MATCHDAY: Lyon coach under pressure, Osasuna hosts Valencia
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Friday:
Osasuna hosts Valencia aiming for another win that would lift it into the top four spots in the Spanish league. Osasuna has emerged as the surprise of the season so far in Spain. The modest club from Pamplona has only two losses in seven rounds and ruined Real Madrid’s perfect start to the season last round when it earned a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabéu. Coach Jagoba Arrasate has guided Osasuna into sixth place, level on points with Atlético Madrid and Real Sociedad. Osasuna forward Chimy Ávila, who leads his team with three goals, is back after missing the Madrid match while serving a one-game suspension. Valencia is winless in three away games since Gennaro Gattuso became its coach this summer.
Hoffenheim hosts promoted Werder Bremen to start the Bundesliga’s ninth round. Bremen has impressed so far on its return to the top division with a remarkable late win at Borussia Dortmund, when it scored three goals from the 89th minute to come from two goals down and win 3-2, and then last weekend’s 5-1 rout of Borussia Mönchengladbach. Bremen is as yet unbeaten away from home and it boasts the league’s top scorer in Niclas Füllkrug (7 goals), who may yet earn a World Cup call-up for Germany. But Hoffenheim has also made a promising start and will be keen to win at home after drawing its previous two games.
Lyon looks to snap a four-game losing streak when it hosts promoted Toulouse in the French league. Another defeat could put Dutch coach Peter Bosz on an ejector seat as Lyon has slipped to seventh place, nine points outside the top three spots. Toulouse is just two points behind Lyon and hopes to come away with a point at least after losing its last three games on the road. Lyon will rely on Alexandre Lacazette, Tete and Karl Toko Ekambi to find the net. Toulouse will miss right back Mikkel Desler, who was sent off last weekend in the 4-2 win over Montpellier.
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