Dundalk vs Zenit St. Petersburg

Whilst many expected Zenit to be topping this group with relative ease after two games, part-time Irish side Dundalk are continuing their European fairytale – they currently sit second and are undefeated.
European debutants Dundalk have hatched the perfect game plan in their two previous Europa League fixtures where they have achieved a draw and a victory. The Lilywhites know that they are not going to go and blitz teams like they do in the Irish League so instead they look to sit back and wait for their opportunities to come – making the most of them.
It is no surprise that Stephen Kenny’s men are currently top of their domestic league by a distance of seven points after 30 games. The confidence will only grow if they carry on doing well in Europe. Their form has been so good that even Republic of Ireland national team manager Martin O’Neill is casting his eye over a few of Dundalk’s part-timers.
This is undoubtedly Dundalk’s biggest test in the Europa League so far, and probably in their entire European campaign if we include Champions League qualifiers.
After a bit of a stuttering start to the season, Mircea Lucescu’s Zenit side are now back on track in the Russian Premier League and are level on points with table-toppers Spartak Moscow.
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Leverkusen vs Tottenham

Leverkusen entertain Tottenham knowing that their Champions League hopes are dependent on them securing a result against Tottenham. The positive side for Leverkusen is the they have been in great form scoring up front, netting goals in 9 out of their 10 games played this season so far. They have picked up positive victories against teams like Mainz, Dortmund and Hamburg; but have generally struggled to convert victories which sees them in 10th spot only in the table. Chicharito and Pohjanpalo have netted 9 out of their 11 goals in the domestic front, so a lot will rely on them. They also have the free-kick specialist Calhangolu who can find the back of the net from anywhere of 30 yards out for Leverkusen. Where they have struggled is on the defensive end, conceding goals in 8 out of the 10 games played so far this campaign; and that will need to improve if they have to get out of this group.
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CSKA Moscow vs Monaco

CSKA Moscow come into this game against Monaco in front of their home fans after losing to Tottenham 3 weeks ago in the Champions league by a narrow 1-0 scoreline. Prior to that they drew 2-2 with Bayer Leverkusen away from home. Victory is definitely needed in this game in this very tight group in order for them to even have a chance of retaining a spot in the Europa League in a keenly contested group. The big problem for CSKA has been their struggles even in the league this season, where they are sitting in 3rd with just 6 wins from 10 games, and only netting 11 goals during this time. The new rules in Russia of the number of foreign players have diminished their holding as they had to get rid of a few players with Lancina Traore and Ermenko leading their attacking line failing to create a major impact this season. CSKA on the other hand have bene leaking goals and have done so in 6 out of their last 7 games; which opposition Monaco will be looking into scoring.
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Liverpool vs Manchester Utd

Englands biggest battle commences tonight as Liverpool take on Manchester United at Anfield and with both teams struggling defensively, you know that game could be a riot for either side or a complete entertainer.
Liverpool are in great form coming into this game on the back of a 5 game winning streak and aiming to continue that run against their bitter rivals. Liverpool have strengthened well this season with great supporting cast to help forward Daniel Sturridge. Coutinho, Firmino and Sadio Mane have all been in great form sitting in the roles right behind Sturridge giving him great service as well as another option to draw defenders out to give him more room to play. Liverpool have counter attacked with great speed which has surprised a lot of teams and is typical of a Jurgen Klopp team. What actually turns out to be their difficulty are the struggles they are facing not he defensive end. Liverpool have chopped and changed around their defensive unit continuously while also placing keeper Lorius Karius between the sticks instead of Mignolet. Liverpool have conceded goals in 7 out of 7 games in the Premier League so far this campaign, which will be their major cause of weakness.
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Napoli vs Roma

Napoli take on Roma in this encounter in the Serie A in what is most definitely the game of the weekend in Italy with the 2nd and 3rd sides in the Italian table taking on each other looking to keep up the pressure against Juventus who play later on in the day. Napoli come into this game after a disappointing loss to Atalanta 1-0 away from home, and will be looking to turn around this form in this encounter. The only disappointing thing in this encounter is that Milik is out injured, but Napoli have plenty of additional firepower with the likes of Gabbiadini looking set to replace him and also they have Mertens, Insigne, Callejon who will be providing support as well. The Napoli defense has been a bit shaky in recent weeks, conceding goals in 3 out of 4 games played at home this season and in such a tight encounter, you can expect goals flowing.
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Las Palmas vs Espanyol

Las Palmas have been in a good run of form that saw them push on towards the top of the table for the opening weeks, before coming crashing back down to earth with a 4-1 loss to Real Sociedad. In their last 2 games, they have shown us that they are difficult side to break down and can definitely hold it on their own against tough opposition. They went and drew 2-2 with Real Madrid after coming back from losing twice; while coming back again from a 2-0 deficit at HT to draw 2-2 with Osasuna. These last 2 games have surely built their resolve coming into this game.
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Holland vs France

Holland come into the World Cup qualifying after taking 4 points from their opening 2 games of the campaign and will now look to take their attack to France. Holland as a country have under-performed on the international stage by not qualifying for the European Championships this summer, and will not want to far that ignominy again where they were 3rd in the last World Cup. The Holland squad has much changed with a host of youngsters Quincy Promes and Victor Janssen leading the line and scoring three goals between them. With Sneijder championing the midfield with Strootman, Wjnaldum and Klaassen sitting in behind him. Holland have been struggling defensively where they have leaked goals in 12 out of their last 13 games; and with a counter attacking team in France, one could expect their defence to be peppered tonight.
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Moenchengladbach vs Barcelona

Barcelona come into this encounter already sitting pretty at the top of their group and will know that they have a great chance to take the group lead ahead of Manchester City with a solid victory tonight. Barcelona have relied a lot of their scoring in recent times on Luis Suarez and Neymar who come into this game with 3 goals combined on the weekend. That should help elevate tensions of the Barca faithful who think that the team needs to depend sorely on Messi, who is injured for this encounter. Barcelona will also rely on the creativity of players like Turan, Iniesta and Rakitic along with the full backs Alba and Roberto to create enough chances for the front two to score. Defensively Barcelona have been struggling especially in recent times since Bravo has left them, conceding in 3 out of their last 5 games. There could be an opportunity to be exposed, which Barcelona will have to outscore Gladbach to win the tie then.
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Celtic vs Man City

Celtic were humiliated by Barcelona in their Champions League group stage opener, but they will not be as easy to beat this time around. Celtic Park will be packed with more than 60,000 fans that always create a special atmosphere for European nights, and the team will be motivated to show that the Barca loss was a coincidence, not the true quality of the side. Celtic travelled to Camp Nou in the opening matchday and were demolished 7-0 at the hands of Barcelona. Since then they’ve scored 10 goals in their last 3 matches (8 at home). They have a magnificent home record coming into this match, with just 1 loss in their last 20 home matches (failed to score just once in their last 20 home matches).
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Man City vs Swansea

Manchester City travel once again to the Liberty Stadium in search of a 2nd victory in a span of 4 days against Swansea after beating them in the EFL Cup by a score of 2-1; after a quiet first half in that game. Come into this game and the challenge gets even tougher when players like Aguero, Sterling, de Bruyne, Gundogan, Kolarov, Otamendi to come back into the starting XI which will make them even more threatening against Swansea in this encounter. Man City will take confidence on their scoring ability knowing that they their games have seen them score: 2, 5, 4, 1, 3, 2, 4, 4, 2. Manchester City’s achilles heel is keeping a clean sheet, which they have managed only once in their 5 Premier league encounters as well as conceding against Swansea in mid-week despite having a reasonably strong defensive lineup.
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