Europa League Matchday 5 All Previews

Europa League Matchday 5 All Previews 

AEK Athens vs Sporting Braga UEFA Europa League Match Preview or Key Statistics.....


AEK Athens have lost all three of their previous meetings with Sporting Braga, including a 0-3 loss in the reverse fixture on MD1.

Sporting Braga’s first ever match in European competition was away at AEK Athens, winning 1-0 in a Cup Winners’ Cup match in September 1966.

Following a nine-game unbeaten run in the UEFA Europa League (W2 D7 – excluding qualifiers), AEK Athens have suffered three defeats from their four games this season (W1), with the Greek side also winless at home in 11 games in the competition (D5 L6).

Sporting Braga have won four of their last six away games in the UEFA Europa League (excluding qualifiers), though their two defeats in this run have come in their last three on the road.

After both scoring against Leicester, Paulinho and Fransergio became Sporting Braga's joint-all time leading goalscorers in the UEFA Cup/Europa League, with seven goals each.


Zorya vs Leicester City....


Zorya Luhansk have lost all three of their European meetings with English opponents without scoring, including a 0-3 loss against Leicester in the reverse fixture on MD1.

Leicester’s 3-0 win in the reverse of this fixture on MD1 was their first ever meeting with Ukrainian opposition.

Zorya’s 3-0 win at AEK Athens last week halted their six game losing run in the UEFA Europa League (excluding qualifiers), recording their first three points since October 2017, which was also the last time they managed back-to-back wins in the competition.

Only Arsenal and TSG Hoffenheim (both 12) have amassed more UEFA Europa League points than Leicester this season (10), with only three other sides scoring more goals than the Foxes (12).

Kelechi Iheanacho was involved in all three of Leicester’s goals in their 3-0 win against Zorya Luhansk in the reverse fixture, scoring one and assisting two.


AC Milan vs Celtic....


Milan have lost just one of their 11 previous meetings with Celtic in all competitions (W7 D3), winning the last four in a row since a 1-2 away loss in October 2007 in the UEFA Champions League.

Celtic have netted just one goal in their previous five away games against Milan (D1 L4), with that coming in a 1-3 loss in the 2004-05 UEFA Champions League group stages.

AC Milan have lost two of their last four home games in the UEFA Europa League (W2), one more than they suffered from their first six in the competition. The Italians have never lost back-to-back games at the San Siro in the competition.

Celtic’s one point from their four UEFA Europa League games this season represents their lowest return at this stage of a campaign in the competition since 2009-10 (D1 L3).

Since the start of last season, no Celtic player has had a hand in more UEFA Europa League goals than Mohamed Elyounoussi (6), with four of those coming this season (3 goals, 1 assist).


Lille vs Sparta Praha....


Lille have won all three of their previous meetings with Czech opponents by an aggregate score of 12-3, winning 4-1 in their first ever meeting with Sparta Prague in the reverse fixture.

Sparta Prague have lost three of their five previous away games vs French opponents (W1 D1), with this their first such visit since a 1-2 loss to Lyon in the 2012-13 UEFA Europa League.

Lille remain one of 10 sides yet to lose in the UEFA Europa League this season (W2 D2), knowing a home win here will secure their passage to the competition’s knockout stages for the first time since 2010-11.

Sparta Prague have enjoyed consecutive 4-1 wins over Celtic in their last two UEFA Europa League matches, though they themselves were on the end of the same scoreline on MD1 against Lille – never before have the Czech side won back-to-back away group games in the competition since it was rebranded in 2009.

Lille’s Yusuf Yazici is the top scorer in the UEFA Europa League this season with six goals, while he’s also overperformed his expected goals total (2.15) by a bigger margin than any other player this term (+3.85).


Qarabag vs Maccabi Tel Aviv....


FK Qarabag have lost their last two meetings with Israeli opponents by a 0-1 scoreline, including their only such home game against Maccabi Haifa in June 1999 (Intertoto Cup).

Maccabi Tel Aviv won the reverse fixture against Qarabag 1-0 on MD1, with Yonatan Cohen netting the winner with their first shot on target in the match after 10 minutes.

Qarabag have lost all four of their games in the UEFA Europa League this season, and are winless in their previous eight games in the competition overall (D2 L6) – their last win came against F91 Dudelange back in October 2019.

