Trabzonspor one point away from Europa
PARIS - Agence France-Presse
Cihan PhotoTrabzonspor is only one point away from winning its Europa League group when it visits Lazio today.
The Black Sea Storm had a nearly perfect Europa League campaign with four wins and a draw in its five outings, and it will win the Group J if it is unbeaten in the game against Lazio, which has 11 points and is currently second. Apollon Limassol and Legia Warsaw, other teams in the group have no hopes of qualifying for the round of 32 in the second-tier European club competition.
Elsewhere, Swansea City and Wigan Athletic are on the road as they bid to seal their berths in the first knockout round of the Europa League.
A total of 18 clubs are already through to the last 32 of Europe’s second-tier competition with six more spots up for grabs tomorrow. They will be joined by the eight third-placed teams from the UEFA Champions League group stage.
Another English representative, Tottenham Hotspur, are already through along with Spanish clubs Valencia and Sevilla, France’s Lyon and Fiorentina of Italy.
The north London outfit host Russians Anzhi Makhachkala at White Hart Lane with both sides having already qualified from Group K.
Swansea’s fate go down to wire
Swansea are second in Group A behind Valencia as they travel to face Swiss side St Gallen needing just a point to advance, while Championship outfit Wigan, third in Group D, visit Slovenian outfit Maribor.
Michael Laudrup’s Swansea were unable to get the point that would have clinched qualification last month as they lost 1-0 at home to Valencia.
Last season’s FA Cup winners Wigan know that their fate is out of their hands as they make the journey to Slovenia under new management.
Wigan, who lost 2-1 at home to Zulte Waregem last time out, visit Maribor needing to win while also hoping the Belgian side lose to group winners Rubin Kazan.
Elsewhere, Dutch club PSV Eindhoven host Chornomorets Odessa of Ukraine in Group B with all to play for as both have seven points behind already qualified Ludogorets Razgrad of Bulgaria.
German side Freiburg will be looking to seal qualification from Group H alongside Sevilla when they host the Spaniards, although Czech side Slovan Liberec travel to eliminated Estoril also hoping to progress.
Dynamo Kiev host Rapid Vienna with both sides looking for the remaining berth from Group G behind Genk, and Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv are on the verge of advancing from Group F.