MATCHDAY: Barcelona needs win to keep pressure on Madrid

July 7

A look at what’s happening around European soccer on Wednesday:

SPAIN

Barcelona needs a home win against last-place Espanyol to stay close to leader Real Madrid, which hosts Alavés on Friday. Barcelona trails Madrid by four points with four rounds to go. Only a win in the city derby can keep alive Espanyol’s hope of staying in the first division for a 27th straight season. Espanyol has lost five consecutive league matches. Getafe hosts Villarreal with both teams trying to stay in contention for a Champions spot, while Osasuna visits Real Betis.

ENGLAND

West Ham hosts ninth-place Burnley sitting only four points above the relegation zone with five games remaining. It is followed by potentially pivotal matches with Norwich and Watford, two of the four sides currently below West Ham in the standings. Brighton, which has pushed nine points clear of the relegation zone, hosts newly-crowned champion Liverpool on Wednesday. After surrendering the trophy, Manchester City can cement second place when it plays Newcastle. Sheffield United and Wolverhampton meet as they chase European qualification.

ITALY

Atalanta’s aspirations could grow even further if it beats relegation-threatened Sampdoria. After Juventus and Lazio both lost on Tuesday, a win would see Atalanta leapfrog Inter Milan into third, two points behind second-place Lazio. At the other end of the table, relegation-threatened Genoa hosts in-form Napoli in one of the five other matches. Napoli is level on points with Roma, which is its rival for a Europa League place. Roma hosts Parma.

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