Europa League Group Stage Matchday 3 Previews

Europa League Group Stage Matchday 3 Previews 📊⚽️


Roma vs CFR Cluj....


Roma and CFR Cluj will meet for the fifth time in European competition, with each of the previous four matches coming in the UEFA Champions League between 2008 and 2010.

Both of the previous two games in which Roma have hosted CFR Cluj in European competition have ended 2-1, with the Romanian side winning in September 2008 and Roma winning in September 2010.

Cluj have won each of their last three away matches in all European competitions, keeping a clean sheet each time.

Roma have lost just one of their last 16 home matches in the UEFA Europa League/Champions League (W11 D4), a 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid in November 2018.

Including qualifiers, CFR Cluj are unbeaten in their last nine European matches (W5 D4), though their last defeat was in the Olimpico, losing 1-0 against Lazio in last season’s UEFA Europa League.


Rapid Wien vs Dundalk...


Rapid Wien and Dundalk have never previously met in European competition.

Rapid Wien’s only previous meeting with Irish opposition came in the 1964-65 European Cup, when they beat Shamrock Rovers home and away.

Dundalk have lost 16 of their last 19 major UEFA European matches (W1 D2), shipping five goals in their two Europa League defeats this season.

Rapid Wien have lost each of their last two home matches in the UEFA Europa League and could lose three in a row for the first time since a run of five matches between September 2010 and October 2012.

In their 3-0 defeat at Arsenal on MD2, Dundalk became the first team in UEFA Europa League history to not commit a single foul in a match.


Hapoel Be'er Sheva vs Bayer Leverkusen....


Hapoel and Bayer Leverkusen will meet in European competition for the very first time; indeed, Hapoel have never previously faced a German side.

Leverkusen’s only previous fixtures against Israeli opposition saw them defeat Maccabi Haifa home and away in the 2002-03 UEFA Champions League.

Hapoel Be’er Sheva have won seven of their last eight home matches in all European competitions (L1), defeating Slavia Prague 3-1 on MD1.

Hapoel Be’er Sheva have lost five of their last seven UEFA Europa League matches (W1 D1), losing two of their three home games in this run (W1).

Bayer Leverkusen lost their previous game on MD2 against Slavia Prague, while they’ve never previously lost consecutive group stage games in the UEFA Europa League.


Slavia Prague vs Nice....


Slavia Prague and Nice last met in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1997-98, with the Czech side progressing from a Last 16 tie on away goals.

Slavia Prague won their last home match against French opposition, beating Bordeaux 1-0 in a UEFA Europa League match in 2018-19.

Nice have lost 22 of their 29 away matches in all European competitions (W2 D5), including each of their last four, most recently falling 2-6 to Bayer Leverkusen on MD1.

Slavia Prague’s Nicolae Stanciu has been directly involved in eight goals in his last 11 UEFA Europa League appearances (4 goals, 4 assists) and has assisted both of Slavia’s goals this season.

Nice have played more games in the UEFA Europa League without drawing a game than any other club (P16 W6 L10), winning 1-0 in their last game against Hapoel Be’er Sheva.




Lech Poznan vs Standard Liege...


Lech Poznan and Standard Liège have never previously faced one another.

Lech Poznan won their latest game against Belgian opposition, beating RSC Charleroi 2-1 in October to qualify for this season’s UEFA Europa League.

Standard Liège are looking to avoid losing three consecutive UEFA Europa League matches for the first time since December 2014.

After going unbeaten across their first five home games in the UEFA Europa League (W3 D2), Lech Poznan have lost each of their last three such matches.

Standard Liège have registered just one win in their last 18 away UEFA Europa League matches (D5 L12), a 3-0 win at Panathinaikos in 2016/17.


Benfica vs Rangers....


Benfica and Rangers will face off for the very first time in European competition.

Benfica have hosted Scottish opponents on five previous occasions, winning each game. Each of the last four matches have come against Rangers’ biggest rivals, Celtic.

Rangers are currently unbeaten in 11 matches against Portuguese sides, winning each of the last three in a row – those three matches all came in last season’s UEFA Europa League.

Including the qualification rounds for the UEFA Europa League, Rangers have won all three of their away matches in European competition this season, by an aggregate scoreline of 11-0.

Benfica’s Pizzi has scored in each of Benfica’s four UEFA Europa League matches in 2020, netting five goals.


PAOK vs PSV....


