MATCHDAY: Bilbao visits Levante, Frankfurt goes to Bremen

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

SPAIN

Athletic Bilbao visits Levante in a matchup of two of the up-and-coming teams in the Spanish league. Both sides can hope to compete for a Europa League berth if they can keep up their strong runs of late. Levante enters the game in eighth place after just one loss in its last eight league matches. Paco López’s team took five points from its double-header with leader Atlético Madrid last week. Bilbao has improved under new coach Marcelino García Toral and is in 10th place.

GERMANY

Eintracht Frankfurt has stormed into Champions League contention with the best record in the Bundesliga so far in 2021. After beating Bayern Munich 2-1 last week, Frankfurt is looking to follow up with a win over Werder Bremen to move past Wolfsburg into third and extend the gap over the chasing pack. Frankfurt goes into the game on a five-game winning run in the Bundesliga and with top scorer Andre Silva returning from a back injury which ruled him out of the Bayern game. Bremen is 12th and looking to recover from a 4-0 loss to Hoffenheim.

FRANCE

Rennes hosts Nice with both sides needing to arrest a bad run of form. Nice has lost its past three games, despite playing well away to Paris Saint-Germain in one of them. Early frontrunner Rennes has picked a measly two points from five matches since last winning in mid-January. Although Rennes is drifting toward midtable, it has played one game less and can bounce back up to fifth place with a win. Nice is mired in 16th spot and not yet in trouble, given the six-point gap to the relegation zone. But it really needs a victory to give itself more of a cushion.

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