MATCHDAY: Athletic Bilbao hosts last-place Almeria, Lecce faces Sassuolo

Thu, Oct 5, 2023
Soccer News (AP)

MATCHDAY: Athletic Bilbao hosts last-place Almeria, Lecce faces Sassuolo

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


Athletic Bilbao looks to return to winning ways when it hosts last-place Almeria in the Spanish league. Athletic is coming off a home draw against Getafe and a 3-0 loss at Real Sociedad in the Basque Country derby. The results dropped Athletic to sixth place, behind rival Sociedad. Almeria is the only team yet to win after eight league rounds. It relinquished a three-goal halftime lead against Granada on Sunday in a match that ended 3-3. It has five losses.


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Lecce will be keen to get back on track when it hosts Sassuolo in Serie A. Lecce had a surprising start to the season and was unbeaten in its first five matches. But it fell to a narrow loss at Juventus last week and followed up with a 4-0 thrashing by defending champion Napoli at the weekend. Sassuolo had impressive wins over Juventus and Inter Milan recently but lost at home to Monza on Monday. Empoli hosts Udinese in what is already looking like a relegation battle. Empoli has lost six of its seven matches and sits just a point below Udinese, which is still looking for its first win of the season.


Two struggling teams meet as Borussia Moenchengladbach hosts Mainz. There are signs that new Gladbach coach Gerardo Seoane might be turning things around after his team beat Bochum 3-1 last week. It was the club's first Bundesliga win of the season and moved it up to 13th. Mainz is in last place and picked up its only point back in August but coach Bo Svensson has been there before. He was hired in 2021 with Mainz in the relegation zone and led the club to two successive top-half finishes in the following seasons.


Strasbourg can move above Paris Saint-Germain into fifth place if it beats Nantes. But goals have been hard to come by for Strasbourg, which has found the net only seven times in seven games so far.


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