Europa League – 10 December Preview

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The group stages of the Europa League complete this week with several clubs still needing a win in their final game to ensure they progress to the knockout stages.

English football will be well represented by Arsenal, Leicester City and Tottenham who are already through to the next round, whilst Rangers will be the sole representatives of Scottish football in the next stage. The Gunners have already won Group B so should get a favourable draw, but for the other British clubs they need to win or avoid defeat to top their groups.

Leicester City v AEK Athens

Leicester are fourth favourites to win the Europa League, but need to beat AEK Athens at the King Power Stadium to ensure they finish top of Group G. Some excellent results, including at 4-0 defeat of Braga, saw the Foxes qualify with two games to spare, scoring 12 goals in their opening five games along the way.

Brendan Rodgers might be tempted to rest the likes of Jamie Vary and James Maddison for the visit of the Greek club, but he’ll also be aware that finishing top of the group should give them an easier draw in the knockout stages.

Tottenham v Antwerp

The two sides top of Group J meet at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as Spurs welcome Antwerp.

Both sides have already qualified, but Spurs will want to make amends for their 1-0 defeat in Belgium to finish top of the group. Jose Mourinho’s men sit top of the Premier League and are now favourites to lift the Europa League trophy.

With Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son enjoying a devastating striking partnership at the moment, and the acquisition of Gareth Bale, it will be a good side that stops Spurs and they should get the win against Antwerp that sees them win the group.

Lech Poznan v Rangers

Steven Gerrard’s Glasgow Rangers have enjoyed a brilliant group campaign and go into their final game knowing a win in Poland against Lech Poznan will see them win group D.

Two wins home and away against both Poznan and Standard Liege have been the foundation of their success. But they have also drawn twice with Portuguese giants Benfica. Rangers probably should have won both those games, letting a two-goal lead slip on both occasions.

If they can top Group D, they will be a side that many other clubs across Europe will want to avoid and could be a dark horse for progressing to the final stages of the tournament.

Dundalk v Arsenal  

Arsenal finish their Group B campaign in Ireland as they visit Dundalk. The Gunners should win at the Tallaght Stadium to make it a perfect six wins from six. They are currently second-favourites to win the competition and will be another dangerous side to draw in the knockout stages.

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