Numbers up for UEFA Europa League hopefuls
Thursday, September 27, 2012
FC Internazionale Milano will look to score their 500th goal in UEFA club competition, and there are centuries in the offing elsewhere on UEFA Europa League matchday two.
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FC Internazionale Milano will look to break new ground and score their 500th UEFA club competition goal on matchday two, with milestones looming for many of the 48 group stage contenders.
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Inter make their first trip to Azerbaijan to take on PFC Neftçi in Group H, needing two more strikes to make it to 500 in what will be their 339th European game. Eighth in the all-time UEFA club competition appearance list, but only 11th in the scorers rankings, the Nerazzurri cannot expect an easy ride in Baku, with the Azeri champions putting in a fine performance on matchday one to draw 0-0 at FK Partizan.
In Group E, FC Steaua Bucureşti are within two goals of their 350th in Europe, and are visiting an FC København side who need three more strikes to reach 100 in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League. Centuries of a different kind will come up as Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC, Newcastle United FC and NK Maribor make their 100th UEFA club competition appearances, against A. Académica de Coimbra, FC Girondins de Bordeaux and S.S. Lazio respectively.
Maribor's meeting with Lazio may have an added frisson, given that the Roman club beat their Slovenian rivals 4-0 in both of their previous meetings, in the 1999/00 UEFA Champions League. Old scores can be settled when Molde FK face the side that eliminated them from the 2010/11 UEFA Cup play-offs, VfB Stuttgart, while Rosenborg BK will look to improve on two previous defeats when they play host to Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
Getting up close and personal elsewhere will be former Portugal team-mates Paulo Sousa and Ricardo Sá Pinto, now coaching Group G rivals Videoton FC and Sporting Clube de Portugal respectively. A former Sporting player himself, Sousa's heavily Portuguese-accented squad also features defender Marco Caneira, whose third spell as a player with the Lisbon Lions ended with his move to Hungary in 2011.
Meanwhile, holders Club Atlético de Madrid will look to secure a 15th straight win in the competition at home against FC Viktoria Plzeň, while PSV Eindhoven – who lost 2-0 at FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk on matchday one – will look to make amends against SSC Napoli, and enhance their record of 20 home games unbeaten in Europe.
Who will win the matchday two UEFA Europa League fixtures? See if you can see into the future with our Predictor game.
A: FC Anzhi Makhachkala v BSC Young Boys
A: Liverpool FC v Udinese Calcio
B: A. Académica de Coimbra v Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC
B: Club Atlético de Madrid v FC Viktoria Plzeň
C: Olympique de Marseille v AEL Limassol FC
C: VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach v Fenerbahçe SK
D: Newcastle United FC v FC Girondins de Bordeaux
D: Club Brugge KV v CS Marítimo
E: Molde FK v VfB Stuttgart
E: FC Steaua Bucureşti v FC København
F: AIK Solna v FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
F: PSV Eindhoven v SSC Napoli
G: FC Basel 1893 v KRC Genk
G: Videoton FC v Sporting Clube de Portugal
H: FC Rubin Kazan v FK Partizan
H: Neftçi PFK v FC Internazionale Milano
I: AC Sparta Praha v Athletic Club
I: Hapoel Kiryat Shmona FC v Olympique Lyonnais
J: S.S. Lazio v NK Maribor
J: Panathinaikos FC v Tottenham Hotspur FC
K: Rosenborg BK v Bayer 04 Leverkusen
K: FC Metalist Kharkiv v SK Rapid Wien