European football matchday: Barcelona host Sevilla in semi-finals of Copa del Rey; Ibrahimovic-less AC Milan play Inter

The Associated Press
·3-min read

A look at what's happening in European football on Wednesday:

Spain

Two days after former president Josep Maria Bartomeu was arrested in an investigation into alleged irregularities during his administration, Barcelona tries to reverse a 2-0 first-leg loss to Sevilla in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey. The teams met in the Spanish league on Saturday, with Barcelona winning 2-0 in Seville. Wednesday's match will be at the Camp Nou Stadium. The Copa del Rey is the tournament in which Barcelona are the closest to ending their title drought. They lost 4-1 to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the first leg of the round of 16 of the Champions League and are five points off the lead in the Spanish league. Sevilla, sitting fourth in the Spanish league, were coming off a nine-game winning streak in all competitions but have won only one of their last three games.

England

Injury-hit Leicester are looking to ward off another late-season collapse as Brendan Rodgers' team heads to Burnley in the Premier League. Leicester are third and five points clear of fifth-place Chelsea in the race for Champions League qualification but have seen key players like James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, James Justin and Jonny Evans get injured in recent weeks. Injuries contributed to a loss of form late last season as Leicester dropped out of the top four in the final days. Second-place Manchester United, which is a point ahead of Leicester, visits Crystal Palace and last-place Sheffield United are 15 points from safety ahead of a home match against Aston Villa.

Italy

AC Milan will be without key forward Zlatan Ibrahimović as they attempt to close the gap to league leader Inter Milan. Second-place Milan will be looking to win at home against Udinese to move to within one point of city rival, with Inter playing at Parma the following day. Atalanta should keep hold of fourth place as they host bottom club Crotone but Roma and Napoli will want to take advantage of any slip up and they visit Fiorentina and Sassuolo, respectively. At the other end of the table, Cagliari could move out of the relegation zone with a victory over Bologna. Benevento and Genoa are also far from safe and they host Hellas Verona and Sampdoria, respectively.

France

After dropping points with draws last weekend, Lille and Lyon need wins to pressure Paris Saint-Germain and hold off Monaco. Lille remains in first place but only leads second-place PSG by two points, while fourth-place Monaco have moved to just one behind third-place Lyon in a fascinating title race much closer than most observers had anticipated. Defending champion PSG are away at Bordeaux, and Monaco are in Alsace to play Strasbourg, while Lille hosts seventh-place Marseille, and Lyon welcomes a visiting Rennes side in the ninth spot after three straight league losses.

Germany

Leipzig hosts Wolfsburg in the quarter-finals of the German Cup with the daunting task of beating a Wolfsburg defense which hasn't conceded a goal in eight league and cup games. The two teams are also battling in the league, where Leipzig are second and Wolfsburg third. Leipzig are on their own run of good form, with six wins from their last seven games, the only blip being a 2-0 loss to Liverpool in the Champions League. Leipzig left-back Angelino is set to miss the game for fitness reasons. Fourth-tier Rot-Weiss Essen are by far the lowest-level team left in the cup as they host second-division Holstein Kiel. Both teams pulled off surprise wins earlier in the competition as Essen eliminated Bayer Leverkusen and Kiel knocked out reigning champion Bayern Munich.

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