The next set of Europa League fixtures is upon us as every team aims to pick up the vital points to progress through to the knock-out stages of the competition. Here are tonight’s fixtures of the sides representing La Liga and an insight into what their encounters will offer.
Levante v FC Twente
Levante currently boast a 100% record at home in Europe without conceding a goal in their first two group matches, but in order to maintain that they have to defeat an FC Twente side who are at the summit of the Dutch league after losing just once in their opening nine games.
The Eredivisie winners of the 2009/10 season are back to winning ways after re-installing former England manager Steve McClaren earlier in the year.
Levante come into the match in positive spirits after back-to-back La Liga wins, keeping clean sheets against both Valencia and Getafe.
Tonight they aim to emulate neighbours Villarreal, who destroyed the Dutch club 5-1 on their last visit to Spain in 2010’s Europa League quarter-finals.
Lyon v Athletic Bilbao
Remi Garde’s side take to the Stade de Gerland in an attempt to maintain their 100% record in the Europa League this season when they take on La Liga outfit Athletic Bilbao.
Both clubs go into this pivotal group match-up with a perfect record in the group so far, and, apart from these two sides, only FC Dnipro have won every home game so far.
Although, Lyon should take note of the fact they have not been able to defeat tonight’s opponents in their last five meetings.
This is the first time these two teams have faced one another in a UEFA tournament, so the points could be anybody’s.
Athletic Bilbao on the other hand, have not been able to come back home with three points in their previous five European outings.
Bilbao lost in last season’s final of the Europa League against fellow La Liga competitors Atletico Madrid, so they will be keen to go one step further this time out.
Atlético Madrid v Adademica
Atlético Madrid play host in tonight’s group match against opponents Académica in the Vicente Calderon. The Spanish side are odds on favourites to win this fixture even though this will be the first time these two sides have ever met in any competition.
The home side are looking to continue on their incredible journey in Europe which has seen them unbeaten in the past 20 matches, winning the last 15 in a row. Madrid have thoroughly enjoyed playing in the Europa League in recent times and their morale is sky-high going into tonight’s match.
Diego Simeone has controversially decided to rest several of his key players, including the unstoppable goal machine Falcao, who just cannot stop finding the back of the net.
Académica have picked up just one point from their opening two group games, losing away to Viktoria Plzen and drawing with Hapoel Tel-Aviv at home.
The away side have also had a slow start in their domestic league, picking up just seven points out of a possible 18.