MATCHDAY: Finals in Women’s Champions League and German Cup
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Saturday:
WOMEN’S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL
Seven-time champion Lyon will face titleholder Barcelona in Turin in a repeat of the 2019 final. Ada Hegerberg scored a hat trick in only 16 minutes in that match as she helped Lyon to a 4-1 victory. Hegerberg is the competition’s leading goal-scorer and will be looking to cap her comeback after returning from injury in October following almost two years on the sidelines. Lyon has won seven of the past 11 Women’s Champions Leagues and five straight before being eliminated in the quarterfinals last year. It is Barcelona’s third final in four years.
Freiburg plays Leipzig in the German Cup final with both teams going for their first major title. Leipzig, which was founded only in 2009, hopes to go one better after losing the final last year to Borussia Dortmund and in 2019 to Bayern Munich. The match represents a clash of ideologies between clubs run in very different ways. Freiburg is supported and run by its members, while Leipzig is backed by energy drinks manufacturer Red Bull, making it unpopular with opposing fans who see it as a marketing exercise.
Having played in the Champions League the past three seasons, Atalanta has come down to earth with a bump and is vying for a place in the Europa Conference League playoffs. Atalanta hosts Empoli and knows it must better Fiorentina’s result against Juventus in their final Serie A matches to secure seventh spot and the last European qualifying berth. Atalanta is below Fiorentina on head to head, which is the first tiebreaker in Serie A. Lazio is already assured of a place in the Europa League and hosts Hellas Verona. Also, already-relegated Genoa hosts Bologna.
Having already sealed a record-equaling 10th title, PSG hosts struggling Metz in its last league game. It could be Kylian Mbappé’s final match in a PSG shirt if the World Cup winner decides to join Real Madrid. Mbappé is out of contract in June and has said he will make his decision public before the end of the month. The race for second place between Monaco and Marseille is going to the wire, with the teams level on points. Monaco has a slight advantage on goal average but has a tricky match in Lens. Marseille’s task is difficult too, against in-form Strasbourg. The relegation battle is also close with storied clubs Bordeaux and Saint-Etienne in deep trouble. Six-time champion Bordeaux is in last place ahead of the visit of Brest. The team is three points behind 19th-placed Saint-Etienne and 18th-placed Metz, which is in the relegation-playoff position. Saint-Etienne has a tough match at French Cup champion Nantes.
Valencia hosts Celta Vigo in a match between mid-table clubs in the league. Celta is in 10th place, one point ahead of 11th-placed Valencia. They can still overcome Osasuna for ninth place. Osasuna is a point in front of Celta ahead of its home match against relegation-threatened Mallorca on Sunday.
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