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UEFA Europa Conference League: What to look out for on Matchday 5

The penultimate matchday of the first UEFA Europa Conference League group stage is upon us with no teams sure of a last-16 place.

 Spurs’ Heung-Min Son, Roma's Nicolò Zaniolo and AZ's Vangelis Pavlidis
Spurs’ Heung-Min Son, Roma's Nicolò Zaniolo and AZ's Vangelis Pavlidis

The first edition of the UEFA Europa Conference League group stage is delivering plenty of tension, with no sides certain of a last-16 place yet.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car presents UEFA.com's guide to the stand-out stories.

How qualifying for the knockouts works

The eight group winners automatically go through to the last 16. Additional knockout round play-offs between the eight group runners-up and the third-ranked teams from the UEFA Europa League groups will then be played before the round of 16.

Thursday 25 November

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

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What to look out for?

Five through but who will join them?

Highlights: LASK 2-0 Alashkert

Basel, Gent, LASK, Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Qarabağ are all certain of finishing in the top two in their groups and are therefore guaranteed at least a place in the knockout round play-offs. The following teams could acquire the same status on Matchday 5: Partizan, Bodø/Glimt, Roma, AZ Alkmaar, Jablonec, Feyenoord, Slavia Praha, Copenhagen, PAOK, Slovan Bratislava, Rennes and Tottenham.

Round of 16 berths up for grabs
The group winners go straight to the round of 16 and several clubs will be eyeing that passage on Matchday 5, not least in Group A where the victors in the game between Maccabi Tel-Aviv and LASK seal top spot. In Group D, AZ need only draw at Jablonec to clinch first place and it's the same scenario for Feyenoord as they head to Slavia.

Key games for big names

Highlights: Roma 2-2 Bodø/Glimt

Roma and Tottenham may both be able to secure top-two spots but they could also be pushed to the brink of elimination if things go against them. José Mourinho's men are only a point clear of opponents Zorya Luhansk so would be relying on others in their final game if they are beaten in Italy, while his old club Spurs could also slide down to third if they slip up at Mura with Vitesse just a point behind Antonio Conte's new team.

Further ahead?

• Qarabağ and Basel are through from Group H and the section summit could be decided when they meet at St Jakob-Park on the final day of action.

• Spurs may face a London shoot-out against Rennes for pole position in their closing fixture. The sides, who have both played UEFA Champions League football within the last two years, produced a thrilling 2-2 draw at Roazhon Park on Matchday 1 – similar drama could await.

Highlights: Rennes 2-2 Tottenham

• Slavia reached the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals last season but their hopes of getting out of Group E here may be decided on the final day. Depending on the Matchday 5 results, Maccabi Haifa or Union Berlin could pip them at the post.

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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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