The UEFA Europa League group stages wrap up on Thursday, with several mouthwatering fixtures on offer.
Leicester City and Napoli will be going all out to secure their places in the knockout round out of what has proved to be the group of death, while Lyon will look to finish the group stages with a 100% record.
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09 December: Lyon v Rangers
Lyon have won all five of their Europa League matches so far this season. They will be up against a strong side in Rangers, but the French outfit will be on home soil, giving them a major advantage.
In addition, Rangers are still adjusting to life after Steven Gerrard. A European night against a team that is in good form in this competition will be a major acid test of Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s team.
09 December: Napoli v Leicester City
Leicester City have had a troubled season, but they have fared reasonably well in the UEFA Europa League so far. Opportunities have been given to players who are pushing for starting berths, such as Patson Daka, who is joint-second on the tournament’s top scorers’ list.
Napoli, meanwhile, are challenging for top spot in Serie A, but appear to be losing steam after a strong start to the season. On paper, these teams are fairly evenly matched.
Having drawn 2-2 in the reverse fixture, it is quite likely that they will once again share the spoils. This would be enough to secure Leicester’s place in the knockout rounds.
09 December: West Ham v Dinamo Zagreb
West Ham are fresh off a thrilling 3-2 win over fierce rivals and Premier League title-chasers Chelsea, knocking the Blues off the top of the league table. This stands them in good stead ahead of their Europa League clash with Dinamo Zagreb in London.
Dinamo have lost their last two games domestically and to ask them to reverse this run of results away to West Ham is a massive task, particularly given the Hammers’ current form.
09 December: Lazio v Galatasaray
Lazio have been in erratic form recently, but home ground advantage should serve them well as they look to wrestle top spot in Group E away from Galatasaray.
Currently, the teams have identical goal difference, but Galatasaray are three points ahead of Lazio and won the previous fixture between the sides 1-0.
Given Lazio’s struggles of late, Galatasaray have a strong chance of nicking a point, which is all they need to secure first place in the group.