The British runners and riders in this year’s UEFA Europa League have begun jostling for position in the race to Dublin’s final, set for Wednesday May 22nd.
In Group A, West Ham are top the table on goal difference over Freiburg. If both teams, as expected, win their MD5 games, West Ham v Freiburg on December 14th will be a straight top two shoot out: the loser will go into a Play-Off against a Champions League Third Placed side; the winner will go straight through to the UEFA Europa League Last 16. In Group B, Brighton are second on seven points. Their progress could go either way. They’ll need three points, and possibly four, from a trip to AEK Athens on Nov 30/the visit of Marseille on Dec 14. A favour from out-of-form Ajax would be nice. In Group C, Rangers are second. It looks like they’ll end the Group Stage on ten points (MD5 should deliver a home win v Aris Limassol/MD6 looks like an away loss to Real Betis?). Those results will mean Sparta Prague (Betis away, Aris at home) will have to win both their remaining games to overtake the Glasgow side. Everything to play for, but Rangers look like they should have enough. Despite last night’s Group E loss in Toulouse, Europa League favourites Liverpool remain on course for a Last 16 spot. A win over LASK in MD5 is very much odds-on. The trip to Union SG could present problems but Jurgen Klopp’s side are favourites to top the group and progress to March’s Last 16.
Those four British sides could be joined by Manchester United (currently fourth in UCL Group A), Newcastle (fourth in UCL Group F) – Celtic need to win both their final games to stand a chance of accessing the UEFA Europa League Play-Off game.
UEFA Europa Conference League - Villa Targetting Success
Aston Villa are favourites to lift the UEFA Europa Conference League and look set to comfortable qualify for the R16. We bid a reluctant farewell to Aberdeen who are set for a Group exit this time around.