Resurgent Manchester United have unfinished business at Real Sociedad on Europa League Matchday 6, while Roma and Lazio are among the sides uncertain of their futures as the final whistle approaches.
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Real Sociedad host a summit meeting with Manchester United on UEFA Europa League Matchday 6, with neighbours Roma and Lazio among the teams consulting the permutations on the final day.
In this piece presented by Enterprise, we pick out some key talking points ahead of the last set of group fixtures.
Thursday 3 November
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)
All times CET
How qualifying for the knockouts works
The eight group winners automatically go through to the last 16. Additional knockout round play-offs will then be played before the round of 16, pitching the eight group runners-up 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
Man United going for goal at Real Sociedad
The Red Devils seem to have regained their composure after a wobbly start to the season under new boss Erik ten Hag, and if their Europa League results have not been stellar, their last win (3-0 against Sheriff) had plenty of positives, not least the way their big-ticket forwards linked up, Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford both scoring. "That's a good signal, a good message, and we can build on that," said Ten Hag.
United visit Group E leaders Real Sociedad (the only side with a maximum 15 points in this season's group stage) knowing that they can grab their hosts' slot in the round of 16 draw if they can avenge their 1-0 Matchday 1 loss at Old Trafford with a more significant success in San Sebastian. "We need to go there and win by two goals to top the group so we're going to try and do that," said Rashford. "It was our mission, our objective when we started the campaign, to top the group and that still stands."
Roma under pressure against Ludogorets
As an emerging coach at Porto, José Mourinho earned his 'Special One' spurs when he won the 2002/03 UEFA Cup and then the UEFA Champions League the following season. Having triumphed in last season's UEFA Europa Conference League with Roma, he may be hoping for another trophy upgrade this time round. His side lost 2-1 at Ludogorets on Matchday 1, but if they win the return match, they will replace the Bulgarian champions in second place in Group C.
"To pass the round, we still have to beat Ludogorets," said forward Stephan El Shaarawy, but if it looks simple, there could easily be complications. Roma have lost three of their last four home games in all competitions and Ludogorets have proved to be tough customers this season. After their 1-0 loss against Real Betis, coach Ante Šimundža said, "If you see the statistics, you will conclude that the wrong team won," and they are very much up for the next challenge. "It's a one-on-one battle for second place," Šimundža added. "We will do our best in Rome."
Final-day frenzy for Feyenoord and Lazio
Like neighbours Roma, Lazio's situation is simple enough in one sense: avoid defeat at Feyenoord and they will be sure of a top-two finish. Anything other than that and matters get extremely complicated, with just three points separating the four sides in Group F. "This is a group that will be decided in the last minute of the last game," said Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri. Forward Pedro Rodríguez added: "It will certainly be a difficult game at Feyenoord: it's a tough place to go and we have to stay focused for 90 minutes."
Feyenoord start the game third in the section, and their best route to an uncomplicated night is to win by two goals or more. However, goals have not been flowing quite so freely of late for Arne Slot's men: they scored 18 in their five September games, and just 11 in seven matches in October. It was 4-2 to Lazio when these teams met on Matchday 1, but Slot remains defiant. "We have to beat Lazio and we are going for it. We certainly still have a chance."
• The eight group winners enter the Europa League round of 16 draw on 24 February, where they will be paired with one of the eight winners from the Europa League knockout round. The Europa League group winners play the second leg at home.
• The runners-up from the eight groups will join the third-placed teams from the eight Champions League groups in the Europa League knockout round play-off draw on Monday 7 November. Winners advance to the round of 16.
• The third-placed finishers from the Europa League groups enter the Europa Conference League knockout round play-off draw on 7 November, where they will be paired with one of the eight runners-up from the Europa Conference League groups.
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.