MATCHDAY: Liverpool primed to pile on misery for Everton
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Wednesday:
Arriving with the best attack in the Premier League, Liverpool looks primed to pile on the misery for local rival Everton in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park. Everton hasn’t won any of its last seven games and the pressure is increasing on manager Rafa Benitez, who is taking on his former club. Meanwhile, Liverpool great Steve Gerrard could do his old club a big favor by leading Aston Villa, where he has recently taken over as manager, to a win over Manchester City, one of Liverpool’s main title contenders. Second-place City is a point ahead of third-place Liverpool and a point behind Chelsea, which is also in action at Watford. Fourth-place West Ham is at home to Brighton, third-to-last Burnley looks for just its second win of the season in a trip to Wolverhampton, and Leicester travels to Southampton.
Spanish league leader Real Madrid can increase its advantage at the top when it hosts Athletic Bilbao in a match postponed from the ninth round. Madrid is four points clear from both Atlético Madrid and Real Sociedad. Madrid is unbeaten against Athletic in 12 league matches, with eight wins and four losses. Eighth-place Athletic hasn’t won in five consecutive league matches. In the Copa del Rey, Sevilla plays at Córdoba, Real Sociedad visits Panadería Pulido and Real Betis plays at CFI Alicante.
After losing back-to-back Serie A matches, AC Milan will try to get back on track in the league when it visits relegation-threatened Genoa. Milan has slipped three points below league leader Napoli, which travels to Sassuolo. Inter Milan will be looking to take advantage of any slip up from the top two and hosts lowly Spezia. The defending champion is third, four points below Napoli. Also fifth-placed Roma visits Bologna.
It’s Super Wednesday in Ligue 1 with 10 games in the evening. Leader Paris Saint-Germain will miss an injured Neymar when it hosts third-placed Nice. PSG will rely on Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi to crack the joint-tightest defense in the league. On a 13-game unbeaten run in all competitions, Rennes can consolidate second place against defending champion Lille. Expect goals in that game as it features Lille’s Jonathan David, the league’s top scorer, and Rennes’ Gaetan Laborde, the second most prolific scorer. Marseille can make up ground in the race for Champions League spots with a win at mid-table Nantes. Lyon will host Reims without spectators after the league sanctioned Lyon for incidents at home on Nov. 21 when Dimitri Payet was hit on the head by a bottle of water thrown from the stands in a game that was abandoned.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports