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Europa League Matchday 3 preview: Group A-F

The third round of Europa League group stage matches takes place on Thursday with all 48 teams in action. We start our preview for Matchday 3 by looking at Group A-F.

Group A: Fenerbahce 4p (Turkey), Feyenoord 3p (Netherlands), Manchester United 3p (England),  Zorya Luhansk 1p (Ukraine).

Fenerbahce tops the group after getting a 1-0 win at home over Feyenoord on Matchday 2. Former West Ham United loanee Emmanuel Emenike scored the lone goal of the game against the Turks, who will travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United. The Red Devils picked up a 1-0 win at home over Zorya Luhansk after a goal by Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish striker has gone goalless for the past two games and will be eager to redeem himself after a poor outing against Liverpool in the league on Monday.

Feyenoord will host Zorya Luhansk in the other game in the group. The Dutch are coming off a 2-1 win over N.E.C in the Eredivisie, and currently sits top of the league table. Luhansk took a 2-0 win over Volyn Lutsk over the weekend and sits in third place in the Ukrainian top flight.

Group B: APOEL 6p (Cyprus), Olympiacos 3p (Greece), Astana 1p (Kazakhstan), Young Boys 1p (Switzerland).

APOEL took a 1-0 win on the road against second-placed Olympiacos on Matchday 2 after a goal by Pieros Sotiriou. The Cyprians are coming off a 4-1 win over AEZ Zakakiou in the league over the weekend. They will travel to Switzerland to take on bottom of the group Young Boys, who played a scoreless draw against Astana on the previous matchday.

Olympiacos host Astana at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium. The Greeks took a 2-0 win over Panionios Athens in the league, while Astana is coming off a 2-0 loss to Kairat Almaty.

Group C: Anderlecht 4p (Belgium), Mainz 4p (Germany), Saint-Etienne 2p (France), Gabala 0p (Azerbaijan).

Anderlecht stayed top of the group with a 1-1 draw on the road against Saint-Etienne. The Belgians had the lead against the French but conceded a goal deep into stoppage time. They will travel to Germany to take on second-placed Mainz who took a 3-2 win on the road against Gabala on Matchday 2. Levin Oztunali scored the winning goal for Mainz, who is coming off a 2-1 win over Darmstadt in the Bundesliga. Gabala, who are without a point in the group stage, will travel to Saint-Etienne. They are coming off a 1-1 draw against Inter Baku in the league where they are sitting at the top after eight games.

Group D: Zenit Saint Petersburg 6p (Russia), Dundalk 4p (Ireland), AZ Alkmaar 1p (Netherlands), Maccabi Tel Aviv 0p (Israel).

Zenit Saint Petersburg followed up their 4-3 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv with a 5-0 thumping of AZ Alkmaar in the second round of games. They will now go up against second-placed Dundalk in Ireland. Dundalk grabbed a 1-0 win over Tel Aviv in the last game after a goal by Ciaran Kilduff. Tel Aviv looks to get their first points as they travel to the Netherlands to take on Alkmaar. The Israelis have had ample time to prepare for the fixture as they haven’t played since the loss to Dundalk at the end of September. Alkmaar is coming off a 2-2 draw to Vitesse.  

Group E: AS Roma 4p (Italy), Austria Wien 4p (Austria),  Viktoria Plzen 2p (Czech Republic), Astra Giurgiu 0p (Romania).

Roma overtook Austria Wien at the top of Group E after beating Astra Giurgiu 4-0 on Matchday 2 with Kevin Strootman, Federico Fazio and Mohamed Salah finding the back of the net, along with an own goal by Fabricio. The Italians will host Austria Wien and has a great opportunity to take a big step towards progressing to the knockout rounds. Wien were held to a scoreless draw by Viktoria Plzen and the Czechs with play at home against Astra. Plzen is coming off a 1-1 draw against FC Slovacko in the league, while Astra got a 1-1 draw against Concordia Chiajna.

Group F: KRC Genk 3p (Belgium), Sassuolo 3p (Italy), Rapid Wien 3p (Austria),  Athletic Bilbao 3p (Spain).

Group F is a real hornet’s nest, with all four teams sitting on 3 points. Rapid Wien, who suffered a 1-0 loss on the road to Athletic Bilbao, will take on Sassuolo at the Gerhard Hanappi Stadion in the Austrian capital. Sassuolo also suffered defeat on Matchday 2, as they lost 3-1 to Genk. The Italians are coming off a 2-1 win over Crotone. Genk are welcoming Athletic Bilbao to the Luminus Arena. Genk is coming off a 2-2 draw against Royal Mouscron, while Bilbao took a 3-2 win over Real Sociedad.

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