A look at what’s happening around European soccer on Sunday:
Tottenham and Arsenal are going in opposite directions ahead of the first north London derby in the Premier League this season. Hosts Tottenham came into the weekend in first place and looks like being a surprise title contender under Jose Mourinho. Arsenal, meanwhile, reached the 11th round of games in 14th place and has won just one of its last six league games. In another match that will have 2,000 fans in attendance, Liverpool hosts Wolverhampton and will have to cope without goalkeeper Alisson Becker in the latest blow to the champions’ defensive set-up. Last-place Sheffield United looks for a first win of the campaign in a home match against Leicester, and Crystal Palace is away to West Bromwich Albion.
Real Sociedad tries to regain the Spanish league lead when it visits midtable Alavés. Sociedad is two points behind Atlético Madrid, which beat Valladolid on Saturday to go top for the first time this season. Sociedad has played one game more than Atlético. The Basque Country club is unbeaten in seven matches in all competitions and its draw against Villarreal last weekend ended the team’s five-game winning streak in the league. Unai Emery’s Villarreal is looking to get back to third place and hosts promoted Elche, while Manuel Pellegrini’s Real Betis tries to end a three-match losing run when it visits Osasuna.
AC Milan will be again without the injured Zlatan Ibrahimović when it visits Sampdoria as it looks to extend its lead at the top of the Serie A standings. In Ibrahimović’s absence, Milan has won two of its matches, drawing the other. The Rossoneri are two points clear of second-place Inter and three above Juventus. Sassuolo had its first defeat of the season last weekend but can move level with Inter if it wins at Roma. The capital side is a point behind Sassuolo, as is Napoli, which visits last-place Crotone. Also, it’s: Hellas Verona vs. Cagliari; Parma vs. Benevento; and Udinese vs. Atalanta.
Bayer Leverkusen can move second in the Bundesliga with a win at last-place Schalke, which is closing in on Tasmania Berlin’s league record of 31 straight games without a victory. Schalke is already at 25 games and unlikely to stop the unwanted trend against Leverkusen due to problems both in attack and defense. Forwards Gonçalo Paciência, Ahmed Kutucu and Rabbi Matondo are all out, while coach Manuel Baum has a bigger headache in defense with Salif Sané out and Ozan Kabak and Bastian Oczipka both doubtful. Schalke has already conceded 28 goals in nine Bundesliga games this season. Werder Bremen hosts Stuttgart in the early game.
Lille hosts Monaco and a win for either side will move it two points behind league leader Paris Saint-Germain. The same goes for seven-time champion Lyon, which can stay within touching distance of PSG by winning at midtable Metz. Coach Rudi Garcia’s Lyon side is enjoying a strong run of form and looks to extend its unbeaten run to 10 league games since losing at Montpellier in September. Elsewhere, midtable Nice travels to face Reims in its first game since coach and France great Patrick Vieira was fired on Friday, following the club’s Europa League elimination.