A look at what’s happening around European soccer on Thursday:
Real Madrid has its first chance to clinch the Spanish league title when it hosts Villarreal at the Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium. A win will secure Madrid its first league title in three years. It enters the penultimate round with a four-point lead over Barcelona, which faces Osasuna at the Camp Nou Stadium at the same time. A loss or a draw for the two-time defending champions will also be enough for Madrid. Zinedine Zidane's team has won all nine games since the league resumed following the pandemic break.
The chase for Champions League places heats up with Leicester and Manchester United in action, and only goal difference separating them. Fourth-place Leicester plays first on Thursday against Sheffield United before Manchester United takes on Crystal Palace. At the other end of the standings, Aston Villa still has a hope of staying in the Premier League. Victory at Everton would take Villa a point from safety with two games remaining. Brighton can stay up with a victory over Southampton.
Inter Milan can boost its faint hopes of winning the Serie A title with victory at bottom-place Spal. A win would see Antonio Conte’s side move second in Serie A, six points behind Juventus after the league leader was surprisingly held 3-3 at Sassuolo on Wednesday. There are five rounds remaining after Thursday’s matches. Spal is 11 points from safety. Torino hosts Genoa in a direct battle to avoid relegation. Torino is four points above Genoa and five above the drop zone.
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The Associated Press