What to watch out for in the UEFA Europa League

Matchday two promises to be a confusing night for Robin van Persie, Dirk Kuyt and Shakhtar boss Paulo Fonseca, while mammoth voyages of discovery await Young Boys and Maccabi Tel-Aviv.

Highlights: Young Boys 0-1 Olympiacos
Highlights: Young Boys 0-1 Olympiacos

Are Mustafa Akçay's Osmanlıspor invincible?
Zürich struck lucky the first time they met a Turkish side – their 1963/64 European Champion Clubs' Cup first-round tie with Galatasaray went to a replay and then extra time before they prevailed on a toin coss. But their luck may be out this time. The 2015/16 Swiss Cup winners are up against Group L rivals Osmanlıspor, whose coach Mustafa Akçay has led something of a charmed life: in his first 19 UEFA games, he has yet to lose. Can he make it to 20 in Switzerland?
Zurich v Osmanlıspor, 19:00CEST

Dundalk out to prove their worth
In the wake of Dundalk's 1-1 matchday one draw, AZ coach John van den Brom gave the Irish champions an awkward compliment. "They're not a typical British team," he said. "They try to play football." Not even slightly British, Dundalk can become the first Irish side to win a group stage game when Maccabi visit on matchday two. Footage of the Israeli club's Group D collapse at home to Zenit could be the in-flight horror movie on their 4,050km journey to Dublin.
Dundalk v Maccabi Tel-Aviv, 21:05CEST

Astana may be good at home for a reason
Astana may be good at home for a reason©Dinara Baikadamova

Young Boys in for the long haul
Only Young Boys will be flying further than Maccabi Tel-Aviv this week, and they will be setting a national record even before they kick off against Astana in Group B. Their 4,550km trip west is the longest ever undertaken by a Swiss club for a European tie (Basel's 2006 odyssey to Kostanay being a mere 3,900km). Opponents' jet lag may be an 11th man for Astana; the Kazakhs are unbeaten in nine European home fixtures (W5 D4).
Astana v Young Boys, 17:00CEST

Braga reunion for Shakhtar boss
In an interview with UEFA.com, new Shakhtar coach Paulo Fonseca remembered he had tempted fate on the eve of the group stage draw by saying he did not want to get his old club. The fates duly intervened in Group H. Fonseca was the Arsenalistas' boss when they lost to the Pitmen in last season's UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, and must now pretend it is a match like any other as his new charges seek to make it five victories from five against Braga.
Shakhtar v Braga, 19:00CEST

Highlights: Watch Feyenoord's win against United
Highlights: Watch Feyenoord's win against United

Van Persie and Kuyt's loyalties tested
Robin van Persie was an unused substitute for Feyenoord in their sole previous home game with Fenerbahçe; now he is a Yellow Canaries player, though he may not be the only Dutchman momentarily confused as he looks for the dressing rooms ahead of this fixture. The De Kuip side's 36-year-old captain Dirk Kuyt returned to Rotterdam in summer 2015 after a terrific three-season stint with the Istanbul club. Expect a rousing reception for the midfielder.
Fenerbahçe v Feyenoord, 21:05CEST

United await Zorya's men of mystery
A matchday one defeat at Feyenoord was a reminder to Manchester United – bidding to win the one major UEFA trophy missing from their cabinet – of how their Group A rivals will be rising to the occasion this autumn. Ukraine's Zorya are a mystery to most of their opponents, yet showed their mettle in holding Fenerbahçe to a 1-1 draw. While no Ukrainian team have ever scored or avoided defeat at Old Trafford, there is always a first time.
Manchester United v Zorya, 21:05CEST

Greece and Cyprus's best meet at last
The journey from Nicosia to Piraeus is about 900km, but APOEL's match at Olympiacos is a derby of sorts – bringing together two of the most successful sides in the Greek-speaking world. These teams are their respective countries' record title winners (Olympiacos with 43, APOEL with 25) and domestic cup winners (Olympiacos 27, APOEL 21). APOEL are without a victory in seven European away fixtures, yet have the incentive to raise their game here.
Olympiacos v APOEL, 21:05CEST

Gabala's mean streak
Gabala did not enjoy the best start to their group stage campaign, losing 3-1 at Anderlecht, but there has been little to fault about their domestic season to date; after six games, they are two points clear at the top of the Azeri table with the record W5 D1, having not conceded a single goal. Goalkeeper Dmytro Beztosniy's unbeaten run stretches back further still; he has not conceded in 778 minutes of league football since Qarabağ's second goal in a 2-0 defeat of Gabala on 11 May.
Gabala v Mainz, 17:00CEST

Highlights: Young Boys 0-1 Olympiacos
Highlights: Young Boys 0-1 Olympiacos