Maccabi Tel Aviv have only lost one of their last five games in the UEFA Europa League (W3 D1), while they have won two of their last three away from home (L1).

Only two teams – Omonia Nicosia (22) and Hapoel Be’er Sheva (23) – have attempted fewer shots than Qarabag (26) in the UEFA Europa League this term, while they’ve scored just three times from the 26 attempts.


Sivasspor vs Villarreal....


Sivasspor’s only previous meeting with Spanish opponents was their 3-5 defeat against Villarreal on MD1 of this season’s UEFA Europa League.

Villarreal have never lost away against Turkish sides (W1 D2), with the Spanish side both scoring and conceding at least twice in each of their three visits.

Sivasspor have won their last two games in the UEFA Europa League, as many games as they had won in their entire history in European competition beforehand (W2 D1 L7).

Villarreal have only lost two of their last 16 games in the UEFA Europa League (W8 D6), with those only two defeats coming against Valencia in last season’s quarter-final. They haven’t lost against a non-Spanish opponent in the competition since February 2018 (0-1 v Lyon).

Villarreal striker Paco Alcácer has scored four goals in two appearances in the UEFA Europa League this season – only once previously has he netted more goals in a single campaign in European competition (seven for Valencia in 2013-14).


LASK vs Tottenham Hotspur....


LASK have lost all three of their previous meetings with English opponents, going down 0-5 in their only such home game against Manchester United in last season’s UEFA Europa League.

Tottenham are unbeaten in all five of their previous meetings with Austrian opponents (W4 D1), with this their first such visit since a 1-0 win at SV Stockerau in August 1991.

Since the start of last season (excluding qualifiers), LASK have won five of their seven home games in the UEFA Europa League (L2), although they did lose their most recent home game in the competition (0-2 v Royal Antwerp).

Spurs have the joint-highest expected goals total of any team in the UEFA Europa League this term (10.48, along with Napoli), while they’ve scored at least three goals in all but one of their games in the competition this season (0-1 defeat to Royal Antwerp).

No side has had more pressed sequences (95) or shot-ending high turnovers (eight) than LASK in the UEFA Europa League this season. Meanwhile, only Real Sociedad (33) have had more high turnovers overall than Tottenham Hotspur’s 32.


Antwerp vs Ludogorets....


Royal Antwerp came from behind to win 2-1 in the reverse fixture against Ludogorets on MD1, in the first ever meeting between the two sides.

Bulgarian sides have lost nine of their 10 away games against Belgian opposition in all European competition (W1), with this the first such match since KAA Gent beat Levski Sofia 1-0 in the 2010-11 UEFA Europa League.

Royal Antwerp have won three of their four games in the UEFA Europa League this season (L1), which is already the joint-most games they have ever won in a single season in the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League (this is their ninth campaign).

Ludogorets have lost all four of their games in the UEFA Europa League this term, while no team have conceded more goals than them (13 – joint-most with Celtic). Indeed, only HNK Rijeka (12.98) have a higher expected goals against total than Ludogorets (11.63).

Lior Refaelov has scored three of Royal Antwerp’s five goals in the UEFA Europa League this season, while all three have ultimately proved to be been game-winning goals (second goal in a 2-1 win v Ludogorets, 1-0 v Spurs and the first goal in a 2-0 win over LASK).


Feyenoord vs Dinamo Zagreb....


Feyenoord have won one, drawn one and lost one of their three previous meetings with Croatian sides, drawing 0-0 in the reverse fixture against Dinamo Zagreb on MD1.

Dinamo Zagreb are winless in their last seven meetings with Dutch opponents in all competitions (D2 L5), failing to score in each of their last six.

Including qualifying games, Feyenoord have only lost one of their last nine home games in European competition (W5 D3), with that defeat coming against RZ Pellets WAC on MD2 of this season.

Dinamo Zagreb are unbeaten in the UEFA Europa League this season (W2 D2), while they’re the only team yet to concede a goal in the first four matchdays.

Feyenoord’s Steven Berghuis has been directly involved in 25 shots in the UEFA Europa League this season (15 shots and 10 chances created) – only Nikola Vlasic (32) and Nicolas Pépé (29) have been involved in more.


