MATCHDAY: Lazio hosts Lecce; Hertha at Cologne
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Friday:
Third-place Lazio hosts a Lecce team two spots above the relegation zone in a key match for both clubs. With Napoli already having sealed the Serie A title, Lazio (64 points) is locked in a tight battle with second-place Juventus (66), fourth-place Inter Milan (63), fifth-place AC Milan (61) and sixth-place Atalanta (58) for the top four spots and qualification for next season’s Champions League. Key Lazio midfielder Mattia Zaccagni is struggling physically after exiting Lazio’s previous match against Milan after an hour. Lecce is only four points above the drop zone.
Cadiz visits Mallorca seeking three points to help the Andalusian team's bid to avoid relegation. The visitors are in 15th place but only one point above 18th-placed Getafe. Cadiz has only won one of its last five games, a run that included a 5-1 rout by Atletico Madrid last round.
Last-place Hertha Berlin is in desperate need of a win against Cologne as it tries to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga. Hertha got a lifeline last week with a 2-1 win over fellow struggler Stuttgart but is likely to need at least four points from its last three games against Cologne, Bochum and Wolfsburg to stand any chance of avoiding relegation. It's the first game for Cologne since extending the contract of coach Steffen Baumgart this week.
Lens looks to continue its march toward a Champions League spot when it hosts Reims. Lens leapfrogged Marseille into second place by beating the southern club last weekend. Second place guarantees a Champions League place. A victory against mid-table Reims would move Lens to three points behind leader Paris Saint-Germain. The match pits two of the best forwards in the league with Loïs Openda on 19 goals and Reims striker Folarin Balogun on 18. None of Openda's goals have been from penalties. PSG's Lionel Messi is the only other top-10 scorer to not have one from the spot.
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The Associated Press