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


Manchester competitors United and City are competing for top place in the Premier League when they play games back-to-back. City can go above Leicester and United to take top spot for the very first time this season by winning in the house to Aston Villa, whose senior players are playing their very first match considering that Jan. 1– after which there was a coronavirus outbreak in the squad that led to the training school being closed. City is the form team in the league, having actually won its last five matches. United plays later at Fulham, which is in third-to-last place but is proving hard to beat in recent weeks. As is United, which hasn’t lost in the league since Nov. 1 and can take a two-point lead at the leading with a win.


Real Madrid plays in the round of 32 of the Copa del Rey against third-division club Alcoyano, which got rid of top-flight Huesca in the previous round. Madrid is winless in its last 2 matches in all competitions. In another round-of-32 video game, Real Sociedad sees third-division club Córdoba. In the Spanish league, Villarreal hosts Granada, Celta Vigo visits Real Betis and last-place Huesca plays at Getafe.


Bayern Munich has been able to protect and even extend its lead after blended current kind when other title competitors slipped up too. A visit to Augsburg should be a straightforward chance to get another win to follow Sunday’s shaky 2-1 success over Freiburg. After 2 winless video games, Leipzig’s title difficulty has been dented, making a win over Union Berlin even more important. Luka Jovic scored twice on his return to the Bundesliga with Eintracht Frankfurt on loan from Real Madrid and now faces Freiburg away. Schalke hosts Cologne and Stuttgart sees Arminia Bielefeld.


Anything but a persuading win for Juventus over Napoli in the Italian Super Cup could spell the beginning of completion of Andrea Pirlo’s short time in charge. Pirlo is under pressure just a few months into his very first senior coaching job, with Juventus faltering in the league. The nine-time safeguarding champ lost 2-0 at title rival Inter Milan to leave it 5th in Serie A, 10 points behind league leader Air Conditioner Milan. Napoli beat Fiorentina 6-0 to move third. Atalanta can move into third place if it wins at relegation-threatened Udinese earlier in its reorganized league match. The match was initially set to happen on Dec. 6 however was postponed because of a flooded field. Udinese is simply three points above the relegation zone.


After an abject efficiency last weekend, Marseille must bounce back with a house win against Lens as it plays among its 2 games in hand. The 2-1 house loss to a struggling Nimes side was probably Marseille’s worst proving of the season. It resulted in some stinging post-match comments from Marseille’s central defender Alvaro Gonzalez about not fighting for the jersey enough, and from its coach Andre Villas-Boas. A much-needed win at Stade Velodrome would put Marseille one point behind fourth-place Monaco and bring back some pride.


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