What else to watch for in the UEFA Europa League

Manchester United, Spurs and Fenberbahçe are getting plenty of attention, but there is lots more intrigue in the other UEFA Europa League round of 32 games, as UEFA.com discovers.

Mönchengladbach coach Dieter Hecking
Mönchengladbach coach Dieter Hecking ©Getty Images

Have Gladbach turned the corner?
Twice UEFA Cup winners in the 1970s, Borussia Mönchengladach could be building towards something big again after four straight wins under new boss Dieter Hecking. The Foals endured a gloomy Christmas, poor results heralding André Schubert's dismissal, but Hecking has lifted the mood since his arrival in January. "He woke us up," left-back Oscar Wendt said. "He knows what he wants. There is new fire and more confidence."
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Fiorentina, 19:00

Do Sparta have the measure of Rostov?
Zenit are a class act, so Sparta's 2-0 friendly win against Mircea Lucescu's side during their recent training camp in Spain gave the Czech contenders a real lift – and helped them some insight into the Russian mindset as they prepare to meet Rostov. "That result gave us a boost," said coach Tomáš Požár, who will be without Lukáš Mareček and Václav Kadlec through injury. "We have a very detailed idea of our opponents' strengths and I believe this information will help us to outplay them and qualify."
Rostov v Sparta, 19:00

Genk's fertile production line
Genk's fertile production line

Will Budescu feel the love at Astra?
The Black Devils have been rocked by top scorer Denis Alibec's departure for Steaua, but Marius Șumudică pulled a coup by securing loan star Constantin Budescu on longer terms – the coach reportedly jumped for joy and kissed anyone who happened to be within range when he heard the attacking midfielder had signed up. Last-32 opponents Genk, who lost a couple of big names in January, may have less to celebrate.
Astra v Genk, 19:00

Ill-fated 2017 for Osmanlıspor
Turkey's surprise package in the UEFA Europa League, Osmanlıspor are hoping for a change of fortune in 2017. One draw and three defeats in the league so far, the absence of Senegal's Badou Ndiaye at the Africa Cup of Nations and now Aminu Umar's injury have made it a challenging year, but coach Mustafa Akçay is optimistic. "We've not got the points were deserved over the last six weeks, but we'll keep working. A German proverb says: 'Luck is on the side of those who prepare'. Olympiacos are a compact team, but we can give them a hard time. We definitely need to score away with our pacey players."
Olympiacos v Osmanlıspor, 19:00

Can Shakhtar's new star do his great grandad proud?
Shakhtar's only January signing, Gustavo Blanco Leschuk was born and raised in Argentina but when he moved to Ukraine to join Karpaty Lviv in 2016, it was something of a homecoming. The 25-year-old is eager to "break Luiz Adriano's goalscoring record" at Shakhtar, and added: "It would be also wonderful to win a cap for Ukraine as my maternal great-grandfather was from Ukraine. That's where my surname comes from."
Celta Vigo v Shakhtar Donetsk, 21:05

Ivanović heads Chelsea to glory
Ivanović heads Chelsea to glory

Will Ivanović win again with Zenit?
In Branislav Ivanović's last UEFA Europa League game, he scored Chelsea's added time winner in the 2012/13 final against Benfica, leaving him quite an act to follow as he returns to Russia, having left Lokomotiv Moskva for Stamfort Bridge back in 2008. The 32-year-old insists he is not winding down his career, though. "I feel a great motivation and hunger to keep playing at the top level," the defender said. "The main thing for me now is to get back on to the pitch."
Anderlecht v Zenit, 21:05

Can Radović ravage Ajax this time?
When Legia lost to Ajax at this stage two years ago, Miroslav Radović was a notable absentee. The long-serving striker reluctantly watched the first leg from the stands, having completed a move to Chinese side Hebei hours before kick-off in the first leg. Now he has a chance to take on the Dutch giants again, having returned to Warsaw, via spells in Slovenia and his native Serbia. Once more Legia's star hitman, will the 33-year-old be able to ensure a better outcome for his side this time round?
Legia v Ajax, 21:05

Beşiktaş are hoping for a change of fortunes
Beşiktaş are hoping for a change of fortunes©Getty Images

Suspensions force Beşiktaş reshuffle
Brazilian attacking midfielder Talisca's return from a broken metatarsal is a big boost for Beşiktaş, who have three players suspended. Gökhan Gönül will replace Andreas Beck at right-back, while Cenk Tosun will be the lone striker in the absence of the banned Vincent Aboubakar and the injured Ömer Şişmanoğlu. Cenk has done well on the domestic front with 12 goals but Aboubakar has scored three in the UEFA Champions League and has always been the first choice in that competition. Meanwhile, Adriano's absence means Duško Tosić is likely to move to left-back with new signing Matej Mitrović partnering Marcelo in the centre.
Hapoel Beer-Sheva v Beşiktaş, 21:05

All kick-off times CET

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