Matchday: Some of top rivalries in European soccer set to resume

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring a penalty shot during the Champions League Group B soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Liverpool at Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (Manu Fernandez/AP Photo)

A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Sunday, when some of the world’s biggest rivalries play out:


Liverpool takes the Premier League’s only unbeaten record to Manchester United for what is historically the biggest match in England. In Mohamed Salah, the visitors also have one of the world’s in-form players. The Egypt forward has scored in each of his last nine appearances for Liverpool, a club record. United is in sixth place having failed to win any of its last three games but is coming off a stirring comeback 3-2 win over Atalanta in the Champions League from 2-0 down.


Barcelona hosts Real Madrid in the first “clasico” since Lionel Messi left the Catalan club to join Paris Saint-Germain. Barcelona has won two in a row in all competitions for the first time this season after a slow start without Messi. It can move closer to the top in the Spanish league with a win at Camp Nou Stadium. Madrid had lost two in a row before routing Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday. League leader Real Sociedad visits defending champion Atletico Madrid, which is three points back. Sevilla hosts Levante and Rayo Vallecano visits Real Betis.


After a rocky start to the season, Juventus is unbeaten in its previous eight matches heading into the eagerly anticipated Derby d’Italia against Serie A champion Inter Milan. Juventus has won its past four matches 1-0 and is slowly climbing the table. It is seventh, three points behind third-place Inter and 10 behind Napoli, which can move back to the top if it maintains its perfect start to the season when it travels to Roma. Jose Mourinho will be looking for a reaction after Roma was routed 6-1 by Norwegian team Bod?/Glimt in the Europa League midweek. Roma is fourth in Serie A, a point above Lazio and Atalanta, which face Hellas Verona and Udinese respectively. Fiorentina hosts Cagliari.


The biggest match in French soccer, involving bitter rivals Marseille and league leader Paris Saint-Germain, also pits against each other two famed Argentine coaches, Jorge Sampaoli and Mauricio Pochettino. It will be Sampaoli’s first match against PSG as Marseille coach. PSG’s star recruit Lionel Messi, who played under Sampaoli for Argentina at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, will experience his first “Classique” of French soccer at the Velodrome Stadium.


A week after it was swept aside 5-1 by Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen has a chance to rebuild its Bundesliga title challenge away to local arch-rival Cologne. Eintracht Frankfurt has won only one of eight league games so far ahead of a trip to promoted Bochum. Union Berlin aims to continue its strong start to the season away to Stuttgart.

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