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Europa League Preview: Mertens misses Midtjylland, Fenerbahce sweat on Nani fitness

SoccerNews in Eredivisie 20 Oct 2015

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Napoli will be without Dries Mertens for their Europa League Group D clash with Midtjylland on Thursday at the Stadio San Paolo.

The Belgium international attacker was taken off with 10 minutes to play in Napoli’s 2-1 win over Fiorentina but only after providing a back-heel assist for Gonzalo Higuain’s winner.

Maurizio Sarri’s men have won their opening two Europa League games and arrive into matchday three in fine form, enjoying a nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

Midtjylland, meanwhile, have won five games in succession and top the Superliga by three points after 12 games.

Legia Warsaw and Club Brugge, with two defeats each, meet in the group’s other game.

In Group A, Fenerbahce and Ajax remain winless as they meet at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium on Thursday.

Question marks remain over the fitness of Nani for the Turkish hosts, with the former Manchester United winger set to undergo scans on Tuesday after picking up an injury in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Kayserispor.

The 28-year-old has impressed following his off-season move, establishing himself as a key player in Vitor Pereira’s side with four goals and four assists in all competitions.

Ajax are faring better domestically and lead the Eredivisie after nine games.

Table-toppers Molde host Scottish champions Celtic in the other Group A fixture.

Jurgen Klopp will experience his first fixture at Anfield when his Liverpool meet Rubin Kazan, with Bordeaux playing Switzerland’s Sion in Group B.

Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham cross the channel for their away tie against Anderlecht in Group J, with Monaco entertaining Azerbaijani side Qarabag at the Stade Louis II.

Portuguese outfit Sporting Braga will hope to extend their 100 per cent record when they host Marseille, while Groningen go in search of their first points of the season in Europe when they travel to the Czech Republic to play Slovan Liberec.

Stadio Olimpico will be the scene of Lazio’s meeting with Rosenborg, with last season’s runners-up Dnipro facing Ligue 1’s Saint-Etienne.

Group C leaders Borussia Dortmund face a tough trip to Azerbaijan to play Qabala, with Dimitar Berbatov’s PAOK facing Krasnodar.

Villarreal will be hoping to record back-to-back victories when they play Dinamo Minsk, having lost their Group E opener.

The Spanish team have some ground to make up on Rapid Vienna, who welcome Viktoria Plzen to the Ernst-Happel Stadion.

Group K leaders Schalke have won both their fixtures so far but face their toughest challenge to date when they play Sparta Prague.

Fellow group participants Asteras Tripolis and APOEL meet in the other tie.

Partizan, one of just seven teams to win both group games, play Athletic Bilbao in Belgrade as Bundesliga side Augsburg face AZ Alkmaar.

Besiktas travel to Russia to play Lokomotiv Moscow in Group H as Sporting CP greet Albanian minnows Skenderbeu.

Belenenses make the trip to 2012-13 semi-finalists Basel for their Group I encounter, as Fiorentina look to close the gap on their Swiss rivals when they play Lech Poznan.

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SoccerNews

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