MATCHDAY: Fulham hosts Wolverhampton, Betis goes to Elche
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Friday:
Fulham has been one of the big surprises in the Premier League this season and can move to within a point of the Champions League qualification places with a home win over Wolverhampton. Fulham is in sixth place in its first season after promotion, having started out as one of the favorites for relegation. It is coming off back-to-back wins, against Nottingham Forest and Brighton. Another win would see Fulham join fifth-place Newcastle on 41 points. Top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic is an injury doubt for Fulham after missing the Brighton game. Wolverhampton is in 15th place in the 20-team league, three points above the relegation zone.
Real Betis visits last-place Elche aiming to collect an easy three points that will keep it in the hunt for a top-four finish and a resulting Champions League berth. Elche looks destined for the second division after managing to win just once in 22 rounds played so far this season. Manuel Pellegrini’s Betis is in fifth place and just four points behind Atletico Madrid, which faces a tough game at Real Madrid on Saturday.
Coming off a morale-boosting win over Bayern Munich last week, Borussia Mönchengladbach visits mid-table rival Mainz. Gladbach beat Bayern 3-2 with help from an early red card for Bayern defender Dayot Upamecano. Gladbach is eighth and Mainz is ninth after recent inconsistencies, and the gap to the European places has widened.
Having narrowly lost 4-3 to league leader Paris Saint-Germain last weekend, Lille will be confident when it hosts struggling Brest. Victory would move Lille above Rennes into fifth place. Lille striker Jonathan David is tied with Kylian Mbappé atop the scoring charts with 15 goals. Brest is just one point above the relegation zone and has conceded 40 goals in 24 games this season.
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The Associated Press