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MATCHDAY: Juventus hosts Napoli; Atlético plays in Copa

January 5, 2022 GMT
Juventus' Alvaro Morata, right, reacts, during the Italian Serie a soccer match between Juventus and Cagliari at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy, Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021. (Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse via AP)
Juventus' Alvaro Morata, right, reacts, during the Italian Serie a soccer match between Juventus and Cagliari at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy, Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021. (Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse via AP)
Juventus' Alvaro Morata, right, reacts, during the Italian Serie a soccer match between Juventus and Cagliari at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy, Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021. (Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse via AP)
Juventus' Alvaro Morata, right, reacts, during the Italian Serie a soccer match between Juventus and Cagliari at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy, Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021. (Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse via AP)
Juventus' Alvaro Morata, right, reacts, during the Italian Serie a soccer match between Juventus and Cagliari at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy, Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021. (Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse via AP)

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

ITALY

The Italian league resumes after a two-week winter break with Juventus hosting Napoli in the marquee match amid a full slate of games. Coronavirus infections are limiting squads, however, with about 10% of players in Serie A positive, including Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini and Napoli striker Victor Osimhen. Last-place Salernitana, which hosts Venezia, is the hardest hit with nine of its players having COVID-19. Serie A leader Inter Milan visits Bologna and second-place AC Milan hosts Roma. Stadium capacities have been reduced from 75% to 50% following a government decree aimed at combatting the latest outbreak and spectators must now wear FFP2 masks.

SPAIN

Atlético Madrid, Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao are among top-flight teams facing lower-division opponents in the Copa del Rey’s round-of-32. Diego Simeone’s Atlético plays at third-tier Rayo Majadahonda. Sevilla is at second-division Zaragoza, and Bilbao visits fourth-division Atlético Mancha. Bilbao is trying to reach its third straight cup final after losing the past two. Villarreal also hosts Gijón, while Elche is at second-division leader Almería.

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