A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Thursday:
Struggling Chelsea makes the short journey to London rival Fulham on Thursday, desperately in need of a morale-boosting win in the Premier League. Chelsea has only won once in its last seven games in all competitions, losing five of those. More dropped points would heap further pressure on manager Graham Potter, with his team currently 10 points adrift of Champions League qualification.
Barcelona will be at full strength when it faces Real Betis in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia. Coach Xavi has no injury problems among his players, and striker Robert Lewandowski is available because his three-game suspension for disrespecting a referee last year only counts in the Spanish league. The winner will face Real Madrid in the final. Barcelona is in the Super Cup because it finished second in the Spanish league last season. Betis qualified by winning the Copa del Rey. This is the fourth edition of the revamped Final Four format of the Super Cup.
José Mourinho’s Roma opens its Italian Cup campaign by hosting second-division side Genoa. Roma will be full of confidence after scoring two late goals to draw 2-2 at defending Serie A champion AC Milan on Sunday. The winner will play either Napoli or Cremonese in the quarterfinals. Fiorentina and Sampdoria also play in the round of 16 but know that the next opponent will be Torino, which surprisingly eliminated Milan on Wednesday after extra time, despite playing 50 minutes with 10 men.