MATCHDAY: Liverpool in a rut heading to Tottenham in EPL

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

ENGLAND

Liverpool is without a win in five Premier League games and its title defense is crumbling heading into a match at Tottenham, which wraps up the 20th round. The teams are separated by one place and one point, with Liverpool in fifth place ahead of Tottenham. The champions haven’t won in the league since thrashing Crystal Palace 7-0 on Dec. 19, a result that came three days after they beat Tottenham 2-1 at Anfield thanks to Roberto Firmino’s 90th-minute header. Spurs are unbeaten in their last eight games in all competitions.

SPAIN

Athletic Bilbao tries to add to it impressive run when it visits third-division club Alcoyano in the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey. Athletic has won four straight matches — a rout against Getafe in the Spanish league, a win over Ibiza in the round of 32 of the Copa and consecutive victories against Real Madrid and Barcelona to clinch the Spanish Super Cup title. Alcoyano shocked Real Madrid in the last 32, winning in extra time with 10 men. Granada visits third-division club Navalcarnero, which eliminated Eibar in the round of 32.

ITALY

Struggling Napoli hosts Spezia in the Italian Cup quarterfinals. Napoli has lost four of its last eight Serie A matches, including a dispiriting 3-1 loss at Hellas Verona last weekend. Spezia posted an upset win over Roma in the previous round. The winner will face Atalanta in the two-leg semifinals. Ten-man Atalanta beat visiting Lazio 3-2 on Wednesday.

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