MATCHDAY: Lyon riding high, Napoli needs a win in UEL

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

EUROPA LEAGUE

French sides Lyon and Marseille have contrasting fortunes so far in this season’s competition. Lyon is riding high in Group A with two wins, five goals scored, and none conceded ahead of its trip to play Sparta Prague, which can go top if it beats Lyon. Meanwhile, Marseille has been held to two draws despite playing well in both games and is third place in Group E. Therefore Marseille needs a win away to Lazio, which is only one point ahead in second place but will be full of confidence after beating Italian champion Inter Milan 3-1 at the weekend. A previous match between Marseille and Lazio three years ago led to street clashes between rival groups so police will be vigilant in Rome. Strangely, Napoli’s form in Europe has not matched its domestic form. For while Napoli leads Serie A with eight straight wins, it has only one point from two games in C ahead of the home game against group leader Legia Warsaw of Poland. Both of those sides include some violent ultras among their fans and a strong security presence is likely.

EUROPA CONFERENCE LEAGUE

Four of the 32 teams in UEFA’s newly created competition have opened with two straight wins and one of those perfect records will go when Partizan Belgrade and Gent meet in the third round of games. Another team on six points is Jose Mourinho’s Roma, which heads to Norwegian champion Bodø/Glimt as the competition’s top scorer with eight goals. Tottenham striker Harry Kane is already the joint top individual scorer with three goals after his hat trick as a substitute in a win against Mura in the second round, but will not be adding to that tally away to Dutch team Vitesse. Tottenham, which is tied on four points with Rennes atop their group, said Kane will be among those staying in England to prepare for a Premier League match at West Ham on Sunday.

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