CSKA Moscow vs Wolfsberger AC.....


CSKA Moscow won their only previous home game against Austrian opposition, beating Sturm Graz 2-1 in a UEFA Cup match in September 1981.

This will be RZ Pellets WAC’s first away game against Russian opponents, with their only previous game against a Russian side coming in the reverse of this fixture on MD1 (1-1).

CSKA Moscow have drawn five of their last seven games in the UEFA Europa League (W1 L1) – since the start of last season, no team have been involved in more stalemates in the competition.

RZ Pellets WAC have only won one of their last nine games in the UEFA Europa League (D3 L5), with that lone victory coming away from home against Feyenoord on MD2 this season.

CSKA Moscow’s Nikola Vlasic has created eight chances following a carry in this season’s UEFA Europa League, at least three more than any other player.


Gent vs Slovan Liberec....


KAA Gent lost 0-1 in the reverse fixture against Slovan Liberec in the reverse fixture, despite facing just two shots on target in the whole game.

Slovan Liberec have conceded five goals in each of their two away games in the Europa League this season – no team has ever shipped 5+ goals in all three of their away games in a Europa League group stage before.

KAA Gent are one of five teams to have lost 100% of their games in the UEFA Europa League this season (4/4) – in eight games in the competition last season, the Belgian side were only beaten on one occasion (W3 D4).

Slovan Liberec have lost their last three games in the UEFA Europa League by an aggregate score of 1-12, although they have recorded one victory in the competition this season – in the reverse fixture against KAA Gent on MD1 (1-0).

Only CSKA Sofia (0) have scored fewer goals than KAA Gent in the UEFA Europa League this season (2), with the Belgian side converting just 3% of their total shots in the competition this term (2/67).


 Red Star Belgrade vs Hoffenheim....


Crvena Zvezda have lost their last three meetings with German sides by an aggregate score of 0-11, losing 0-2 in their first ever meeting with Hoffenheim on MD1.

Hoffenheim won the reverse fixture against Crvena Zvezda 2-0 on MD1, not allowing their opponent a single shot on target in the whole match.

Crvena Zvezda are on a three-game winning streak in the UEFA Europa League – excluding qualifiers, this is their longest run of consecutive wins in major European competition since March 1992 in the European Cup (also three).

With four wins from four, Hoffenheim are one of only two teams with a 100% record in the UEFA Europa League this season (along with Arsenal), while only Bayer Leverkusen (14) have scored more goals than them (13).

Since the start of the 2011-12 season, Hoffenheim striker Munas Dabbur has scored 22 goals in the UEFA Europa League; the most of any player involved in this season’s competition.


CFR Cluj vs CSKA Sofia....


CFR Cluj won the reverse fixture against CSKA Sofia 2-0 on MD1, in the first ever meeting between the two sides.

CSKA Sofia won their first ever European meeting with Romanian opponents 8-1 in October 1956 (vs Dinamo Bucharest) – since then, they’re winless in eight such games (D3 L5).

CFR Cluj have lost both of their last two UEFA Europa League games; they last lost three in a row in a major European competition (excluding qualifiers) back in November 2010 in the UEFA Champions League (four).

CSKA Sofia have won just one of their last 21 matches in the UEFA Cup/Europa League (D5 L15 – excluding qualifiers), beating SK Rapid Wien in November 2010.

Although 10 sides have attempted fewer shots than CSKA Sofia (37) in this season’s UEFA Europa League, their expected goals total of 2.51 is the competition’s second-lowest, after FK Qarabag (1.81).


Roma vs BSC Young Boys....


Roma have won five of their six home games against Swiss opponents in all competitions, though they lost their last such match back in October 2010 (1-3 vs FC Basel).

Young Boys have lost three of their last four meetings with Italian opposition (W1), including a 1-2 defeat against Roma in the reverse fixture on MD1.

Having won both of their last two such matches, Roma are looking to win three consecutive UEFA Europa League games for the first time since December 2009.

Young Boys have won both of their last two UEFA Europa League games; they have never previously won three in succession in the competition.

Five of Young Boys’ six UEFA Europa League goals this season have come in the first half, including each of their last four.


Molde vs Dundalk....


