A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Wednesday:
Barcelona and Real Madrid meet in their second “clásico” of the season in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup. The competition returns to Saudi Arabia after being played in Spain last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Barcelona is expected to be boosted by the returns of Pedri González and Ferran Torres, who rejoined the squad in time for the match after testing positive for the coronavirus. Madrid will be led by the red-hot duo of Karim Benzema and Vinícius Júnior. The other semifinal will be played Thursday between defending Spanish league champion Atlético Madrid and Copa del Rey runner-up Athletic Bilbao. Madrid made it to the “Final Four” after finishing second to Atlético in the league last season. Barcelona qualified as the Copa del Rey champion.
Chelsea takes a 2-0 lead over Tottenham into the second leg of the League Cup semifinals. Tottenham has the advantage of being home for the return match but will be without key forward Son Heung-min, who has a muscle injury in his leg and is unlikely to be back until next month. Chelsea is looking to reach the final of the competition for the first time since 2019, when it lost to Manchester City on penalties, and win it for the sixth time. Tottenham was the runner-up to City last season and won the last of its four League Cup titles in 2008. In the Premier League, West Ham hosts last-place Norwich in a game that has been rearranged after initially being postponed last month because of COVID-19 cases in Norwich’s squad.
Serie A champion Inter Milan and Italian Cup winner Juventus meet in the Super Cup. Juventus has won the competition a record nine times, including last season, but Inter coach Simone Inzaghi has beaten the Bianconeri in both his previous matches in the competition — as Lazio coach in 2017 and ’19. The match will be staged at San Siro, where Inter plays its home games. Inter leads Serie A and has 11 points more than fifth-place Juventus, which will have gained confidence by rallying for a 4-3 win at Roma from 3-1 down on Sunday. Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny saved a late penalty in that match but will be on the bench against Inter as he has only recently had his second dose of the vaccine against coronavirus. He will not be able to come into contact with his teammates until shortly before kickoff because of new rules in Italy. Juventus will also be without Federico Chiesa, who has damaged his ACL and requires surgery. In the Italian Cup, Atalanta hosts Venezia.
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