MATCHDAY: Alavés looks to build on shock win over Atlético

September 30, 2021 GMT

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

SPAIN

Alavés plays at Athletic Bilbao in a Basque Country derby with the visitors hoping to build on their shock win over defending champion Atlético Madrid. Alavés had lost all five matches to start the season before it made good on an early goal by defender Víctor Laguardia to stun Atlético 1-0 in the previous round. Coach Javier Calleja will hope to get more from an attack that has only scored twice this season. Bilbao is in 10th place with only one loss this season, but it has gone winless in its last three games.

ITALY

Cagliari hosts Venezia in a match which is already looking like a relegation battle even at this early stage of the Serie A season. Cagliari is without a win in its first six matches and sits just two points below Venezia, with both teams in the bottom three. Walter Mazzarri took over at Cagliari two weeks ago and managed a credible draw at Lazio in his first match in charge but went on to lose the next two matches, without scoring a goal. Venezia is beginning to show signs of finding its feet in Serie A in its first season back in the top flight since 2002.

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GERMANY

Cologne is unexpectedly on the fringes of the European places after a strong start to the Bundesliga season and has a good shot at three points against promoted Greuther Fürth. Cologne is four games unbeaten, though three of those were draws, so this is a chance to build momentum again. Fürth is last with one point from six games. The campaign already resembles Fürth’s only previous Bundesliga season in 2012-13, when the club won four games all season and was relegated.

FRANCE

Lens has made a flying start to the season and looks to strengthen its grip on second place with a home win against midtable Reims. Lens won at Marseille last weekend to leapfrog the southern side into second spot and has only lost once in eight games so far. Poland winger Przemyslaw Frankowski has been one of the signings of the season and has two goals and three assists for Lens.

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