MATCHDAY: Lewandowski 1 goal from Müller’s record

National Sports

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

GERMANY

Bayern Munich is already assured of finishing the first half of the Bundesliga season as ”autumn champion” but a record is beckoning for top scorer Robert Lewandowski when Wolfsburg visits. Lewandowski needs just one more goal in the last game before the winter break to eclipse Gerd Muller’s tally of 42 in a calendar year from 1972. Wolfsburg has lost its last six games across all competitions and the Volkswagen-backed club is a favorite opponent for Lewandowski. The Poland star has already scored 23 goals in 20 Bundesliga games against Wolfsburg – more than against any other opponent in the league.

ITALY

Defending champion Inter Milan visits last-place Salernitana, which risks being removed from Serie A due to a conflict of interest. Originally owned by Lazio president Claudio Lotito, the Italian Football Association ordered a change in ownership for Salernitana due to regulations that prevent multiple teams in the top division from having the same owner. In June, control of Salernitana was handed over to a trust that was ordered to find a new owner by the end of the year. But the ”Trust Salernitana 2021” announced on Thursday that none of the offers received were acceptable. Also, Lotito’s Lazio hosts Genoa.

SPAIN

Celta Vigo hosts Espanyol hoping to improve on its home record in the Spanish league after only wining once in nine games at its Balaidos Stadium. Eduardo Coudet’s side is four points above the relegation zone in the 14th place after losing two straight. Top scorer Iago Aspas will be back after missing the last two games for Celta. Captain and defender Hugo Mallo will also return from injury. Espanyol is enjoying its return to the topflight after a season in the second division thanks to its strong home record, while it has yet to win on the road in eight tries. A win for ninth-place Espanyol would lift it above crosstown rival Barcelona.

FRANCE

Lyon opens its French Cup campaign with a tricky trip to Paris FC. The second-division side has won its past four matches in a run that included a 14-0 thrashing of Cayenne in the Cup’s previous round. Lyon has been inconsistent in the French league this season, winning only six of its 17 games.

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