A look at what’s going on in European football on Wednesday:
Manchester City, League Cup winners over the past four seasons, continue their defense of the competition’s title with a trip to West Ham in the round of 16. West Ham knocked out Manchester United in the previous round and is having a good season, placing fourth in the Premier League and close to qualifying in the Europa League. There are two other all-Premier League clashes – Burnley v Tottenham and Leicester v Brighton – as Liverpool head to second-tier Preston after a 5-0 win at Manchester United which extended the undefeated start to the season. team. In addition, Brentford visits second level Stoke.
Barcelona try to bounce back from the home loss to Real Madrid in the “classic” Spanish league when they visit Radamel FalcÃ£o’s Rayo Vallecano, who have won all four of their home games this season. Veteran striker Sergio Aguero is expected to make his first start for the Catalan club since arriving from Manchester City. Madrid can take the lead in the league with a home victory over Osasuna, who have won four of their last six matches. Sevilla, tied on points with Madrid, also have a chance to climb to the top of the table when they visit Mallorca. Real Betis welcome Valencia in the hope of getting closer to the leaders.
Nice, third, welcomes Marseille on neutral ground in a rescheduled championship match. Matchday 3 was abandoned in August due to crowd problems and will be played behind closed doors at the Aube stadium in Troyes. French football has been harassed by bad behavior from supporters this season and Marseille fans were at fault again last weekend in a 0-0 draw against bitter rival PSG, with incidents occurring at both inside and outside their stadium. Nice leads Marseille, fourth, by one point in the standings.
Three of the best coaches will not be on the benches for their respective teams after Roma’s JosÃ© Mourinho, Inter Milan’s Simone Inzaghi and Atalanta’s Gian Piero Gasperini all received red cards this weekend. Third, Inter will look to keep the pressure on the top two with a win at Empoli. Any mistake could be overcome by Roma, who travel to Cagliari, threatened with relegation. Atalanta and Juventus are three points behind Inter and face Sampdoria and Sassuolo respectively. Fiorentina also have 15 points and are just one point above Lazio, which they meet in the evening game in Rome. Lazio will still be suffering from their surprise 4-1 loss to Hellas Verona, which visits Udinese.
Bayern Munich were knocked out of the German Cup in the second round last year by Holstein Kiel and face another tricky game at the same stage of this season’s competition against compatriot Bundesliga Borussia MÃ¶nchengladbach. Their league meeting in August was a 1-1 draw. There are two more Premier League games as Stuttgart hosts Cologne and Bochum plays Augsburg. Bayer Leverkusen plays second tier Karlsruhe.