MATCHDAY: Monaco hosts Nice in French league. Lecce looks to continue surprising start in Italy

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


Monaco is the surprise leader of Ligue 1 after five games and hosts third-place Nice in a meeting of two teams that have benefited from Paris Saint-Germain’s uneven start to the season. Nice is coming off a surprise 3-2 win over PSG last week that included two goals from Nigerian forward Terem Moffi. Monaco’s attack is excelling and Japan forward Takumi Minamino was named the league’s best player for August.


Lecce will be looking to continue its surprising start to the season when it hosts promoted Genoa in Serie A. Fourth-place Lecce is one of only three unbeaten teams along with heavyweights Inter Milan and Juventus. Key to that form has been new signing Nikola Krstović, who has three goals in his past three matches. Genoa has a new star forward too with Mateo Retegui netting four goals in five matches in all competition since moving to Italy from Argentina. Genoa has four points from its four league matches, including an impressive win at Lazio and a draw against defending champion Napoli last weekend. Frosinone has had an impressive start to life back in Serie A, with its only loss coming against Napoli. It visits winless Salernitana.


Stuttgart takes on promoted Darmstadt. Few imagined Stuttgart would be the top-scoring team in the Bundesliga this season, but after four games and 14 goals, that’s the case. Guinea forward Serhou Guirassy has eight goals already this season and could add to his tally against Darmstadt, which is winless since it returned to the Bundesliga and gave up a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 with Borussia Moenchengladbach in its last game.


Athletic Bilbao visits Alaves in a Basque Country derby. A win by fourth-placed Bilbao would lift it level on points with Barcelona and Girona at just two points adrift of leader Real Madrid before they all play over the weekend.


AP soccer:

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