The second round of Europa League group stage matches takes place on Thursday with all 48 teams in action. We continue our preview for Matchday 2 by looking at Group G through L.
Group G: Ajax 3p (Netherlands), Celta Vigo 1p (Spain), Standard Liege 1p (Belgium), Panathinaikos 0p (Greece).
Ajax grabbed a 2-1 win over Panathinaikos in their opening match after turning around an early deficit through goals by Bertrand Traore and Jairo Riedewald. Marcus Berg gave the Greeks the lead in the 5th minute, but Ajax showed a lot of resilience and turned the game around. Standard Liege will make the short journey over to neighboring Netherlands and the Amsterdam Arena. Standard got a 1-1 draw against Celta Vigo in their opening game of the tournament. Celta Vigo will host Panathinaikos at the Municipal de Balaidos.
Group H: Shakhtar Donetsk 3p (Ukraine), Gent 1p (Belgium), Braga 1p (Portugal), Konyaspor 0p (Turkey).
Shakhtar Donetsk will take on Portuguese side Braga on Thursday at the Arena Lviv. The Ukrainians grabbed a 1-0 win on the road against Konyaspor in the opening game after a goal by Facundo Ferreyra. Shakhtar is on a 10-game unbeaten streak in all competitions. Braga got a 1-1 draw at home against Gent in their first game of group stage. Gent will host Konyaspor at the Ghelamco Arena. The Belgians took an early lead against Braga, but failed to keep a clean sheet.
Group I: Schalke 04 3p (Germany), Krasnodar 3p (Russia), Red Bull Salzburg 0p (Austria), Nice 0p (France).
Schalke pulled out a 1-0 win on the road against Nice after a goal by Baba Rahman with 15 minutes remaining of the game. The Germans will host Red Bull Salzburg at the VELTINS Arena. Salzburg suffered a 1-0 loss to Krasnodar in their opening game, but confidence will be high after a 4-1 win over Austria Wien in the league and 7-1 thrashing of Mannsdorf in the OFB Cup. Krasnodar grabbed the win over Salzburg after a goal by Joaozinho in the first half. The Russians will take on Nice at the Kuban Stadium.
Group J: Slovan Liberec 1p (Czech Republic), Qarabag 1p (Azerbaijan), Fiorentina 1p (Italy), PAOK 1p (Greece).
There were no winners or losers in Group J during the first round of games, as both of them ended in draws. Slovan Liberec played a 2-2 draw on the road against Qarabag, with Rashad Sadygov rescuing a point for Qarabag with a late equalizer deep into stoppage time. The Czechs will host PAOK at the U Nisy Stadium. PAOK played a scoreless draw at home against Fiorentina in their opening game. The Italians, who is coming off a scoreless draw against AC Milan, will host Qarabag at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
Group K: Southampton 3p (England), Hapoel Be’er Sheva 3p (Israel), Internazionale 0p (Italy), Sparta Prague 0p (Czech Republic).
Southampton got off to a great start in their Europa League campaign by defeating Sparta Prague 3-0 at St. Mary’s Stadium. Charlie Austin scored twice in the win, with Jay Rodriguez also finding the back of the net. The Saints, who are coming off a 3-0 win over West Ham United, will go up against Israeli side Hapoel Be’er Sheva, who took an impressive 2-0 on the road against Internazionale. The Italian side is on a good run as of late with two wins and a draw since the defeat to Hapoel. Inter will travel to the Czech capital and the Generali Arena to take on Sparta Prague. Sparta is on a four-game winless streak.
Group L: Osmanlispor 3p (Turkey), Villarreal 3p (Spain), FC Zurich 0p (Switzerland), Steaua Bucharest 0p (Romania).
Osmanlispor got to celebrate their first ever Europa League game with a win, after defeating Steaua Bucharest 2-0 at home after goals by Cheick Diabate and Aminu Umar. They will travel to Switzerland to take on Zurich. The Swiss side suffered a 2-1 loss to Villarreal after conceding two goals in the first half after taking an early lead. Bucharest will host Villarreal at the National Arena in the Romanian capital.