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What to look out for on UEFA Europa League Matchday 5

It is moving day in the UEFA Europa League, with several leading lights battling to stay in contention.

Feyenoord’s Orkun Kökçü, Monaco's Wissam Ben Yedder and Braga’s Vitinha
Feyenoord’s Orkun Kökçü, Monaco's Wissam Ben Yedder and Braga’s Vitinha

Six teams have sealed top-two spots, but there is still plenty to play for as the UEFA Europa League group stage approaches crunch time. All four sides in Group F are locked on five points, while the likes of Monaco and Bundesliga high-fliers Union Berlin are battling to keep their hopes alive.

In this piece presented by Enterprise, we pick out some key talking points ahead of the fifth set of fixtures.

Thursday 27 October
Group A: Zürich vs Bodø/Glimt (18:45), PSV Eindhoven vs Arsenal (18:45)
Group B: AEK Larnaca vs Dynamo Kyiv (18:45), Fenerbahçe vs Rennes (18:45)
Group C: Ludogorets vs Real Betis (18:45), HJK Helsinki vs Roma (21:00)
Group D: Malmö vs Union SG (18:45), Union Berlin vs Braga (18:45)
Group E: Man United vs Sheriff (21:00), Omonoia vs Real Sociedad (21:00)
Group F: Lazio vs Midtjylland (18:45), Sturm Graz vs Feyenoord (21:00)
Group G: Freiburg vs Olympiacos (21:00), Nantes vs Qarabağ (21:00)
Group H: Crvena zvezda vs Trabzonspor (21:00), Ferencváros vs Monaco (21:00)

How qualifying for the knockouts works

The eight group winners automatically go through to the last 16. The line-up is completed via knockout round play-offs contested before the round of 16, with the eight group runners-up pitted against the third-ranked teams from the UEFA Champions League groups. The Europa League third-place sides switch to the UEFA Europa Conference League knockout round play-offs.

What to look out for

Stuttering Monaco seek to bounce right back
Perhaps the most eye-catching result of Matchday 4 came in Turkey, where Trabzonspor put Monaco to the sword in a 4-0 win. Philippe Clement conceded his team had "disintegrated, losing the integrity of our game and our unity", and defeat dropped the Ligue 1 outfit to third in Group H. Next up? A daunting trip to Hungary to face section leaders Ferencváros, who took three points away from the Stade Louis II on Matchday 2.

A repeat of that result, coupled with victory for Trabzonspor at Crvena zvezda, would end Monaco's Europa League ambitions. Yet the Monégasques have hope. Before their alarming collapse in Trabzon, Clement's men had won seven of their previous eight matches, rising to fifth in Ligue 1. And in Breel Embolo and Wissam Ben Yedder, they possess a strike force capable of causing anybody issues.

Highlights: Monaco 0-1 Ferencváros

Free-scoring Feyenoord seek just desserts
"Feyenoord choke again" was the AD.nl headline after the Rotterdam side drew 2-2 with Midtjylland on Matchday 4, and Arne Slot's charges are still very much in the thick of the qualifying action as they visit Sturm Graz. Despite being the Europa League's top scorers this season with 12 goals, Feyenoord are one of four teams level on five points in Group F, along with Midtjylland and Lazio.

"Of course we would love to have more points, but the best thing is that it [qualification for the knockout stages] is in our own hands," said defender David Hancko. His team beat Sturm 6-0 at De Kuip on Matchday 2, but Sturm have twice held Lazio since and may have a new star on their hands, Danish 19-year-old William Bøving coming off the bench to strike twice in their 2-2 draw on Matchday 4.

Highlights: Feyenoord 6-0 Sturm

Braga seek to deny high-flying Union Berlin
Braga's Vitinha had a frustrating Matchday 4, scoring a first hat-trick (the first treble of this season's group stage) as his side took a 3-1 lead at Group D leaders Union SG, only to be pegged back to 3-3. Coach Artur Jorge blamed a "childish error" early in the second half for opening the door for the Belgian club, adding: "It's not a result that we like, but we played well."

The pressure is on for them to do so again as they visit surprise Bundesliga leaders Union Berlin, who have designs on the runners-up slot in the section currently occupied by the Arsenalistas. After beating Malmö with a squad weakened by positive Covid-19 tests, Union are certain of a top-three finish in the section, but as defender Julian Ryerson put it: "We're not done yet. We have two games left and we're not just happy with third place."

What games are coming up on Matchday 6?

Group A: Arsenal vs Zürich (21:00), Bodø/Glimt vs PSV Eindhoven (21:00)
Group B: Dynamo Kyiv vs Fenerbahçe (21:00), Rennes vs AEK Larnaca (21:00)
Group C: Real Betis vs HJK Helsinki (21:00), Roma vs Ludogorets (21:00)
Group D: Union SG vs Union Berlin (21:00), Braga vs Malmö (21:00)
Group E: Real Sociedad vs Man United (18:45), Sheriff vs Omonoia (18:45)
Group F: Midtjylland vs Sturm Graz (18:45), Feyenoord vs Lazio (18:45)
Group G: Olympiacos vs Nantes (18:45), Qarabağ vs Freiburg (18:45)
Group H: Trabzonspor vs Ferencváros (18:45), Monaco vs Crvena zvezda (18:45)

Further ahead

• Real Sociedad lead Manchester United by three points at the top of Group E, but they may not be able to set the seal on a round of 16 place until the duo meet in San Sebastian on Matchday 6, Erik ten Hag's side having lost 1-0 to the Spanish hopefuls at Old Trafford on Matchday 1.

• José Mourinho won the Europa Conference League with Roma last season but will be keen to avoid a return to that competition as his team seek to avenge a 2-1 loss at Ludogorets on Matchday 6. The Giallorossi are third in Group C yet could still finish bottom of the section.

Highlights: Ludogorets 2-1 Roma

Where is the 2023 UEFA Europa League final being played?

The 2022/23 Europa League season will conclude at Budapest's Puskás Aréna on 31 May 2023.

Officially opened in 2019, the 65,000+ capacity ground stands on the site of the old Hungarian national team stadium, which was also named in honour of former Honvéd and Real Madrid forward Ferenc Puskás. The venue is located in the Zugló district of the Hungarian capital.