Stellar games in Germany, France head European title races

Tense title races are unfolding in Spain and Germany, while 13 straight wins has fuelled City to the top of the Premier League and left its rivals far behind.

Bundesliga leader Bayern Munich must prepare for life without star-striker Robert Lewandowski throughout April.   -  AP

European domestic leagues resume this weekend, after a pause for World Cup qualifying games, with two stellar matches in a pair of tense title races.

Champions League winner Bayern Munich travels to German rival Leipzig while Paris Saint-Germain, the runner-up last August, hosts French counterpart Lille on Saturday.

Those matchups kick off an intense run-in after a congested season of pandemic-era football with almost no fans in stadiums to see it.

 

Tense title races are unfolding in Spain and Germany, while 13 straight wins have fuelled City to the top of the Premier League and left its rivals far behind.

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Here’s a look at some title races in a unique season for European football: 

BEST TITLE CHASES

In Germany, Leipzig can cut Bayern’s lead to one point on Saturday by beating a team that expects to be without prolific goalscorer Robert Lewandowski throughout April. 

PSG had not topped its league since January until Lille lost at home to lowly Nîmes in the last round before the international break, leads only on goal difference and is heading into a genuine top-of-the-table clash on Saturday at the Parc des Princes.

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In Spain, Atlético Madrid was cruising at the top through January with a streak of 15 wins in 16 games. Barcelona now is just four points behind as Atlético resumes Sunday at fourth-place Sevilla. Barcelona hosts Atlético on May 9.

With both the teams out of the Champions League, they will be able to focus on La Liga for what is shaping up to be a tense 10-game run to the May 23 climax. 

RUNAWAY LEADERS

Manchester City might be the best team in Europe right now, but no one said that in late November when the team languished in the bottom half of the Premier League.

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A run of 13 straight wins fueled City’s surge to be 14 points clear now of second-place Manchester United.

Inter Milan’s lead in Serie A is just six points, though it has a game to spare over long-time leader AC Milan. The nine-year title streak of third-place Juventus looks over.

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