What to watch in Europe’s leading soccer countries
What to watch in the leading soccer leagues in Europe this weekend:
Barcelona can clinch its 26th Spanish league title on Saturday.
Lionel Messi and his teammates could even become champions without kicking a ball if second-place Atletico Madrid loses its early match at Valladolid. If Atletico draws, Barcelona would then need just a point against Levante later in the day. If Atletico wins, then a win by Barcelona would suffice to secure its eighth league crown in 11 seasons.
Barcelona is looking to wrap up the league title before the team starts its Champions League semifinal against Liverpool next week.
— By Joseph Wilson
Manchester City looks to have the tougher match this weekend in the race for the title with Liverpool in the Premier League.
City, which leads Liverpool by a point with three games left, is away to a Burnley side that drew at Chelsea in their last match and won its previous three games to pull clear of relegation trouble.
Liverpool kicks off the third-to-last round of games with a home match against already-relegated Huddersfield, which is in last place on just 14 points.
City will retain the title if the team wins its last three games, with Leicester at home and Brighton away the remaining matches.
In the four-team fight for Champions League qualification behind the top two, two of the protagonists meet when sixth-place Manchester United hosts fourth-place Chelsea on Sunday. A loss for United would virtually end its chances of finishing in the top four, meaning a third season out of the Champions League since Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
— By Steve Douglas
Although the title race is over, the two remaining Champions League places still have to be decided. Second-place Lille is six points ahead of Lyon in third place and big favorite to qualify automatically for next season’s competition. Lille is at home to Nimes and Lyon travels to play Bordeaux on Friday.
Third place earns a slot in the qualify rounds of the Champions League, and Lyon cannot afford to slip up as fourth-place Saint-Etienne is only three points behind while fifth-place Marseille is five points back. Both are at home on Sunday, with Saint-Etienne facing Toulouse and Marseille playing Nantes.
— By Jerome Pugmire
While Juventus has already clinched the Italian league title, the fight for the final Champions League places is tighter than ever.
AC Milan is in fourth place — the final qualifying spot — but a run of one win in its past seven matches in all competitions has left the team above fifth-place Atalanta only thanks to a better head-to-head record, which is the tiebreaker in Italy.
Third-place Inter Milan, which has five points more than Milan and Atalanta, hosts Juventus
— By Daniella Matar
Bayern, which leads by one point, is away to next-to-last Nuremberg. Dortmund hosts Schalke, which is only one place above the relegation zone but six points clear.
If Nuremberg loses, it will be relegated if Schalke avoids defeat in Dortmund.