop will be facing off directly. Getafe visits Espanyol with both sides in the relegation zone, while Cadiz hosts Valencia with both within two points of danger.

Espanyol is five points from safety and three points behind Getafe. Two teams will accompany last-placed Elche to the second division next season. Also, third-placed Atletico Madrid visits Valladolid, and Villarreal welcomes Celta Vigo. 

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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