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MATCHDAY: Newcastle, Leeds aim for 1st win; Hertha seeks 2nd

September 16, 2021 GMT

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

ENGLAND

Newcastle and Leeds are languishing near the foot of the Premier League as they meet at St. James’ Park with both seeking a first win of the campaign. Both are also coming off big losses, Leeds to Liverpool 3-0 and Newcastle to Manchester United 4-1. Leeds, which has two draws and two defeats from its four games, has something of a crisis at center back with Robin Koch and Diego Llorente injured and Pascal Struijk suspended. Luke Ayling, a right back, may be forced to move inside. Newcastle is without its leading striker, Callum Wilson, as it looks to improve on its one point so far.

SPAIN

Celta Vigo hosts Cádiz with both teams looking to end their winless streak at the start of the Spanish league. Celta lost three of its first four matches, including the last two. The defeats came against defending champion Atlético Madrid, Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid. It was held to a scoreless draw at Osasuna. Cádiz opened with two consecutive draws — against Levante and at Real Betis — then lost to Osasuna and Real Sociedad.

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ITALY

Torino had its confidence boosted by a 4-0 win over Salernitana last weekend that gave Ivan Jurić’s side its first points of the season. It will be looking to build on that result but faces a potentially tricky trip to Sassuolo, which was unlucky to lose 2-1 at Roma on Sunday.

GERMANY

Hertha Berlin finally bagged its first win of the new Bundesliga season against promoted Bochum on Sunday and can now double up against the other promoted team, Greuther Fürth. Hertha goes into the game in 16th while Fürth is 18th and last, and the two clubs share the league’s worst defensive record with 11 goals conceded. Injuries are a problem for Hertha. The Berlin club is missing two center-backs and striker Krzysztof Piatek, who is back in training but hasn’t played since fracturing his ankle in May. It’s all very far from Hertha’s ambition to be a “big city club” challenging for European places.

FRANCE

Strugglers are in action in the French league when Strasbourg hosts Metz, which is one of only four teams yet to win and sits in 18th place. Alsace-based Strasbourg is hardly faring much better in 15th spot after just one victory. Both sides have been defending poorly and have conceded a combined total of 21 goals in five games.

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