English Europa League Hopes In Brief
With this week’s final round of Champions League matches producing some wonderful results as well as some forgettable moments, attention turns now to the last round of group fixtures in the UEFA Europa League – what’s the situation looking like for our English hopes?
December 6th, 2012
Liverpool faces Udinese knowing that a better result achieved tonight than Young Boys will see them through; in the event that both teams lose their games, Young Boys will progress thanks to the tie-breaking record between themselves, the Reds and Udinese. Steven Gerrard remains back in Liverpool due to illness, while Luis Suarez is included – his suspension in the next league game against West Ham means there’s no need to rest him.
Newcastle has already qualified from Group D, and will field a number of young players in their final game at Bordeaux. The European game atmosphere should prove useful for players such as Conor Newton and Yven Mayo. Manager Alan Pardew has already made his excuses for the game – “I can’t afford to lose anybody [ahead of the game against Fulham on Monday]…so there will be a few debuts there and if we have got fans flying over or thinking about it, they need to know that.”
Tonight, Tottenham needs not to lose – sharing tonight’s spoils with a point against third-place Panathinaikos will prevent the Greek side from overtaking the Londoners for second place, while simultaneously moving out of reach of bottom-placed Maribor. Should the Slovenian champions defeat top team Lazio at home tonight and Spurs win, Spurs will instead top the group and reap the rewards of a draw against a second-placed team in the knockout phase.