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UEFA Europa League preview: Reds, Spurs fight for survival

Liverpool and Tottenham are among the teams vying for a spot in the knockout rounds of the Europa League on Thursday.

Five qualifying spots are up for grabs during the last round of group fixtures and the English Premier League duo are both in contention to qualify.

Liverpool have collected seven points from five games and sit second in Group A ahead of Young Boys on head-to-head record.

Brendan Rodgers’ side travel to Italy to play Udinese and will secure qualification with a win, while a draw coincided with a Young Boys draw or defeat to Anzhi Makhachkala would also send them through to the next round.

However, if Liverpool and Young Boys both lose, the Swiss outfit would progress because of their superior three-way head-to-head record against Liverpool and Udinese.

Group leaders Anzhi are top but could slip to second if Liverpool triumph as a result of a three-way head-to-head record.

Tottenham and Panathinaikos will also battle it out for a spot in the next round.

Spurs are on seven points, two ahead of their Greek opponents and will go through with a draw or win, while they could also pip Group J leaders Lazio, who play Maribor, into top spot if they finish level on points.

Genk are already through in Group G and only need a point at home to Basel to progress as group winners.

Basel will go through if they claim at least a draw against the Belgians, even if Videoton beat Sporting Lisbon due to their superior head-to-head record against the Hungarian outfit.

Murat Yakin’s Basel could snatch top spot if they beat Genk because of their head-to-head record.

Group E also offers up some interesting scenarios on Wednesday with Steau Bucharest, Stuttgart and FC Copenhagen all in the running to progress.

Steau tops the group on 10 points and would qualify if they beat or draw against Copenhagen, who are three points adrift.

The Danes would move through if they win by a 1-0 or two-goal margin against Steau, while Germans Stuttgart, who sit on eight points, would progress with victory at home to bottom side Molde.

Atletico Madrid and Viktoria Plzen have already booked a spot in the final stages and will face off for top honours in Group B.

Alan Pardew’s Newcastle United, who ended a four-game losing run in the Premier League against Wigan on Monday, can steal top spot in Group D if they beat leaders Bordeaux, while Hannover need a point away to Levante to clinch Group L ahead of the Spaniards.

The top two teams in groups C, F, H, I and K have already been decided.

Wed 5 Dec, 2012
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