It all comes down to this clash for the Greek squad, as in case of a victory, they will secure their further progress, possibly coming at the top of the group, if things go in the right direction for them.
Their domestic appearances this season are quite well to say, and even though they lost their previous fixture against group leaders from Eintracht, high motivation is certainly not absent for the Greek favorites.
It is do-or-die for the Turks as well in this one, but judging by their overall performances so far in the campaign, I have serious doubts about their success in the upcoming clash.
After four negative results and a downtrend in their form, Lazio improved and won 3:2 at home over Roma last weekend, proving that they are yet to show their best.
This is an obvious uptrend in their form now, as they looked really sharp with the ball to their feet getting the three-pointer over hated rival thanks to goals from Milinkovic-Savic, Pedro, and Anderson. No doubt that they are fired up to improve in Europa League too, after quite undeserved and unlucky defeat away to Galatasaray last time out.
Offensive midfielder Zaccagni (3/0) should be the only absentee worry for the hosts.
The Foxes missed their Champions League ticket last season maybe a bit unfortunate in my opinion, but will definitely do their best to be as competitive as possible in the upcoming Europa League campaign.
They share the group with Napoli, Legia, and Spartak from Moscow, overly looking, being one of the best squads, and are certainly in a position to compete for promotional first two places.
The Foxes continue to miss defenders Fofana and Justin, as well as midfielder Mendy, all three without playing in the new season.
Vitesse made a more than decent performance on the road to Belgium last Thursday when they managed to pull out a 3:3 draw against much favored Anderlecht.
Being in a 2:1 disadvantage after the first part, the guests successfully reversed the result to their favor with goals in the 46th and the 72nd but had the misfortune of conceding one more late in the match.
However, they can be satisfied with the outcome, as the hosts were provided with the penalty five minutes later, but luckily for Vitesse, failed to materialize it.
Roma positively surprised in their last European match on the road to Amsterdam, as they managed to be victorious over Ajax with a 1:2 result, in a very interesting and dynamic clash.
They were visibly pushed back during the first part and went on a break with a 1:0 deficit. Things could get much worse for the visitors from Italy, as the hosts missed a penalty in the 53rd, but with a great game in transition, Roma successfully managed to turn the result in their favor with goals over Pellegrini in the 57th and Ibanez in the 87th minute and punished the home side for their lack of sharpness at the finishing.
The Italians will miss suspended defensive midfielder Peres (24/1), plus injured central-back Kumbulla (16/1). Doubtful for the moment are central defender Smalling (14/0) and full-back Spinazzola (26/2).
Ajax appeared quite confident in their last European clash when they found their way to the quarter-finals defeating Young Boys in both matches convincingly.
In the first leg at their home, they didn’t have any problems in recording a 3:0 victory, while only a week later, proved their domination on the road with a routine 0:2 win.
They are by far the best team this season in Eredivisie, as they firmly hold the leading spot, having eleven points more than their closest PSV and a game less played, and have every reason to approach this European clash with the Romans with only one thing in their mind.
The Dutch team misses goalkeeper Onana (20/0), central defender Blind (23/1), and striker Haller (12/7). Right-back Mazraoui (15/0) is doubtful with a head injury.
The Gunners are entering this clash with positive thoughts, as they were able to outplay Olympiacos in their first match with a 1:3 result, playing back in Greece.
Logically, they opted for a more aggressive approach from the start, using the quality gap in the best possible manner, and scored their first one in the 34th over Odegaard. In the second part, the home side managed to respond with an equalizer in the 58th after a huge mistake made by the visitors, but that setback had no impact on Gunner’s morale.
They took the lead once again in the 80th over Gabriel, while only five minutes later Elneny scored a beautiful goal and removed all questions about the winner if there were any at all.
Granada, like a few other teams in the Euro campaign, made their fans proud, as despite all the odds, progressed further winning over Napoli with an aggregate 2:3 result.
Last time out in LaLiga, they were competitive in an away match against Bilbao, but never the less come with a 2:1 defeat, maybe a bit unlucky. They conceded an early goal in the 3rd minute but managed to equalize in the 78th and punish the hosts for a missed penalty six minutes earlier.
However, it can be said that luck wasn’t on their side, as they conceded another one just before the full-time, and walked away with empty hands out of this encounter, while a draw outcome would be a fair one as well.
Ajax did a great job last time out in Europe against Lille when they were able to record a 1:2 victory, playing back in France.
After a goalless first part when the guests looked more aggressive with the ball, they conceded first in the 72nd after a truly catastrophic error. However, they kept their focus and managed to level up from the penalty in the 87th over Tadic. Only two minutes have passed, and the visitors from Netherland found themselves in a perfect situation to take the lead after a great team-work, which they did over Brobbey, who had an easy job from a close range.
They are entering this clash with positive thoughts, as they showed that they are more than capable to be dangerous against any opponent that is in front of them.
Sociedad is looking good in the last two rounds back in LaLiga, as they grabbed the momentum, and recorded two consecutive victories.
In their latest clash on the road to Getafe, they did just enough to take a narrow 0:1 victory, keeping their strength for the upcoming European clash. They took the lead in the 30th minute over Isak, while the hosts were simply too passive during the whole encounter, as they weren’t able to create a single decent opportunity.
Sociedad occupies 5th spot in the rankings, but they need to keep it up with positive results, as Villarreal is just behind the corner with two points less.