PAOK and PSV have faced each other four times previously across two UEFA Cup campaigns – PSV eliminated PAOK at the Last 32 stage in successive seasons (2000-01 & 2001-02).

PSV have alternated between a loss and a win in each of their six away games against Greek sides in all European competitions, winning last time out against Panathinaikos in November 2014.

PAOK have lost four of their last five home matches in the UEFA Europa League (D1), though they drew last time out on MD1 against Omonia Nicosia.

PAOK are winless in six UEFA Europa League matches (D2 L4) since a 4-1 win over BATE Borisov in October 2018, netting just two goals in their six winless games since.

PSV striker Donyell Malen has scored five goals in five UEFA Europa League starts, scoring both goals in their 2-1 win on MD2 away at Omonia Nicosia.


Omonia Nicosia vs Granada...


Omonia Nicosia and Granada will face off for the very first time. Nicosia have never played against Spanish opposition, while Granada, in their maiden European campaign, will face a Cypriot side for the first time.

Cypriot sides have won two of their last three home games against Spanish sides, with APOEL Nicosia beating Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla in recent years.

Including the qualification rounds for this season’s UEFA Europa League, Granada have won all three of their away matches in European competition, beating PSV 2-1 on the road on MD1.

Omonia’s Jordi Gómez netted his first UEFA Europa League goal since December 2013 for Wigan vs Maribor in their last match against PSV – the goal was scored from a distance of 61.2 yards, the furthest ever in a Europa League match, breaking Kemar Roofe’s record which stood for one week.

Luis Milla has created more chances for Granada than any other player in the UEFA Europa League this season (5), though he is yet to register an assist.


Real Sociedad vs AZ....


Real Sociedad and AZ Alkmaar will meet for the very first time in European competition.

AZ have won four of their last six matches against Spanish opposition (D1 L1), beating Real Betis, Sevilla, Valencia and Athletic Club in this run.

This will be AZ’s 28th away match in the UEFA Europa League – having beaten Napoli 1-0 on MD1, they could win consecutive away matches in the competition for the first time.

Since a run of 24 unbeaten home matches in major UEFA European competition between 1979 and 2003, Real Sociedad have lost five of their last nine on home soil (W2 D2).

AZ are looking to win three consecutive matches in the UEFA Europa League for the first time since March 2012.


Rijeka vs Napoli...


Rijeka and Napoli will meet for the first time in European competition.

Rijeka won their last match against Italian opposition, beating Milan on home soil in a UEFA Europa League group stage tie in December 2017.

Rijeka have lost three of their last four home matches in the UEFA Europa League (W1), although their one win in this run came against Italian side Milan in December 2017.

For a fourth consecutive UEFA Europa League campaign, HNK Rijeka have failed to win any of their first two group stage matches. They have, however, won on MD3 in their previous two campaigns in 2014/15 and 2017/18.

Napoli are looking to win consecutive away matches in major UEFA European competition for the first time since November 2015, when they won three in a row in the Europa League.


Sivasspor vs Qarabag....


Sivasspor and FK Qarabag will meet for the very first time.

Qarabag have faced sides from 35 different nations in all European competitions but will play against Turkish opponents for the first time in this match.

None of Qarabag’s last 13 away matches in the UEFA Europa League have finished level (W3 L10), losing each of the last three in a row.

Sivasspor’s Max Gradel has been directly involved in their last two UEFA Europa League goals (1 goal, 1 assist), having failed to register a goal or assist in five appearances in the competition for St Etienne in 2014.

Qarabag have lost 12 of their last 16 UEFA Europa League matches (W2 D2), losing their first two matches of this campaign.


Ludogorets vs Tottenham Hotspur....


Ludogorets and Tottenham have never previously met in European competition.

This will be Ludogorets’ fifth game against English opposition, losing three of those other four matches, the other being a 2-2 draw at home to Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League in November 2014.

Spurs had never previously faced Bulgarian opposition but will do so for the second time in the space of two months having already faced Lokomotiv Plovdiv during the qualification stages of this competition in September, winning 2-1 away from home.

Ludogorets have only won one of their last 11 home matches in the UEFA Europa League (D4 L6), a 5-1 victory against CSKA Moscow in September 2019.

Spurs have only lost back to back UEFA Europa League group stage games once previously, losing to Rubin Kazan and PAOK Salonika in November 2011.



BSC Young Boys vs CSKA Sofia....


Young Boys and CSKA Sofia will meet for the first time in European competition.

