MATCHDAY: Bilbao hosts Cadiz; Southampton plays Villa in PL

National Sports

A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Friday:

SPAIN

Athletic Bilbao hosts Cadiz aiming for a win that would keep it in touch with the Spanish league’s top four. Marcelino Garcia’s side has only lost once in 11 matches this season and a victory would lift it level on points with fifth-place Real Betis before the weekend’s matches. Bilbao will be without first-choice center-back Inigo Martinez, who is suspended after being sent off in last round’s 1-1 draw with Real Sociedad. Cadiz is in the relegation zone after only winning once so far.

ENGLAND

Southampton hosts Aston Villa enjoying fine form, with seven points collected from the last three Premier League matches. Villa has lost four matches in a row to drop to a point and a place behind Southampton in 15th place. This is the first reunion with his old team for Villa striker Danny Ings, who left Southampton in the offseason. Ings has three goals in nine games so far for Villa.

ITALY

With only one win in 11 matches, Genoa is in desperate need of a victory at Empoli in Serie A. Genoa is one spot above the drop zone, putting the job of coach Davide Ballardini at risk. Andrea Pirlo, who coached Juventus last season, is reportedly an option to replace Ballardini. Empoli, which won 1-0 at Juventus in the second week of the season, is 11th.

GERMANY

Two in-form teams meet when Mainz hosts Borussia Monchengladbach to start the Bundesliga’s 11th round. Mainz is in fifth place after a three-game winning run, including a win over Arminia Bielefeld in the second round of the German Cup, and Gladbach is still high on confidence after routing Bayern Munich 5-0 in the cup. Adi Hutter’s team followed up with a hard-fought 2-1 win over its traditional bogey team Bochum.

FRANCE

Lens has made such a bright start to the season that even the visit of modest club Troyes means a sellout crowd of 35,500. Lens is in fourth place but sits only one point behind third-place Marseille and two behind second-place Nice. Lens forward Arnaud Kalimuendo will be confident of adding to his three league goals this season against 14th-place Troyes, which was promoted last season. The 19-year-old Kalimuendo is the youngest player since Kylian Mbappe in 2017 to reach 10 league goals in the French top flight, netting seven last term for Lens.

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