Today’s Midweek European Leagues Fixtures & Previews

Manchester City travel to Amex Stadium to face Brighton

Fresh from lifting their third successive Premier League title, champions Manchester City travel to the Amex Stadium to face Brighton & Hove Albion in the penultimate game of the top-flight campaign.

After being handed the Premier League title without kicking a ball courtesy of Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest, the pressure was off Man City heading into Sunday’s clash with Chelsea, but Pep Guardiola‘s side were keen to go out with a bang. Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will consider recalling a number of first-team regulars to his starting lineup for Wednesday’s Premier League clash. With one trophy in the bag, the Citizens continue to chase down a historic treble, with finals in the FA Cup and Champions League on the horizon, and Guardiola has suggested that glory in the latter competition will ensure that they are “considered as one of the best” to have graced the beautiful game.

While Man City were celebrating their Premier League coronation, there was also a party atmosphere at the Amex on Sunday after Brighton secured European football for the first time in their history courtesy of a 3-1 win over basement club Southampton.

Man City could be given a sterner test against a Brighton side on the verge of securing Europa League football. Although the Citizens may recall some of their star men to the starting lineup, we believe that the Seagulls could take away a point from an entertaining contest in their final home match of the season.



Real seek to avoid 3rd successive defeat as they host Rayo Vallecano

Seeking to avoid a third successive defeat in all competitions, Real Madrid welcome Rayo Vallecano to the Santiago Bernabeu for a La Liga clash on Wednesday evening.

Los Blancos will be seeking revenge against their fellow Madrid-based counterparts after suffering a 3-2 defeat in the reverse fixture at the Estadio de Vallecas in November last year.

Ancelotti comforts Vinicius Jnr after suffering racist abuse

Following their bitterly disappointing Champions League semi-final exit at the hands of Manchester City, Real Madrid suffered a slender 1-0 La Liga defeat away against Valencia on Sunday – their fourth successive away loss in all competitions.

The contest at the Mestalla was marred by alleged racist abuse aimed at Vinicius Junior, with the game stopped for 10 minutes in the second half before the Brazilian winger was sent off in the closing stages following a melee with the opposition.

Real Madrid’s defeat to Valencia has seen them slip down to third in the La Liga table.

With three games remaining and no other competitions to focus on for the Copa de Rey winners, Carlo Ancelotti‘s prime target is to secure second place in La Liga, with Wednesday’s clash against Rayo Vallecano followed by encounters with Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao.


Relegation-threatened Espanyol welcome Atletico Madrid

On the back of a potentially priceless win at the weekend, relegation-battling Espanyol welcome Atletico Madrid to the RCDE Stadium for Wednesday night’s La Liga showdown.

The hosts saw off Rayo Vallecano 2-1 at the weekend in a major boost to their survival prospects, while Diego Simeone‘s men cruised past Osasuna 3-0.

Diego Simeone, Atletico Madrid coach

Espanyol managed to hold Atletico to a 1-1 draw in the Spanish capital back in November, but Simeone’s side ran out 2-1 winners at the RCDE Stadium last season and are unbeaten in five against their Catalonian counterparts since a shock 3-0 beating away from home in May 2019.

Both sides have found the back of the net in the last five meetings between Espanyol and Atletico Madrid, and such a sequence should certainly continue on Wednesday given their respective penchants for goalscoring. Espanyol have a respectable two clean sheets to show from their last three home contests, although they shipped four to Barcelona during their most recent battle at the RCDE Stadium, and Atletico Madrid certainly possess the taste for goals at present.

The hosts certainly have more to play for than their podium-chasing visitors at this stage, but their lingering defensive concerns should prove fatal against a rampant Atletico crop, who should right the wrongs of their loss to Elche with a resounding win to plunge Espanyol back into demotion danger.


Sevilla face bottom club Elche away from home

Sevilla will be looking to continue their ascent of the La Liga table when they face bottom club Elche at the Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero on Wednesday evening.

Thanks to a stunning upturn under Jose Luis Mendilibar, Sevilla find themselves two points shy of the European places, while already-relegated Elche are 14 points adrift at the foot of the standings.

Elche supporters must be wondering where their team’s recent performances have come from, as the basement dwellers have picked up a number of impressive results in recent weeks, despite the fact that Los Franjiverdes have been destined for the drop for some time.

Rafa Mir, Seville

When you look at the bigger picture, Elche have taken just 20 points from a possible 105 this season, and they had to wait until February to pick up their first league win of the campaign, recording six draws and 13 losses before finally tasting victory.

Seville’s story is no different. There was a time earlier in the season when it looked as though Sevilla would join Elche in the relegation battle, as the Andalusians endured a below-par start to the campaign, winning two of their opening 15 league games while managing a single clean sheet in the process.

Jorge Sampaoli replaced Julen Lopetegui in the managerial hot seat back in October, but the new boss only lasted until March after failing to steady the ship, leaving experienced coach Jose Luis Mendilibar to take the reins.

To say that Mendilibar has transformed Sevilla’s fortunes would be an understatement, as Los Nervionenses have lost just one of their 13 matches under the 62-year-old’s watch, reaching a fifth Europa League final in 10 years for good measure.

Despite Elche’s recent upturn, we expect Sevilla to continue their revival under Mendilibar by securing a straightforward win on Wednesday, achieving a fifth successive away league victory in the process.



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