PSG vs. Athletic Club  4 - 2


Europa League Preview: Spurs, PSG facing elimination

14 December 2011 04:56

Tottenham will need a lot of luck to reach the Europa League knockout stages, while Paris Saint-Germain's fate also hangs in the balance.

Greek side PAOK are through from Group A after winning at White Hart Lane on November 30, leaving Rubin Kazan and Harry Redknapp's Tottenham fighting for second spot.

The Russians are three points clear and only need a draw in Thessaloniki on Thursday to reach the last 32, while Tottenham, who have only scored five goals in as many Europa League games, need to thrash Ireland's Shamrock Rovers in Dublin.

With the head-to-head record taken out of the equation after the teams exchanged 1-0 wins, Tottenham need to combine with PAOK to make up at least six goals on the Russian side.

Tottenham's Emmanuel Adebayor was on the scoresheet at Britannia Stadium in Spurs 2-1 loss to Stoke on Sunday, and Redknapp will need the Togolese striker to be clinical against Rovers, while Gareth Bale will also need to be at his best.

In Group F, Ligue 1 giants PSG are likely to need a win at home against group leaders Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday.

But Austria's Red Bull Salzburg only need to defeat struggling Slovan Bratislava, who are bottom of the group, to ensure they go through at the expense of PSG.

Elsewhere, Fulham can seal progress from Group K with a win against Denmark's Odense at Craven Cottage on Wednesday.

Eredivisie outfit Twente are already through and face third-placed Wisla Krakow, leaving Martin Jol's team, led by striker Andrew Johnson (five Europa League goals), with a strong chance of advancing.

The battle for second in Group I is just as intriguing, with Neil Lennon's Celtic facing a must-win clash against Serie A side Udinese at Stadio Friuli on Thursday.

Spaniards Atletico Madrid have booked their spot in the last 32 ahead of their encounter with Stade Rennes.

In Group H, mid-table Championship side Birmingham City must beat Slovenian league leaders Maribor and rely on Sporting Braga, who are already through, to defeat Club Brugge in Belgium on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Lazio face an early exit from Group D ahead of their meeting at home with Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday with even a win not enough for the Italians to get through if Romanian surprise packets Vaslui beat Zurich.

A draw against Ukrainians Metalist Kharkiv on Thursday should be enough for AZ Alkmaar to clinch second in Group G.

If AZ draw, Austria Vienna can only overhaul the Eredivisie leaders with a winning margin of at least six goals against last-placed Malmo.

Stoke City have sewn up Group E and will travel to Besiktas, who need only a draw on Wednesday to join them in the knockout stages.

Dynamo Kyiv host Maccabi Tel Aviv, and they need to combine with Stoke City to make up at least five goals on Besiktas to go through.

Maccabi Haifa are in the box seat to seal second in Group J ahead of their meeting with German outfit Schalke, who have advanced.

If the Israeli side fail to win on Wednesday, Steaua Bucharest or AEK Larnaca can go through with a win in their clash.

Groups B, C and L have already been settled heading into the last round of matches.

Standard Liege, who face Copenhagen, and Hannover, who host Vorskla Poltava on Thursday, have already advanced from Group B.

PSV Eindhoven and Legia Warsaw face Rapid Bucharest and Hapoel Tel Aviv respectively on Thursday, but their places in the next stage have already been secured.

And Lokomotiv Moscow can overtake Anderlecht for top spot in Group L with a win by two goals or more, while Sturm Graz and AEK Athens meet in a dead rubber on Wednesday.

Ligue 1 table

# Team MP D P
1 17 +38 44
2 17 +23 35
3 17 +22 35
4 17 +16 35
5 17 -2 27

La Liga table

# Team MP D P
12 15 -6 18
13 15 -11 18
14 15 -3 17
15 15 -7 16
16 15 -8 16