MATCHDAY: Lille’s title chase; Fulham’s relegation scrap

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

FRANCE

After handing Paris Saint-Germain its eighth loss of its French title defense, Lille can move six points ahead of the champions with a victory against mid-table Metz at the Stade Saint-Symphorien. While Metz has improved under coach Frederic Antonetti it remains an inconsistent side, with 11 wins and 11 defeats, scoring 36 goals and conceding the same. Lille has only lost three times in 31 games, kept two clean sheets against PSG and conceded just 19 goals for the fewest defeats and goals allowed in the league. It’s looking like title-winning form for Christophe Galtier’s side with seven games to go.

ENGLAND

Fulham is three points from safety going into a match against Wolverhampton, having lost three successive matches since surprisingly beating champion Liverpool. This is one of five matches for Wolves against the Premier League’s bottom six teams in the last eight games of the season. Wolves have dropped to 14th after winning only one of its last six matches but is nine points above the relegation zone.

SPAIN

Huesca hosts Elche with both teams trying to avoid relegation. Huesca has improved since Pacheta Martín took over as coach in January. Huesca has earned three of its total of four victories this season in its last nine games. It rose off the bottom of the table and moved into 18th place with a 2-0 victory at Levante last week. Now it faces an Elche side that is clinging to salvation in 17th place at just two points above. Elche has not won on the road since October and needs to end a run of four games without a victory.

GERMANY

Arminia Bielefeld has a chance to escape the relegation zone and climb up to 14th if it can beat Freiburg. With a tiny budget compared to most of the Bundesliga, Bielefeld was the favorite for relegation in its first top-level season since 2008-09. Instead it’s put up a fight with some surprise results like a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen last month, and has been helped by imploding Schalke taking up one of the relegation spots. Freiburg is 10th and all but assured of a mid-table finish, sitting 14 points above the relegation fight and six off the European places.

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