MATCHDAY: Barcelona must bounce back against Sevilla. Dortmund needs a win at Hoffenheim
Thu, Sep 28, 2023
Soccer News (AP)
A look at what's happening in European soccer on Friday:
Barcelona hosts Sevilla and is looking to provisionally move back to the top of the Spanish league. It's in third place, trailing leader Girona by two points and Real Madrid by one. The defending champions will be aiming to bounce back from a 2-2 draw at Mallorca on Tuesday. Barcelona will still be without injured midfielders Pedri Gonzalez and Frenkie de Jong. Sevilla arrives after having routed Almeria 5-1 as it improves after a poor start to the season.
Borussia Dortmund doesn't just need a win at Hoffenheim but a convincing performance as well. Key Dortmund personnel admit they're still preoccupied with the club losing the Bundesliga title to Bayern Munich in the final minutes of last season. Recent wins over Freiburg and Wolfsburg came in close games that could have gone either way and the Champions League loss to Paris Saint-Germain highlighted concerns over poor passing. Hoffenheim and American coach Pellegrino Matarazzo are exceeding expectations in fifth, a place above Dortmund, and on a four-game winning run.
After finally winning its first game of the season last weekend to move off the bottom of the French league, northern side Lens looks to follow up with a win at Strasbourg. Alsace-based Strasbourg has made a good start and sits in sixth place. Lens coach Franck Haise must decide whether to rest key players ahead of next Tuesday's Champions League home game against unbeaten Premier League side Arsenal.
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