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Europa League preview: Atletico want revenge

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Nov 2010

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Europa League champions Atletico Madrid can book their place in the competition’s last 32 with a win over Aris Thessaloniki on Wednesday.

As well as looking for passage into the next round, Quique Flores’ Atletico side – who sit second in Group B on seven points – will also be keen for revenge over the Greek side, after their 1-0 away defeat in their opening game.

For Aris, who sit third in Group B on four points, the clash at the Estadio Vicente Calderon is a must-win affair to avoid an early exit from the tournament.

Group leaders Bayer Leverkusen have eight points and can also secure their path into the second round with a win over bottom side Rosenborg, who need a win to stay alive.

In Group A, Manchester City will be looking to rebound from a 3-1 defeat to Polish club Lech Poznan in their home match with Salzburg, who need a win to remain in contention of progressing.

Lech lead Group A on goal difference from City, with both sides on seven points, while Juventus, who drew with Salzburg in Turin’s Olympic Stadium in their last Europa League fixture, face the tricky trip to Poland.

Sporting Lisbon will look to bounce back from their 3-1 defeat in Belgium against Gent when they welcome French Ligue 1 pacesetters Lille to the Estadio Jose Alvalade.

Sporting lead the Group C standings with nine points, four clear of Lille and five clear of both Levski Sofia and Gent who will do battle in Belgium in the group’s other match.

Croatian side Hadjuk Split and AEK Athens will battle it out in Group G, with both sides on four points with Anderlecht, who play runaway group leaders Zenit St Petersburg in Russia.

Zenit St Petersburg, the 2008 champions, have already booked their spot in the last 32 with four wins from as many matches seeing them lead the table with 12 points.

It is a similar story in Group H, with Stuttgart putting aside some dismal domestic form to reach the next phase of the Europa League with 12 points from four games.

They travel to Basel to take on Swiss club Young Boys, who are second with six points, while Spanish side Getafe are away to Danish outfit Odense with both looking to move off three points and close the gap on Young Boys.

In Group I, Sampdoria will be looking to build on their 1-1 Serie A draw with AC Milan on Saturday when they travel to the Netherlands to do battle with Dutch league-leaders PSV Eindhoven.

PSV lead the group with 10 points, three clear of Ukrainians FC Metalist Kharkiv, and five ahead of Sampdoria.

Metalist host bottom-placed Hungarian side Debrecen, who are yet to earn a point from their four games.

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