MATCHDAY: PSG without Messi, Klopp back in Liverpool dugout
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Sunday:
Runaway league leader Paris Saint-Germain will be without Lionel Messi and several other players who had the coronavirus for the trip to face Lyon. Messi will return to individual training in the coming days after testing negative for the virus on Thursday. But winger Angel Di Maria, midfielder Julian Draxler, central defender Danilo Pereira, left back Layvin Kurzawa and goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma remain in isolation due to COVID-19. PSG needed a goal in the last seconds of injury time to win in Paris against a Lyon side now languishing in 13th place, but which often gives PSG a tough game at home. Elsewhere, third-placed Nice is at Brest and Philippe Clement takes charge of his first game as Monaco coach when his sixth-placed side visits seventh-placed Nantes.
Liverpool is set to have manager Jurgen Klopp back in the dugout against third-tier Shrewsbury in the third round of the FA Cup after he spent time in isolation with COVID-19. Liverpool still has coronavirus-related absences among the playing staff, while it’s the first game since star attackers Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah left for the African Cup of Nations. In other matches between Premier League and lower-division clubs, Arsenal visits Nottingham Forest and Tottenham hosts Morecambe. Among the nine games is an all-Premier League matchup between West Ham and Leeds.
Second-placed Sevilla hosts Getafe without goalkeeper Yassine Bounou and strikers Youssef En-Nesyri Munir El Haddadi because of they’re with Morocco at the African Cup of Nations. Quique Sánchez’s Getafe stunned leader Real Madrid 1-0 in the last round. Atlético Madrid visits Villarreal without Antoine Griezmann after he reinjured his right thigh midweek in the Copa del Rey. Villarreal has won four straight in the league, scoring five goals in each of its last two victories. Rayo Vallecano hosts Real Betis boasting the league’s best home record this season of eight wins and one draw. Athletic Bilbao is at Alavés in a Basque Country derby, and Cádiz plays at Osasuna. After this round, Atlético and Bilbao will join Madrid and Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup staged in Saudi Arabia next week.
After its first scheduled game of 2021 wasn’t played, Inter Milan should be more than prepared to face Lazio, the only team it lost to during the first half of Serie A. The game pits Inter coach Simone Inzaghi against the team he formerly managed and played for. Second-placed AC Milan visits Venezia and Roma hosts Juventus in a high-profile matchup without two suspended defenders: Rick Karsdorp and Gianluca Mancini. Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini is back after missing Thursday’s draw with Napoli while on the COVID-19 list.
Hertha Berlin has been battling the coronavirus before Cologne’s visit in the Bundesliga. The capital club, which defeated Borussia Dortmund in the last round before the winter break, has problems in attack and defense due to the impact of infections. Forward Ishak Belfodil was the latest confirmed case, leaving Hertha coach Tayfun Korkut short of attacking options. Krzysztof Piatek joined Serie A team Fiorentina on Saturday, while Stevan Jovetic remains injured. Defenders Dedryck Boyata and Deyovaisio Zeefuik were able to return to training after negative test results on Wednesday, but Santiago Ascacíbar and Lucas Tousart returned positive results and had to go into quarantine. New signing Fredrik André Björkan was among the others in quarantine. Promoted Bochum hosts Wolfsburg in Sunday’s other game.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports