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Perfect trio aiming for early progress

Published: Wednesday 28 October 2009, 19.00CET
FC Salzburg, Sporting Clube de Portugal and holders FC Shakhtar Donetsk put the last 100 per cent records in the UEFA Europa League on the line on Matchday 4 as they aim to seal qualification.
Perfect trio aiming for early progress
Three goals from Luiz Adriano have helped Shakhtar to the top of Group J ©Getty Images
 
 
Published: Wednesday 28 October 2009, 19.00CET

Perfect trio aiming for early progress

FC Salzburg, Sporting Clube de Portugal and holders FC Shakhtar Donetsk put the last 100 per cent records in the UEFA Europa League on the line on Matchday 4 as they aim to seal qualification.

FC Salzburg, Sporting Clube de Portugal and holders FC Shakhtar Donetsk put the remaining 100 per cent records in the UEFA Europa League on the line on Matchday 4 knowing victory could secure qualification for the last 32 with two matches to spare.

Sporting chance
Narrow winners against FK Ventspils last time out, Sporting host their Matchday 3 opponents in Group D holding a seven-point advantage over the Latvian outfit. With Hertha BSC Berlin bottom of the section on one point, Sporting will sew up one of the top two berths in the section with victory at the José Alvalade regardless of the outcome in the German club's encounter with SC Heerenveen.

Prolific form
A similar situation befalls a free-scoring Shakhtar side who travel to Toulouse FC in Group J. Mircea Lucescu's team have hit four goals in each of their three matches in the pool thus far, the most recent of which was against a Toulouse outfit locked on four points with second-placed Club Brugge KV. In Group G, FC Salzburg will fancy their chances of making it four wins from four when they visit point-less PFC Levski Sofia, fresh from defeating the Bulgarian champions 1-0. Three points for Huub Stevens' charges and a second victory of the section for S.S. Lazio over Villarreal CF would mean the Austrian titleholders would be guaranteed a top-two finish.

Record loss
In the pick of the other matches, Everton have a chance to quickly avenge the 5-0 defeat inflicted upon them by SL Benfica – their heaviest in UEFA club competition – last time out in Group I, with the duo topping the section on six points apiece. Everton's Premier League rivals Fulham FC, second in Group E, meet an AS Roma team sitting one point and one place behind having been denied a famous victory over the Giallorossi by Marco Andreolli's added-time equaliser at Craven Cottage. FC Basel 1893, one point ahead of Fulham, host winless PFC CSKA Sofia in the other match in the section. Elsewhere, the top two in Group C, Hamburger SV and Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC, can take a giant stride towards the knockout stage by repeating their Matchday 3 successes against Celtic FC and SK Rapid Wien respectively, as can AFC Ajax and RSC Anderlecht against NK Dinamo Zagreb and FC Timişoara in Group A.

For a full rundown of all the Matchday 4 fixtures click here, while the group standings can be found by clicking here.

Last updated: 28/10/09 16.50CET

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