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Flawless trio looking for knockout blow

Three teams are coming into matchday four in the UEFA Europa League with 100% records, with the round of 32 creeping into view for the star group stage performers.

Fiorentina are one of three sides who have won their first three group stage games
Fiorentina are one of three sides who have won their first three group stage games ©Getty Images

After winning their opening three games, ACF Fiorentina, FC Dinamo Moskva and Legia Warszawa will all hope to be celebrating early qualification for the UEFA Europa League round of 32 on matchday four.

With nine points in the bag, the finish line is in sight for all three sides. Since the advent of the UEFA Europa League, only six teams have taken nine points or more and failed to make it to the knockout phase: BSC Young Boys (10 points, 2012/13), Tottenham Hotspur FC (10 points, 2011/12), Paris Saint-Germain (10 points, 2010/11), Birmingham City FC (10 points, 2010/11), Borussia Dortmund (9 points, 2010/11) and FC Basel 1893 (9 points, 2010/11).

However, as SSC Napoli discovered in last season's UEFA Champions League, it is possible to finish third in a four-team group on 12 points.

Any doomsday scenario will be out of the question for Dinamo Moskva and Fiorentina if they win at home against Estoril Praia and PAOK FC respectively, and three more points should more than suffice for Legia, provided KSC Lokeren OV fail to win in their encounter with second-ranked Trabzonspor AŞ in Group L.

Celtic FC, meanwhile, could mark the occasion of their 300th UEFA club competition game by making it to the round of 32, provided a win at FC Astra Giurgiu coincides with an FC Salzburg success at GNK Dinamo Zagreb. However, LOSC Lille and FC Dinamo Minsk's 100th UEFA games are unlikely to end so well; Dinamo Minsk are in danger of being set adrift at the foot of Group K as they travel to take on EA Guingamp, while LOSC head to Everton FC lying third in Group H.

Les Dogues' style has been cramped by three successive group stage draws, but when it comes to inconclusive results, AS Saint-Étienne have been the masters this season. Les Verts play host to FC Internazionale Milano on a run of three 0-0 group stage draws in a row. Inter have yet to conceded in five European games this season, suggesting that it could be another quiet night.

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