• The Canadian Press

    MATCHDAY: Man City try to find goals at Burnley's expense

    A look at what’s happening around European soccer on Saturday:ENGLANDManchester City manager Pep Guardiola is looking to get his once-prolific attack firing again amid a benign run of fixtures in the Premier League, starting with a home match against Burnley. City has scored 303 times over the past three seasons and has regularly been the top scorer in the league, but has netted only 10 in eight games so far. Burnley has typically been an obliging opponent for City, however, and Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero are available again for Guardiola ahead of upcoming home games against Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle. Liverpool faces a quick turnaround, heading to Brighton for the lunchtime kickoff having played Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday evening. West Brom and Sheffield United meet in a battle of the bottom two, with neither side having won a game this season. Leeds travels to Everton, which is without left back Lucas Digne until next year because of an ankle ligament injury.SPAINReal Madrid will try to end a two-game winless streak in the Spanish league when it hosts Alavés, while Atlético Madrid will go for its sixth league victory in a row when it visits midtable Valencia. Atlético is three points behind leader Real Sociedad with two games in hand. Real Madrid is in fourth place, six points off the lead with a game in hand. Seventh-placed Sevilla visits second-to-last-place Huesca.ITALYLast in its Champions League group and struggling to find continuity in Serie A, Inter Milan is under pressure going to unbeaten Sassuolo, which is surprisingly second. Atalanta looks to build on its stunning Champions League victory at Liverpool when it hosts Hellas Verona, and boosted by the goal-scoring return of Josip Ilicic. His goal against Liverpool was his 50th for Atalanta. Nine-time defending champion Juventus visits promoted Benevento, which is coached by former Juventus and AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi.GERMANYCrisis-hit Schalke visits Borussia Mönchengladbach, the last team it beat in the Bundesliga in January, hoping to bring an end to its club-record run of 24 league games without a victory. The odds are not good. Schalke has a host of injuries, an unnamed player with the coronavirus, and suspended three players on Tuesday after internal disagreements. Two of the three, Vedad Ibisevic and Nabil Bentaleb, are to leave the club. Technical director Michael Reschke also left by mutual consent. Coach Manuel Baum is finding it hard to put a side together for the game but he says the club’s disciplinary actions were necessary. League leader Bayern Munich visits promoted Stuttgart, second-placed Borussia Dortmund hosts winless Cologne, and Leipzig hosts promoted Arminia Bielefeld. Fifth-placed Union Berlin hosts Eintracht Frankfurt.FRANCELeague leader Paris Saint-Germain hosts Bordeaux with winger Hatem Ben Arfa returning to face his former club after an unhappy two-year spell at PSG saw him cut from training with the first team. He has a good record at Parc des Princes, though, having netted four times when on the visiting team. Meanwhile, Brazil star Neymar looks to become the quickest PSG player to reach 50 league goals. If he does, it will be in his 58th game, one less than former club star Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Marseille takes on Nantes in the other game needing to bounce back from a record 13th straight defeat in the Champions League. If Marseille wins at its Stade Velodrome it will move up to third place with two games in hand on the other sides in the top six.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsThe Associated Press

  • The Canadian Press

    Rennes misses late scoring chance in 1-1 draw at Strasbourg

    PARIS — Rennes substitute Adrien Hunou scored an equalizer and then missed a late chance as Rennes drew at struggling Strasbourg 1-1 in the French league on Friday.Rennes was an early frontrunner in the league but has won only once in the past 11 games overall, dropping to sixth place.Next-to-last Strasbourg took the lead midway through the first half when midfielder Adrien Thomasson turned in right back Kenny Lala's cross.But the Alsace side's hopes were dented when influential centre back Stefan Mitrovic was sent off five minutes before halftime for fouling striker Serhou Guirassy as he ran through on goal.Guirassy limped off with an ankle injury and was replaced by Hunou moments before the break.Hunou headed home from a cross in the 60th and nodded against the post in the 84th, after inspired veteran Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima made two saves in between.On Saturday, PSG hosts Bordeaux, with Bordeaux winger Hatem Ben Arfa returning to face his former club.Marseille takes on Nantes in the other game needing to bounce back from a record 13th straight defeat in the Champions League.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsThe Associated Press

  • The Canadian Press

    Montreal Impact use options on 10 players, including striker Quioto, 'keeper Diop

    MONTREAL — The Montreal Impact have elected to hang on to some of the club's top talent, including striker Romell Quioto and goalkeeper Clement Diop, but may soon be parting ways with midfielder Bojan Krkic.  The club announced Friday that it has exercised options for 10 players on its roster and opted not to pick up options for another four. Deals on five other players are set to expire at the end of 2020. “All of these decisions are about the financial and sporting sides, and we need to be better," Impact sporting director Olivier Renard said on a video call.  “We need to make the jump.” Some of the options weren't picked because the club is looking to make space for new players, he added. “We have space to make movement and we will make that as soon as possible," Renard said. In addition to Quioto and Diop, Montreal is keeping goalies James Pantemis and Jonathan Sirois, defender Karifa Yao, midfielders Clement Bayiha, Mathiew Choiniere, Tomas Giraldo and Amar Sejdic, and forward Mason Toye.  The club previously extended loans for defender Luis Binks and midfielder Lassi Lappalainen through 2021. The club did not exercise options on four players, including Krkic, midfielders Steeven Saba and Shamit Shome, and forward Anthony Jackson-Hamel.  The decision doesn't necessarily mean Krkic won't wear an Impact jersey next season, however.  Renard said the club is interested in bringing the 30-year-old Spanish midfielder back, but decided not to pick up his option "for many reasons."  He said the Impact have made Krkic an offer, and the decision is now up to him. Krkic played in 17 regular-season games for Montreal this year, tallying four goals and two assists. Four other players will be out of contract at the end of December, including defenders Rod Fanni, Jukka Raitala and Jorge Corrales. A loan agreement for midfielder Orji Okwonkwo is also set to expire at the end of the year. Raitala, Montreal's captain, and Corrales will not return next season, Renard confirmed, but the club is still waiting to see if Fanni, 38, wants to continue playing professionally.  The moves come after the Impact finished ninth in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference (8-13-2). Montreal was eliminated from the post-season with a 2-1 loss to the New England Revolution in the play-in round.  The Impact still have at least one game to play in 2020. The team is set to face Honduran club Olimpia in CONCACAF Champions League action on Dec. 15.  Players who did not have their options picked up are not required by MLS to play in the game, but Renard said he is hopeful they will join anyway.  This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.  The Canadian Press