MATCHDAY: Madrid plays Bilbao for place in Super Cup final
A look at what’s happening around European soccer on Thursday:
Real Madrid faces Athletic Bilbao for a spot in the final of the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona. Madrid is the defending champion in the tournament that this year is being played in southern Spain instead of Saudi Arabia because of the coronavirus pandemic. Bilbao is seeking its second Super Cup title after winning it for the first time in 2015. Real Madrid won the competition 11 times. Barcelona made it to the final by defeating Real Sociedad in a penalty shootout on Wednesday.
Arsenal looks to continue its resurgence in the Premier League by picking up a fourth straight win in a home match against Crystal Palace. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was under severe pressure before Christmas but wins over the festive period against Chelsea, Brighton and West Brom have moved his team back into midtable and in sight of the European positions. Palace is a point behind Arsenal and its form has been up and down, with two wins, two losses and three draws over its last seven games.
Sassuolo hosts Spezia in the Italian Cup with the winner facing Juventus in the quarterfinal. Sassuolo has faded somewhat after a surprisingly good start to the Serie A season bi is nevertheless seventh. Spezia is playing its first ever season in the Italian top flight. In-form Atalanta hosts struggling Cagliari, with the winner set to face either Lazio or Parma. Atalanta has scored 12 goals in its past three matches.