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Europa League Matchday 4 preview: Group G-L

Premier League Football. Manchester City versus Southampton.Nathan Redmond of Southampton and Charlie Austin of Southampton celebrate Redmond's 27th minute goal. (Photo by David Blunsden/Actionplus/Icon Sportswire)
(David Blunsden/Actionplus/Icon Sportswire)

The fourth round of Europa League group stage matches takes place on Thursday with all 48 teams in action. We continue our preview for Matchday 4 by looking at Group G through L.

Group G: Ajax 7p (Netherlands), Celta Vigo 5p (Spain), Standard Liege 2p (Belgium),  Panathinaikos 1p (Greece).

Ajax stayed top of the group with a 2-2 draw on the road against Celta Vigo on Matchday 3. The Dutch will not host the Spaniards at the Amsterdam Arena. Ajax is coming off a 1-0 win over Excelsior in the Eredivisie, where they sit in second place, three points behind leaders Feyenoord. Celta played a 3-3 draw against Las Palmas over the weekend after letting a 3-0 lead slip.

Standard Liege and Panathinaikos also played a 2-2 draw in their meeting, and that matchup now goes to Greece and the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium. The Greeks took a 2-0 win over Iraklis over the weekend after goals by Sebastian Leto and Paul-Jose Mpoku, whereas Standard suffered a 3-1 defeat to Oostende.

Group H: Shakhtar Donetsk 9p (Ukraine), Gent 4p (Belgium), Braga 2p (Portugal),  Konyaspor 1p (Turkey).

Shakhtar Donetsk took a third straight win in the group stage by defeating Gent 5-0 in their last meeting in the Ukraine. Another win on Thursday would see them through to the knockout stages. Shakhtar is coming off a 2-0 win over Chornomorets Odesa in the league, while Gent suffered a 2-0 loss to Mechelen.

Braga played a 1-1 draw on the road against Konyaspor, as Ahmed Hassan rescued a point for the Portuguese with a goal in the second half. They will now host the Turks at the Estadio Municipal de Braga. Konyaspor suffered a 2-0 defeat to Bursaspor in their last match, and is on a four-game winless streak in all competitions. Braga managed to squeeze out a 2-1 win over Belenenses.

Group I: Schalke 04 9p (Germany), Krasnodar 6p (Russia), Nice 3p (France), Red Bull Salzburg 0p (Austria).

Schalke stayed undefeated in the group stage with a 1-0 win on the road against Krasnodar after a goal by Yevhen Konoplyanka. The Germans are coming off a scoreless draw against Borussia Dortmund in the Ruhr derby, while Krasnodar had a scoreless draw of their own against Anzhi Makhachkala.

Nice took their first points of the group stage by defeating Red Bull Salzburg 1-0 in Austria after a goal by Alassane Plea. The French side sits at the top of Ligue 1 and took a 4-1 win against Nantes over the weekend, while Salzburg got a 1-0 win over Ried.

Group J: Fiorentina 7p (Italy), PAOK 4p (Greece), Qarabag 4p (Azerbaijan), Slovan Liberec 1p (Czech Republic).

Fiorentina managed to stay at the top of Group J after beating Slovan Liberec 3-1 in their first meeting after two goals by Nikola Kalinic and one by Khouma Babacar. They will now host the Czechs at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence. Fiorentina is coming off a 1-0 win over Bologna, while Liberec suffered a 2-1 loss to Bohemians.

Qarabag are now tied on points with PAOK after their 2-0 win over the Greeks on Matchday 3. The Azerbaijanis is coming off a 1-0 win over Baku in the league. PAOK sits in fourth in the Greek Super League after their 1-0 win over AEK Athens after a last-minute goal by Leo Matos.

Group K: Sparta Prague 6p (Czech Republic), Hapoel Be’er Sheva 4p (Israel), Southampton 4p (England), Internazionale 3p (Italy).

Sparta Prague went top of the group after picking up a 1-0 win over Hapoel Be’er Sheva after a goal by Matej Pulkrab. The Czechs took a 4-0 win against Pribram over the weekend, while Hapoel took a 2-0 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Southampton will be looking to get revenge over Inter, as they suffered a 1-0 loss to the Italians in Milan in their last meeting despite dominating play. Things are turbulent at Inter, with the club firing head coach Frank De Boer earlier in the week after losing to Sampdoria over the weekend. The Saints suffered a 2-0 loss at home to Chelsea.

Group L: Villarreal 5p (Spain), FC Zurich 4p (Switzerland), Osmanlispor 4p (Turkey), Steaua Bucharest 2p (Romania).

Villarreal came back from a 2-0 deficit to Osmanlispor to rescue a point on Matchday 3, as the game ended in a 2-2 draw. The Yellow Submarines will now look to get a better result at home and solidify their place at the top of the group. They are coming off a 2-1 loss to Eibar in La Liga, while Osmanlispor fell 3-1 to Gaziantepspor.

Zurich snagged a 1-1 draw on the road against Steaua Bucharest after a late goal by Moussa Kone. The Swiss will now host the Romanians at the Letzigrund. Zurich has a commanding lead in the Challenge League, as they sit 10 points ahead of second-placed FC Wil after their 3-1 win over Neuchatel Xamax. Steaua grabbed a 2-0 win over CSM Politehnica Iasi, and sits at the top of the Romanian First Division.

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