CSKA Sofia qualified for this season’s UEFA Europa League by beating Swiss side FC Basel away from home in October.

Young Boys have played 21 home matches in the UEFA Europa League with only one ending level (W14 L6), losing their last two such matches.

Young Boys’ Christian Fassnacht has netted in three of his six home games for the club in the UEFA Europa League (three goals) – only Guillaume Hoarau (9) and David Degen (4) have netted more in the competition for the club at the Wankdorf Stadium.

CSKA Sofia have had more shots without scoring than any other side in the UEFA Europa League this season (25).


Arsenal vs Molde.....


Arsenal will face Molde for the very first time in this match. The Gunners have won three of their four matches against Norwegian opponents (D1).

Arsenal’s last match against Norwegian opposition was a 5-1 win against Rosenborg in the UEFA Champions League in December 2004, with goals from José Antonio Reyes, Thierry Henry, Cesc Fàbregas, Robert Pires and Robin van Persie.

This will be Molde’s first meeting with English opponents; Norwegian sides have never beaten English opposition away from home, drawing twice and losing 20 times, with a goal difference of -87 (13 scored, 100 conceded).

Molde have won four of their last six away matches in the UEFA Europa League (D1 L1), beating Scottish (Celtic) and Irish (Dundalk) opponents on this run.

Since the start of the 2018-19 season, only Munas Dabbur (13) has scored more goals in the UEFA Europa League than Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (12).


Leicester City vs Sporting Braga....


This will be the first ever European fixture between Leicester City and Braga.

Leicester’s only previous meeting with Portuguese opposition came in their 2016-17 UEFA Champions League campaign – they beat Porto 1-0 at home in the group stages but lost 0-5 in Portugal.

Leicester have only been beaten once at home in all European competitions (W6 D3), falling 0-2 to Atlético de Madrid in September 1997 in a UEFA Cup tie.

Since the start of last season, Braga striker Paulinho has scored six goals in the UEFA Europa League from just eight shots on target.

Leicester have won five of their last six home matches in European competition (D1), keeping a clean sheet in four of those victories.


Zorya vs AEK Athens....


Zorya Luhansk and AEK Athens will face off for the first time in European competition.

AEK Athens’ only previous meeting with Ukrainian opposition saw them eliminated by Dynamo Kyiv at the Last 32 stage of this competition in 2017-18.

AEK Athens lost their first UEFA Europa League away game in six matches on MD1 against Braga (0-3) – they haven’t lost consecutive away games in this competition since September/October 2011.

Zorya Luhansk have lost their last five UEFA Europa League games by an aggregate score of 11-1, although they did manage to end a run of four consecutive games without a goal in their defeat against Braga on MD2.

AEK Athens are looking for their first UEFA Europa League victory since September 2017 (2-1 v HNK Rijeka), having drawn seven and lost two of their last nine games in the competition.


AC Milan vs Lille.....


Milan and Lille will meet for the first time since the 2006-07 UEFA Champions League – Lille held Milan to a 0-0 draw in France before winning 2-0 in Italy.

Milan have only lost one of their 15 home matches against French sides in all European competitions (W10 D4) – the aforementioned 0-2 loss against Lille.

Lille have lost each of their last three matches against Italian sides, most recently against Internazionale in October and November 2011 in the UEFA Champions League.

On MD1 against Sparta Prague Lille won away from home in the UEFA Europa League for the first time since October 2009 – they have never won consecutive away games in the competition.

Brahim Diaz has scored in each of his last two UEFA Europa League games for AC Milan, and could be the first player since teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2011-12 (a run of five) to score in three consecutive games for the club in major European competition.


Celtic vs Sparta Praha....


This will be Celtic’s very first meeting with Sparta Prague in European competition.

Celtic were last drawn against Czech opposition in the Last 32 of the UEFA Cup in 2003-04 when they eliminated FK Teplice 3-1 on aggregate.

Sparta Prague have won each of their last two away matches against Scottish sides, beating Airdrieonians in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1992-93 and Hearts in the UEFA Cup in 2006-07.

Celtic have lost each of their last two home games in the UEFA Europa League, and could lose three UEFA Europa League/UEFA Cup home games on the bounce for the very first time.

Mohamed Elyounoussi has netted three goals in two games in the UEFA Europa League this term and could equal Kris Commons’ four goals in 2015-16 as the most by a Celtic player in a single season in the competition.


Villarreal vs Maccabi Tel Aviv.....


