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UEFA Europa Conference League: What to look out for on Matchday 2

The inaugural group stage is under way; here's a taste of what's coming up next.

Copenhagen's Jonas Wind, Spurs Heung-min Son and Feyenoord's Jens Toornstra
Copenhagen's Jonas Wind, Spurs Heung-min Son and Feyenoord's Jens Toornstra

The first edition of the UEFA Europa Conference League enters its second matchweek with 32 teams aiming for the final in Tirana.

UEFA.com picks out some sure-fire headline-makers for Matchday 2.

Thursday 30 September
Group A: Alashkert vs HJK Helsinki, LASK vs Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Group B: Gent vs Anorthosis Famagusta, Partizan vs Flora Tallinn
Group C: Zorya Luhansk vs Roma, CSKA-Sofia vs Bodø/Glimt
Group D: AZ Alkmaar vs Jablonec, CFR Cluj vs Randers
Group E: Feyenoord vs Slavia Praha, Union Berlin vs Maccabi Haifa
Group F: PAOK vs Slovan Bratislava, Copenhagen vs Lincoln Red Imps
Group G: Tottenham vs Mura, Vitesse vs Rennes
Group H: Basel vs Kairat Almaty, Omonoia vs Qarabağ

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What to look out for?

Highlights: Rennes 2-2 Tottenham

Mura stand in Spurs' path
UEFA Champions League regulars in recent years, and finalists in 2019, Tottenham came into the group stage as many pundits' favourites. A 2-2 draw at Rennes on Matchday 1 was a measure of the standard of competition in the UEFA Europa Conference League, but Nuno Espirito Santo's side will hope for a more positive result in north London against Mura, who lost 2-0 at home to Vitesse in their opener. "We are learning and will still be learning for a long time to come," said Mura coach Ante Šimundža, who is hoping his side will give their Premier League hosts a game. "We know what we are doing and what we want," he added.

Feyenoord chasing third trophy
Having lifted the European Cup in 1970, and the UEFA Cup in 1974 and 2002, Feyenoord have already had their hands on the two most prestigious current trophies in European club football, and can become the first side to complete a clean sweep if they add the UEFA Europa Conference League to their set this season. However, a 0-0 draw at Maccabi Haifa last time out has left Arne Slot's team needing a win at home against Group E leaders Slavia Praha to take pole position in the section. "Slavia came from pot 1 in the draw and there were only strong teams in that pot," said Slot, with the Dutch side having failed to make it through their last four group stage campaigns.

Highlights: Slovan Bratislava 1-3 Copenhagen

Pellegrini and Wind the strikers to beat
Roma's Lorenzo Pellegrini and Copenhagen's Jonas Wind were the only players to score twice on Matchday 1, meaning they lead the race to become the top scorer in the first season of the new competition. Wind struck twice in a 3-1 win at Slovan Bratislava, and may feel that more goals are in the offing as his side welcome Gibraltarian champions Lincoln Red Imps (a number of whom visited Copenhagen's Parken home as Gibraltar lost 6-0 to Denmark in a European Qualifier in November 2019). Stipe Perica scored the first ever UEFA Europa Conference League group stage goal on Matchday 1; who will get the first hat-trick?

Further ahead?

Highlights: Roma 5-1 CSKA-Sofia

• José Mourinho won the UEFA Champions League with Porto and Inter, and the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League with Porto and Manchester United. Can the Roma boss become the first manager to win all three current major UEFA club trophies? Along with Udo Lattek and Rafael Benítez, he is already one of just three coaches to have won a UEFA trophy with three clubs.

• Norway's Bodø/Glimt were the only side among eight European group stage debutants to win on Matchday 1, and over the next two matchdays, they will be up against Mourinho's Roma, though coach Kjetil Knutsen is not cowering at the thought. "He's a flesh and blood man like the rest of us," he said. "You cannot see winning games as something unattainable. Yes, we can achieve the most incredible things."

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Key dates

Group stage
14/16 September: Matchday 1
30 September: Matchday 2
21 October: Matchday 3
4 November: Matchday 4
25 November: Matchday 5
9 December: Matchday 6

Tirana's National Arena will stage the final
Tirana's National Arena will stage the finalUEFA via Getty Images

Knockout stage
13 December: Knockout round play-off draw
17 & 24 February: Knockout round play-offs
25 February: Round of 16 draw
10 & 17 March: Round of 16
18 March: Quarter-final & semi-final draws
7 & 14 April: Quarter-finals
28 April & 5 May: Semi-finals
25 May: Final (National Arena, Tirana)

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