MATCHDAY: American flavor in German clash, PSG coy on Messi

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


Two American coaches meet when Jesse Marsch’s Leipzig team welcomes Pellegrino Matarazzo’s Stuttgart to start the Bundesliga’s second round of games. They had contrasting fortunes in the opening round with Stuttgart routing promoted Greuther Fürth 5-1 and Leipzig slumping to a surprising 1-0 loss at Mainz — a team hit by coronavirus infections. Leipzig, which finished second last season, expects to bounce back with a win over Stuttgart, but Matarazzo’s team is full of confidence with Borna Sosa’s crosses doing the damage against Fürth. Sosa set up three goals. Star forward Saša Kalajdžić didn’t play but could return in Leipzig.


Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino was coy Thursday about the possibility of Lionel Messi making his French league debut against Brest on Friday. The Argentine coach said he and his staff had not decided whether his compatriot would form part of the traveling squad, though it is likely PSG fans will have to wait to finally see Messi in action. He missed a month of training after leading Argentina to the Copa America title on July 10. PSG has started the league with two wins from two games and anything but another would be a huge surprise. Brest drew both of its first league games.


Real Betis hosts Cádiz with both teams looking for a win after drawing in their league openers. Fans will be back in Seville’s Benito Villamarín Stadium for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Some 23,000 spectators will be allowed to attend the match, reaching the 40% occupancy limit set by health authorities.


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