MATCHDAY: Real Madrid hosts Valencia; Juventus in action

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


Real Madrid hosts Valencia in a league match postponed from January because of the teams' participation in the Spanish Super Cup. Madrid and Valencia played in the semifinals of the tournament in Saudi Arabia, with Madrid advancing in a penalty shootout before eventually losing the final to Barcelona. Madrid needs a win at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium to stay close to league leader Barcelona. It will be Valencia's first game without coach Gennaro Gattuso, whose contract was terminated by mutual agreement amid the team's poor run. Valencia has won only one of its last 10 league games and is one point above the relegation zone. Its only two wins this year came in the Copa del Rey.


Juventus will try to put its league misery behind it when it hosts Lazio with a place in the Italian Cup semifinals at stake. Juventus was penalized 15 points last month for false accounting and that, coupled with poor results has left it just 10 points above the relegation zone. Sunday’s 2-0 loss at home to Monza was preceded by a draw against Atalanta and a hefty 5-1 loss at Napoli. Juventus has won the trophy a record 14 times however. Lazio is undefeated in its past five matches but lost 3-0 at Juventus in the league in November. The winner will face holder Inter Milan in a two-legged semifinal in April.


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The Associated Press