MATCHDAY: West Ham looks to advance in Europa League
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Thursday:
Leicester is in third place but can still win its group with victories in its last two games, starting with a potentially tricky match against Legia Warsaw. Only the eight group winners go straight into the round of 16 — the runners-up enter playoffs with the eight teams who finish in third place in the Champions League groups. A similar system operates for the third-place Europa League teams dropping down into the Europa Conference League. Lyon is the only team already assured of a spot in the last 16 of the Europa League as group winner. West Ham can advance if the London team beats Rapid Vienna away. Monaco can do the same with a win over Real Sociedad, as can Eintracht Frankfurt with a win over Antwerp.
EUROPA CONFERENCE LEAGUE
No teams have sealed a place in the last 16 of the inaugural competition but that could change after the next-to-last round of group games. Two Dutch teams can seal first place with a game to spare. AZ Alkmaar and Feyenoord only need a draw in away games against Czech teams Jablonec and Slavia Prague, respectively. In Group A, Maccabi Tel-Aviv and LASK are both on 10 points and the winner of their match will secure top spot. Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho, two renowned coaches who have won the Premier League at Chelsea, find themselves at clubs in the Conference League this season and both are in second place in their groups. Conte’s Tottenham is three points behind Rennes heading into a Group G match at Mura in Slovenia. Mourinho’s Roma hosts Ukraine side Zorya Luhansk, with both teams trailing Norwegian champion Bodø/Glimt in Group C.
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