Villarreal and Maccabi Tel Aviv met in the UEFA Europa League group stages in 2017-18, with Villarreal failing to score in either match (0-0 A and 0-1 H).

Maccabi Tel Aviv’s only previous win against Spanish opposition came away from home against Villarreal in December 2017, securing three points via a Nick Blackman winner.

Villarreal have lost five of their last 14 home matches in the UEFA Europa League (W6 D3) – they had won eight in a row at home in the competition prior to this run.

Villarreal striker Paco Alcácer has played just 35 minutes in the UEFA Europa League this season but has managed to score four goals – one more than opponents Maccabi Tel Aviv (3).

Maccabi Tel Aviv have won their last three UEFA Europa League games, one more than they managed in their previous 13 in the competition (D3 L8).


Antwerp vs LASK...


Royal Antwerp and LASK will face one another for the first time in European competition.

LASK have lost their previous two matches against Belgian sides, losing both legs against Club Brugge during UEFA Champions League qualifying in 2019-20.

Royal Antwerp are looking to win three consecutive major UEFA European matches for the first time since 1975, when they beat Ajax and Aston Villa twice.

LASK have won just one of their previous six away matches in the UEFA Europa League (D2 L3), losing each of the last two against Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

Only games involving Villarreal (12) and Sivasspor (11) have seen more UEFA Europa League goals this season than the two involving LASK (10, 4 scored, 6 conceded).


Feyenoord vs CSKA Moscow....


Feyenoord and CSKA Moscow have faced on three previous occasions, with both sides winning, drawing and losing.

The last match between these sides was a group stage tie in the 2008-09 UEFA Cup – Feyenoord lost 3-1 at home.

CSKA Moscow are currently unbeaten across their last three away matches in the UEFA Europa League (W1 D2), conceding only once. They lost two in a row away from home prior to this, conceding 11 goals across the two.

Feyenoord have won just two of their last 17 matches in the UEFA Champions League/Europa League (D4 L11).

CSKA Moscow’s last five UEFA Europa League matches have seen just five goals scored (3 for, 2 conceded) – their previous five saw 18 goals scored (4 for, 14 conceded).


Dinamo Zagreb vs Wolfsberger AC.....


Dinamo Zagreb and RZ Pellets WAC have never previously played against each other in European competition.

Dinamo Zagreb are winless in four home matches against Austrian opposition in all European competitions (D1 L3), losing their only UEFA Europa League match in this run (1-5 vs Red Bull Salzburg).

Both of Dinamo Zagreb’s UEFA Europa League matches this season have ended goalless – indeed, the Croats have drawn four of their last eight games in the competition goalless.

Dinamo Zagreb are currently unbeaten in seven UEFA Europa League matches on home soil (W5 D2), keeping a clean sheet in each of their last four such matches.

Four of RZ Pellets WAC’s five goals in the UEFA Europa League this season have been via the penalty spot, with three scored by Michael Liendl.


Red Star Belgrade vs Gent....


This will be the very first meeting between Crvena Zvezda and KAA Gent in European competition.

Crvena Zvezda have won only two of their eight meetings with Belgian sides (D1 L5), though both came on home soil – in 1987 vs Club Brugge and 1991 vs Anderlecht.

Gent have lost their last two away matches in the UEFA Europa League, having gone six away matches without defeat in the competition prior to this run (W2 D4).

Crvena Zvezda won 5-1 on MD2 against Slovan Liberec, scoring more goals in that game than in their first nine games in the UEFA Europa League combined (three).

Roman Bezus has assisted three of KAA Gent’s last four goals in the UEFA Europa League, although the most recent one was assisted by Jordan Botaka (v Hoffenheim).


Hoffenheim vs Slovan Liberec...


Hoffenheim and Slovan Liberec have never faced one another before in European competition.

Slovan Liberec have played eight games against German opponents in all European competitions, never winning (D3 L5).

Hoffenheim won just their second home match in all European competitions on MD1, beating Crvena Zvezda 2-0.

Munas Dabbur scored his 20th goal in the UEFA Europa League in Hoffenheim’s MD2 victory against KAA Gent – he is now just one of seven players to score 20+ goals since the competition was re-branded ahead of the 2009-10 season.

Since going unbeaten in their first six away games in the UEFA Europa League, Slovan Liberec have lost four of their most recent five on the road (D1).

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My Hack Stuff: Europa League Group Stage Matchday 3 Previews
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