MATCHDAY: Man City visits Chelsea; Betis enters Copa del Rey

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


Manchester City can reduce the gap to Premier League leader Arsenal to five points by beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal was held to a draw by Newcastle on Tuesday yet City manager Pep Guardiola was still impressed by what he saw from Mikel Arteta’s team and feels City has little margin for error over the remainder of the campaign. “They (Arsenal) are going to do 100 or more points the way they have gone so far," Guardiola said. “If they continue this way, we will not catch them. We have to be almost perfect, I would say, from here to the end of the season and hope they drop a little bit in their performance.” Chelsea has won just one of its last seven Premier League games. It is the first of two back-to-back encounters between City and Chelsea. Chelsea visits Etihad Stadium in the FA Cup on Sunday.


Real Betis makes its Copa del Rey debut against fourth-division club Ibiza at a Can Misses stadium that seats less than 2,000 people in the Balearic Islands. Betis, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia are only debuting in the round of 32 because they are playing in the Spanish Super Cup beginning next week. In other Copa matches, Athletic Bilbao plays at Eldense and Osasuna faces Gimnastic.


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The Associated Press