- Associated Press - Monday, September 18, 2017

What to watch in the leading soccer competitions in Europe on Tuesday and Wednesday:



Cristiano Ronaldo will return to the team and make his league debut after serving a five-match suspension for shoving a referee in the Spanish Super Cup final against Barcelona last month.

Defending champion Real Madrid, three points off the lead, hosts Real Betis on Wednesday to try to keep its momentum going after a 3-1 win at Real Sociedad.

Barcelona seems well placed to record a fifth successive league win when it plays Eibar on Tuesday. The Basque side has lost its last six matches to Barcelona and been outscored 20-3.

Barcelona has a two-point lead over second-place Sevilla, which hosts Las Palmas on Wednesday. Sevilla has won three straight after an opening home draw against Espanyol.

Fifth-place Atletico Madrid, four points behind Barcelona, visits Athletic Bilbao on Tuesday.

- By Tales Azzoni in Madrid



Manchester United opens its League Cup defense on Wednesday by hosting Burton Albion in the third round when the teams in European competitions enter England’s second-tier cup.

It’s a chance for teams, even in the lower leagues, to rotate their squads. Second-tier side Burton will be entering fortress Old Trafford where United has scored 10 goals without reply in three Premier League wins so far.

Another League Championship team heading to a large stadium is Barnsley. Tottenham on Tuesday hosts the team that was in the Premier League in 1997-98 seeking only a fourth win in 15 matches at Wembley Stadium. The north London club is yet to win a domestic match at its temporary home for the season, having collected two points from a possible nine in the Premier League.

On Wednesday, Premier League champion Chelsea entertains Nottingham Forest from the Championship and Arsenal hosts third-tier Doncaster.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is due to make his first start for Liverpool since joining from Arsenal next month in Tuesday’s game against Leicester. It’s one of four all-Premier League meetings. Crystal Palace, without a point in the league, hosts Huddersfield on Tuesday when Bournemouth also plays Brighton. Manchester City travels to West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday.

- By Rob Harris in London



Schalke’s revival under new coach Domenico Tedesco faces a stern test Tuesday when Bayern Munich visits Gelsenkirchen. The 32-year-old Tedesco has overseen three wins and a loss in the Bundesliga - the same record as Bayern, which appeared back in form following the loss to Hoffenheim with a 4-0 rout of Mainz on Saturday.

Borussia Dortmund, the only side yet to concede in four games, visits injury-hit Hamburger SV on Wednesday.

Resurgent Borussia Moenchengladbach gets the fifth round underway against promoted Stuttgart on Tuesday.

- By Ciaran Fahey in Berlin



Paulo Dybala is on a fine scoring streak as Juventus prepares to host Fiorentina on Wednesday.

Dybala netted his second hat trick of the season to help Juventus win 3-1 at Sassuolo on Sunday and take his tally to eight in the opening four matches, just three fewer than he scored in the whole of last campaign.

Juventus, which is bidding for a seventh successive league title, has a perfect record in Serie A this season along with Napoli and Inter Milan.

Napoli visits Lazio, also on Wednesday, the day after Inter travels to Bologna. AC Milan hosts newly-promoted Spal while Roma visits Benevento, which is still searching for its first ever top-flight point.

- By Daniella Matar in Milan


More AP soccer coverage: https://www.apnews.com/tag/apf-Soccer

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