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European Preview: Can Barcelona bounce back?

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The Premier League is taking a break this weekend as English clubs are preparing for domestic cup competitions. However, league action will continue elsewhere in Europe, and we've a lot of Brazilian players to look forward to.

Will we see a topsy-turvy situation in the league tables in France and Spain? How will Barcelona react after their shocking 4-0 defeat to PSG in midweek? Will Bayern extend their unbeaten run? What will happen in Italy? Keep yourself updated with all the weekend scores as we approach the business end of the season.

La Liga:
In Spain, eight points separate five teams at the top of the La Liga table. Real Sociedad are unlikely to challenge for the title, but Barcelona and Sevilla are well capable of taking the title race to the wire. Brazilian duo, Casemiro and Marcelo, are expected to start for Real Madrid against Espanyol. Los Blancos have won 11 of their last 13 matches in La Liga, and will be looking to cement their position at the top. Barcelona, fresh from the midweek defeat in the Champions League, will be looking to regroup and pick up three points against Leganes. Brazil skipper, Neymar, has a minor ankle problem, but he should start out on the left-hand side.

French League: PSG have a great chance to reduce the gap with Monaco to just one point, as they play against Toulouse. Emery could rotate his squad after an exhilarating win over Barcelona, but PSG will be charged up after seeing Monaco draw with Bastia. In defence, Marquinhos and Thiago Silva are expected to start. Julian Draxler and Angel di Maria could be rested, which means Lucas Moura has another chance to impress his manager. OGC Nice will travel to Lorient where they cannot afford to drop further points. They can close the gap with Monaco to three points, should they win on Sunday. Brazilian defender, Dante, is expected to feature against Lorient.

Bayern Munich are seven points ahead of second placed RB Leipzig and they will be looking to pick up full three points when they face Hertha Berlin this week. Carlo Ancelotti's side are running high on confidence, having remained undefeated in their last 12 games, and having beat Arsenal 5-1 in the Champions League. Douglas Costa and Rafinha are expected to feature in the weekend.

Serie A: 
All eyes will be on Roma whether they can keep up the pace in Serie A after Juventus won their fixture against Palermo. An interesting top four race is building up in Italy, and it remains to be seen whether Inter Milan can close the gap with Napoli. Brazilian defender, Miranda, should keep his place at the heart of defence alongside Gary Medel.


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