Germany: Open Cup

The German Cup is promised to an "outsider"!

Hamburg, Freiburg, Leipzig and Union Berlin fight for the "Pokal" in very open semi-finals on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Of the three candidates, only Hamburg has already lifted the trophy, three times, but the last coronation of the club now playing in D2 dates back to 1987.

Against Freiburg on Tuesday (8:45 p.m.), this historic club in the German championship is looking to save another lackluster season, while the rise in the Bundesliga is complicated with a sixth place in D2 four days from the end.

But the Cup favorite is indeed RB Leipzig, unfortunate finalists against Dortmund in 2021. Christopher Nkunku's partners have lost only once in 2022 in all competitions, are in the race on all counts but show no signs fatigue or lassitude, when receiving Wednesday (8:45 p.m.) Union Berlin, the 6th in the Bundesliga.

Chance of the calendar, the two clubs will meet in the same stadium in the Championship three days later.

England: crucial update

Six late Premier League matches are organized in the middle of the week, and there will be heavy!

From Tuesday, Manchester United, relaunched in the race for the Champions League after its victory against Norwich on Saturday (3-2), and the missteps of Arsenal and Tottenham, will go to Liverpool (9:00 p.m.) who still dreams to beat Manchester City, leader with a point lead, at the post in the league.

City will play on Wednesday (9:00 p.m.) against Brighton, which remains on two away wins at Spurs and Gunners.

Shortly before that (8:45 p.m.), the London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal will be crucial in the race for the C1.

Broken down since the return from the international break, Arsenal cannot afford a fourth defeat in a row in the final sprint, while Chelsea would almost definitely secure their place on the podium if successful.

Spain: another shock for Barça

The Catalans have a new chance to nibble points on Real Madrid Thursday as part of the 33rd day of La Liga, on the lawn of Real Sociedad, which dreams of entering the top 4.

The joy of Karim Benzema, scorer of the winning goal for Real against Sevilla FC, on April 17, 2022, at the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium CRISTINA QUICLER AFP

Eliminated from all other competitions, the Blaugrana have three league games this week to try to corner the almighty Real in the lead.

Carlo Ancelotti's men visit Osasuna on Wednesday (9:30 p.m.) a week before their C1 semi-final against Manchester City.

It will be a few hours after Atlético Madrid - Granada (7:00 p.m.), another meeting that could be decisive in the race for Europe for the Colchoneros, struggling in 4th place, three small points ahead of Betis Sevilla.

Also note the essential match in the fight for maintenance between the red lantern Alavés and Mallorca, the first non-relegation, Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. in the Balearic Islands.

- Italy: Milan derby for a final -

Already engaged in an intense mano a mano for the scudetto, Inter Milan and AC Milan are fighting on Tuesday at San Siro (9:00 p.m.) for a place in the Italian Cup final, after the 0-0 first leg .

AC Milan French striker Olivier Giroud (g) and Inter Croatian midfielder Ivan Perisic during the Italian Cup semi-final first leg on March 1, 2022 at San Siro MIGUEL MEDINA AFP

This is the fourth "Manonnina derby" of the season (two draws and a win for the Rossoneri so far) but the first contested since the end of the stadium capacity cap, and therefore the first complete since the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19.

Important detail: the rule of away goals being worth double, abolished in Europe, is still in force in the Italian Cup.

AC Milan, formally outside, will therefore qualify in the event of a draw with goals.

Rossonero coach Stefano Pioli assures that his team remains fully focused on the pitch as negotiations are underway, according to several media, for a sale of the club held since 2018 by the Elliott fund to Investcorp, another investment fund based in Bahrain.

Neither company has confirmed the talks.

But Investcorp boss Mohammed Al Ardhi did it half-heartedly this weekend by congratulating AC Milan on Twitter for their first place in the league and wishing fans a "Happy Easter".

In the other semi-final, Juventus will receive Fiorentina on Wednesday (9:00 p.m.) with the advantage of 1-0 snatched from Florence in the first leg.

The Bianconeri want to keep their title to avoid a white season, which would be a first since 2011.

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© 2022 AFP

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