Molde have won all three of their previous meetings with Irish opponents, winning both legs of a Champions League qualifier against Sligo Rovers in July 2013, and a 2-1 win over Dundalk in the reverse of this fixture on MD1.

This is just Dundalk’s second away game against Norwegian opponents in all competitions, losing the other 1-2 against Rosenborg in a 2017-18 Champions League qualifier.

Having lost both of their last two UEFA Europa League matches, Molde are looking to avoid suffering three consecutive defeats in all European competition for the first time since November 2012.

Excluding qualifiers, Dundalk are winless in their last 21 away games in all European competition (D3 L18), since winning their first ever such match against FC Zürich in September 1963.

Having lost each of their four UEFA Europa League games this season, Dundalk have now lost eight in a row in the competition overall; only Slovan Bratislava in December 2014 (nine) have ever had a longer UEFA Europa League losing streak since the competition was rebranded in 2009.


Arsenal vs Rapid Wien....


Arsenal have won both their previous home games against Austrian opponents, with this their first such game since beating Austria Wien 6-1 in the 1991-92 European Cup.

Rapid Wien have lost three of their four away games against English opponents in all competitions, though they did win their last such visit 3-2 against Aston Villa in August 2010.

Having won all four of their group stage games to this season’s UEFA Europa League, Arsenal are looking to win each of their first five matches to a season in major European competition (excluding qualifiers) for only the second time, having last done so in the 2005-06 UEFA Champions League. They went on to reach that competition’s final in that season.

Having won both of their last two UEFA Europa League games, Rapid Wien are looking to win three in a row in the competition for the first time since November 2015 (four).

Joe Willock has been directly involved in five goals in his last three UEFA Europa League games for Arsenal, scoring two and assisting three.


Slavia Prague vs Hapoel Be'er Sheva....


Slavia Prague’s only previous home game against Israeli opposition was in the 2017-18 UEFA Europa League group stages, with the Czech side earning a 1-0 win against Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Hapoel Be’er Sheva won the reverse fixture against Slavia Prague 3-1 on MD1, scoring with all three of their shots on target.

Having won each of their last three such games, Slavia Prague are looking to win four consecutive matches for the very first time in the UEFA Cup/Europa League.

Hapoel Be’er Sheva have lost each of their last three UEFA Europa League games, their longest ever losing streak in all European competitions.

Only Slovan Liberec (28.3% possession, 563 successful passes) have a lower possession average and total successful passes than Hapoel Be’er Sheva (30% and 843 passes) in this season’s UEFA Europa League.


Nice vs Bayer Leverkusen....


Nice have lost their last four meetings with German opponents in all competitions, including a 2-6 hammering in the reverse of this fixture on MD1.

Bayer Leverkusen have won just one of their eight away games against French sides in all competitions (D3 L4), beating Lyon 1-0 in September 2001 en route to the Champions League final.

Nice have lost six of their last seven UEFA Europa League games, winning the other 1-0 against Hapoel Be'er Sheva in October.

Bayer Leverkusen have won seven of their last nine matches in the UEFA Europa League (L2), including both of their last two.

Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey has scored three times in his last two UEFA Europa League games, as many as his previous 20 appearances in the competition before this.


Benfica vs Lech Poznan....


Benfica have never lost in five previous meetings with Polish opponents (W3 D2), winning the reverse fixture against Lech Poznan 4-2 on MD1.

After winning their first ever meeting with Portuguese opponents in February 2011 (1-0 vs Braga), Lech Poznan are winless in their last four such games (D2 L2), failing to score on three occasions in that run.

Benfica are unbeaten in their last eight group stage games in the UEFA Europa League (W6 D2), scoring two or more goals in each match in this run.

Lech Poznan have lost four of their last five UEFA Europa League group stage games (W1); before this, they had only lost four of their 15 group stage games in the UEFA Cup/Europa League (W5 D6 L4).

During 2020, Benfica’s Pizzi has netted six goals in six UEFA Europa League games; only Romelu Lukaku (seven) has scored more in the competition this calendar year.


Rangers vs Standard....


Rangers have won five of their seven previous meetings with Belgian opponents in all competitions (D1 L1), winning all three at home by an aggregate score of 9-3.

