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UEFA Europa League: What to look out for this week

There is plenty of intrigue as the group stage heads for its halfway point.

Marseille's Cengiz Ünder, Real Betis' Nabil Fekir and PSV's Mario Götze
Marseille's Cengiz Ünder, Real Betis' Nabil Fekir and PSV's Mario Götze

The UEFA Europa League returns with another tranche of matches, including a familiar journey for Marseille's Cengiz Ünder and a meeting of the two highest scorers in the competition so far.

UEFA.com picks out some stand-out stories for Matchday 3, presented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

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Tuesday 19 October
Group G
: Celtic 2-0 Ferencváros

Wednesday 20 October
Group C: Spartak Moskva 3-4 Leicester

Thursday 21 October
Group A: Sparta Praha vs Lyon (21:00 CET), Rangers vs Brøndby (21:00 CET)
Group B: PSV Eindhoven vs Monaco (21:00 CET), Sturm Graz vs Real Sociedad (21:00 CET)
Group C: Napoli vs Legia Warszawa (21:00 CET)
Group D: Fenerbahçe vs Royal Antwerp (18:45 CET), Eintracht Frankfurt vs Olympiacos (21:00 CET)
Group E: Lazio vs Marseille (18:45 CET), Lokomotiv Moskva vs Galatasaray (21:00 CET)
Group F: Ludogorets vs Braga (18:45 CET), Midtjylland vs Crvena zvezda (18:45 CET)
Group G: Real Betis vs Leverkusen (18:45 CET)
Group H: Rapid Wien vs GNK Dinamo (18:45 CET), West Ham vs Genk (21:00 CET)

What to look out for?

Rome offers home comforts for Cengiz

Highlights: Lazio 2-0 Lokomotiv Moskva

Marseille midfielder Cengiz Ünder knows only too well the task facing his side as they travel to Lazio, having spent three seasons with their city rivals Roma. "The Roma-Lazio derby is one of the biggest derbies, known all over the world," said the 24-year-old. "I can't say that things will be very different for me because it's an environment I'm used to. I know their team and I hope everything will be fine."

Top scorers set for shoot-out in Spain

No teams have found the net more in their opening two group games than Real Betis (seven) and Leverkusen (six) and the free-scoring pair – and two of the stars of this season's competition – go head to head in Seville. Nabil Fekir has been involved in three goals in the Spanish side's two matches while 18-year-old sensation Florian Wirtz scored in his last five outings in September for Leverkusen, including on Matchdays 1 and 2.

Three won't go into two in Group B

Highlights: Sturm 1-4 PSV

When PSV, Monaco and Real Sociedad were all drawn together in Group B it looked to be one of the most mouth-watering and hardest to call. The story has played out with the Spanish side drawing with the other two already and now hoping to gain ground against Sturm Graz. Meanwhile, PSV and Monaco, who both featured in the UEFA Champions League play-offs this season, face off in Eindhoven in Thursday's glamour tie.

Further ahead?

• Dinamo Zagreb equalled the record for the fewest goals conceded in the group stage when they shipped just one last season but can anyone match or even break it? Lyon, Sparta Praha, Legia Warszawa, Galatasaray and West Ham both have two clean sheets in the bank heading into Matchday 3.

• With the traditional mid-group stage double-headers out of the way, the fifth round of matches gives defeated clubs on Matchday 2 the chance to turn the tables. A warning though – on Matchday 5 last season only two clubs gained revenge from the reverse fixture. Zorya Luhansk ensured Leicester were on the end on one of those turnarounds – will it be the Foxes' turn to make amends after they lost 1-0 at Legia this season?

Key dates

Europa League Matchday 2 Trendsetters

Group stage
15/16 September: Matchday 1
30 September: Matchday 2
20/21 October: Matchday 3
4 November: Matchday 4
24/25 November: Matchday 5
9 December: Matchday 6

Knockout stage
13 December: Knockout round play-offs 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
18 May: Final (Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán, Sevilla)

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