Matchday: Liverpool return to Brighton, Madrid chase Barcelona

January 29, 2023

Check out what’s happening in European football on Sunday:

Britain Soccer Premier League

England

In the fourth round of the FA Cup, Liverpool challenged Brighton away. The Merseysiders lost 3-0 to Brighton in the Premier League this month, with Jurgen Klopp calling it his worst defeat for the Reds. Wrexham, owned by actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, face Sheffield United, while Stoke plays Stevenage.

Spain

Real Madrid hosts Real Sociedad, and the second- and third-placed teams in the league will play against each other. Madrid need a win to get within three points of leaders Barcelona. Sociedad can level with Carlo Ancelotti’s side on points if they win at the Santiago Bernabeu. Atletico Madrid will visit Osasuna after Diego Simeone’s side were knocked out by fierce rivals Madrid in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals. Athletic Bilbao host Celta Vigo. Bilbao and Osasuna are also flying high after reaching the Copa del Rey semi-finals. Struggling Valencia need a win when they visit Valladolid.

Italy

AC Milan will look to end a poor run when the defending champions host relegation-threatened Sassuolo. Tuesday’s 4-0 defeat at Lazio left the side without a win in their last five games. Ending that streak would see Milan return to second place, a point ahead of Inter, ahead of next weekend’s Serie A derby. Runaway leaders Napoli have a 10-point lead over Inter Milan, an advantage that could be extended with a home win over Roma. Jose Mourinho’s side also need points to compete for Champions League qualification. Roma are sixth but just three points behind Inter Milan. Lazio is tied with Roma on points and hosts Fiorentina. Juventus host Monza and find themselves just one point ahead after being fined 15 points for false bookkeeping.

Germany

Bayer Leverkusen welcome Borussia Dortmund to the Bundesliga, with both teams starting 2023 with victories. While Leverkusen appear to be adapting to the ideas of new coach Xabi Alonso, Dortmund have been counting on Edin Terzić to make some inspired substitutions. Gio Reyna scored two late winners against Mainz and Augsburg. But Dortmund are relying on substitutes to grind out results, adding to the pressure on Karim Adeyemi, Donyel Mullen and Yousofa Mukoko, who have played in their two Dortmund games so far this year. They all started, but they all failed to shine. Whether Terzic will give them another chance at Leverkusen remains to be seen. In addition, Cologne challenged the bottom Schalke 04 away.

France

Paris Saint-Germain boss Christophe Galtier has welcomed midfielder Marco Verratti back to the league leaders’ home game against Reims. Verratti has shaken off a thigh injury and is available at the Parc des Princes. Star striker Kylian Mbappé will score 196 goals for PSG while approaching Edinson Cavani’s club record of 200 goals. If they win, Paris Saint-Germain will lead by 5 points. But mid-table Reims are on an 11-match unbeaten run, including a 0-0 home win over Paris Saint-Germain in October. Elsewhere, Lille are unbeaten in six games before traveling to Nice.

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