Today’s Europa League Group Stage Fixtures & Previews

FreiburgWest Ham United square off today

Freiburg and West Ham United square off on Thursday evening both looking to make it successive victories in the Europa League group stages.

The Bundesliga and Premier League outfits both overcame adversity to edge out Olympiacos and Backa Topola in their opening fixtures in Group A.

Much has been made of the starts of various teams in the Premier League this season, but West Ham’s is one that cannot be criticised, either domestically or on the continent.

Their only defeats have come to Manchester City and Liverpool, David Moyes‘s side winning the remainder of their other six matches in all competitions since August 20.

Since the start of 2023-24, Freiburg have not consistently looked like the team that came agonisingly close to securing Champions League football last season.

Nine goals were conceded to Stuttgart and Borussia Dortmund either side of the international break, but Christian Streich has since witnessed his team show their character in the following three matches.

While Freiburg have been far from perfect in the league during 2023-24, they have the quality to make an impact in this competition. West Ham may start as the marginal favourites, but he feel that the home side will do enough to earn a share of the spoils in an entertaining tussle.


Recent Brighton drop in form provides Marseille some optimism 

Brighton travel to the Stade Velodrome in France to take on Marseille in their second Europa League group-stage fixture today.

The two teams failed to claim maximum points in their opening Group B games two weeks ago, with the Seagulls losing their first-ever European match at home to AEK Athens, while Les Olympiens played out a thrilling six-goal draw with Ajax.

Marseille players

Marseille have now won just one of their last seven games in all competitions, currently sit 12th in the Ligue 1 table and although they are only four points adrift of the top three, Gattuso has a tough task on his hands to turn the club’s fortunes around and win over the club’s supporters.
Marseille’s record against English opposition also leaves a little to be desired as they have come out on top in only one of their previous 15 competitive meetings with Premier League teams, but the recent drop-off in Brighton’s form provides them with an element of optimism heading into Thursday’s clash.

Both Marseille and Brighton have regularly looked a threat in the final third this season but have shown signs of weakness at the back, so an entertaining end-to-end contest could be on the cards on Thursday.

The two teams will be desperate to quickly put aside their recent setbacks on the domestic front, but they may have to settle for a share of the spoils on this occasion.


Liverpool to bounce back as they welcome Union SG to Anfield

Seeking to bounce back from their controversial Premier League defeat last weekend, Liverpool welcome Union SG to Anfield for a Europa League group-stage clash on Thursday night.

The Reds currently sit top of Group E after beating LASK Linz 3-1 in gameweek one, while their Belgian counterparts played out a 1-1 draw with Toulouse in their opening group fixture.

Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo is facing several weeks out

Liverpool’s 17-game unbeaten run in the Premier League was brought to an end in both dramatic and controversial circumstances when they suffered a 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday – their first defeat in any competition since April 1.

Amid the ongoing VAR controversy in the Premier League, Liverpool will look to turn their frowns upside down when they resume their Europa League group-stage campaign on Thursday with a first-ever meeting against Union SG, and they will certainly welcome a midweek return to Anfield.

Union SG reached the quarter-finals in their debut Europa League campaign in 2022-23 after topping their group, but finishing above Liverpool at the summit of Group E this term seems a tall order, so securing second place ahead of Toulouse and LASK Linz is a realistic target.

Union SG’s only previous meeting with English opposition came back in the 1958-60 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup when they lost both legs against Birmingham City.

Union SG’s impressive away form bodes well heading to Anfield, and they will fancy their chances. However, Liverpool should ultimately have too much quality for the Belgian visitors, even if Klopp decides to rest a few key players.


Under fire Mourinho leads Roma against Servette

Last season’s Europa League finalists Roma welcome Servette to the Italian capital on matchday two on Thursday.

Jose Mourinho‘s side edged a narrow encounter with Sheriff Tiraspol on the opening matchday, while Servette lost on their group stage debut to Slavia Prague.

While being the masters of the minor UEFA competitions in the past two seasons, Roma only narrowly got the better of Sheriff in Transnistria two weeks ago. That hard-fought win was one of the few high points in what has been a dreadful start to the season for Mourinho and Roma.

Jose Mourinho, Roma coach

Roma have underwhelmed massively so far, but like in the last two European campaigns, matches on the continent have provided much-needed respite.

Servette’s start has arguably been even worse, and they are already playing catchup, and another defeat here will make progression seem extremely unlikely even at this early stage. Servette ended an eight-game winless run by defeating Lausanne at the weekend, and this can be the catalyst to turn their fortunes around.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here