A preview of what’s happening in European football on Monday:
Riyad Mahrez is preparing for Manchester City’s visit to Crystal Palace, saying the tight Premier League title race with Liverpool brings out the best in him. The winger is enjoying a superb season, having netted 21 times in all competitions, to keep City firmly in contention for three trophies. Four-time chasers Liverpool are still battling on the same three fronts and their Premier League form in particular means City have little room for error. Liverpool cut champions City’s lead at the top of the table to three points by beating Brighton on Saturday. Mahrez said, “I have to have pressure. I wouldn’t be good if I didn’t have pressure. It makes you better, it makes you hungrier.” The match at Selhurst Park gives City a chance to keep Liverpool at bay for a bit longer. Palace won at the Etihad Stadium in October.
Real Madrid make a rare appearance on Monday when they travel to relegation-threatened Mallorca to try to increase their Spanish league lead over second-placed Sevilla. Madrid are seven points clear after Sevilla drew 1-1 at Rayo Vallecano on Sunday. It will be Madrid’s first match since their epic victory on Wednesday against Paris Saint-Germain to qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals. Madrid have won three in a row in the Spanish league and are unbeaten in seven consecutive games, with five wins and two draws. Mallorca have lost four in a row and sit just above the relegation zone.
Seventh-placed Lazio are looking to boost their chances of securing a Europa League spot when the Roman club host relegation-threatened Venice in Serie A. Maurizio Sarri’s side are also looking to keep their momentum going after a 3- 0 in Cagliari before the Rome derby. next week. Lazio won 3-1 in Venice in December. Venice’s key midfielder Mattia Aramu is suspended, as is coach Paolo Zanetti.
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