Standard Liège’s only previous visit to Rangers was back in the 1961-62 European Cup quarter-final, with the Belgian side losing 0-2 but progressing 4-3 on aggregate overall.

A Rangers win here will guarantee their progression to the knockout stage; only once before have they progressed from the group stages in back-to-back seasons in major European competition, doing so in the 2005-06 UEFA Champions League and 2006-07 UEFA Cup.

Standard Liège have won just one of their last 19 away games in the UEFA Europa League (D5 L13 – excluding qualifiers), and are winless in nine (D3 L6) since beating Panathinaikos in November 2016.

No side has scored more goals from outside the box in the 2020-21 UEFA Europa League than Rangers (three), with two of those scored by Kemar Roofe.


Granada vs PSV....


Granada came from behind to win 2-1 in the reverse fixture against PSV, in what was their first ever game in a major European competition.

In all European competition, PSV have never won away against Spanish opposition, drawing five and losing 10 of their 15 games.

Granada remain unbeaten in their debut UEFA Europa League campaign, winning three of their four games to date (D1). With just two goals conceded, their expected goals against total is also the lowest of any team in the competition this term (2.07).

PSV have won two of their last three UEFA Europa League games (L1), as many as they managed in the previous 11 matches in the competition (D3 L6).

Granada’s Darwin Machís has attempted nine shots following a carry in this season’s UEFA Europa League, more than any other player, with his goal against PSV on MD1 coming after a carry.


Omonia Nicosia vs PAOK


Omonia Nicosia are winless in all three of their previous European meetings with PAOK Salonika (D2 L1).

PAOK Salonika won their only previous European away game vs Cypriot opposition, with that victory coming against Omonia Nicosia in September 1976 (2-0).

Omonia Nicosia remain winless in their debut season in the UEFA Europa League, suffering a loss in each of their last three games (D1 L3).

PAOK Salonika have failed to score in three of their last four UEFA Europa League games away from home (D1 L3), surrendering a 2-0 goal lead at PSV last week to lose 3-2.

No player in this season’s UEFA Europa League has laid on more assists than PAOK’s Stefan Schwab (3), who has also created at least four more chances than any of his teammates (9).


AZ vs Napoli....


AZ won the reverse fixture against Napoli 1-0 on MD1 – they’ve also won both of their previous home games against Italian sides, beating Inter 1-0 in October 1982 (Cup Winners’ Cup) and Udinese 2-0 in March 2012 (Europa League).

Napoli have lost four of their last five meetings with Dutch opponents (W1), including their first ever meeting with AZ in the reverse fixture.

After kicking off this season’s UEFA Europa League group stages with two wins, AZ are winless and goalless in their last two matches (D1 L1).

Napoli are looking to cap off their three away games in the UEFA Europa League group stage with a win in each for only the second time, also doing so in 2015-16 under Maurizio Sarri.

Napoli have had more build up attacks than any other team in the UEFA Europa League this season, having a shot or at least a touch in the opposition’s box following a sequence of 10+ passes on 28 occasions.


Real Sociedad vs Rijeka....


Real Sociedad won the reverse fixture against HNK Rijeka 1-0 thanks to Jon Bautista’s 90th minute strike, in what was their first ever meeting with Croatian opponents.

Croatian sides have never won away against Spanish opposition in all European competition (D3 L9), with HNK Rijeka responsible for two of those three draws (v Celta Vigo in September 2000 and Real Betis in December 2013).

Of all sides to have played at least 10 matches in the UEFA Europa League since 2009-10, only fellow Spanish side Levante (60%) can boast a higher clean sheet ratio than Real Sociedad (58%), who have managed seven in their 12 games so far.

HNK Rijeka have lost each of their four UEFA Europa League games this season by an aggregate score of 2-9. Indeed, the Croatian side have failed to score in seven of their 11 away games in the competition since it was rebranded in 2009, winning only once (D2 L8).

Real Sociedad have scored just two goals from 71 shots in this season’s UEFA Europa League (2.8% conversion rate); only CSKA (0%) have a poorer conversion rate in this season’s competition, with Real Sociedad’s xG difference of -7.2 the outright worst (2 goals from 9.2 xG).



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My Hack Stuff: Europa League Matchday 5 All Previews
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