LONDON (AP) — Several teams have already ensured their passage into the next round of the Europa League, so now first place in the group is the target.
Here are five things to know about the penultimate round of the group stage in the Europa League:
Spanish clubs continue to prosper in Europe even when stumbling domestically. Valencia, Sevilla and Real Betis are showing that in the Europa League.
With Atletico Madrid and Barcelona through to the knockout stages of the Champions League, Spain's continental pedigree continues to impress.
And European action couldn't have come sooner for Valencia or Betis.
Valencia coach Miroslav Djukic has been under pressure all season with the team's 11th-place Spanish league start, with nothing but a victory against Osasuna this weekend securing the Serbian coach's job. Valencia has already secured a spot in the next round heading to Group A opponent Swansea, so it may experiment some with midfielder Ever Banega questionable to play.
Betis, meanwhile, is at the top of Group I and on the verge of a spot in the knockout stages heading to Lyon.
The away game comes after losing to Sevilla 4-0.
Sevilla, meanwhile, is a more respectable eighth in Spain and at the top of Group H ahead of its home game against Portuguese opponent Estoril.
Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic takes his team to face Legia Warsaw amid speculation in Italy that he will be the next coach of Switzerland's national team. Petkovic is among the candidates to succeed Ottmar Hitzfeld when the veteran coach steps down after the World Cup.
The Swiss Football Association wants to make an early appointment after being rejected by its top target, Marcel Koller, who chose to extend his contract with Austria.
Petkovic, though born in Sarajevo, worked in Switzerland for almost 25 years as player and coach before moving to a Turkish club in 2011, and to Lazio one year later. Lazio won the Italian Cup and reached the Europa League quarterfinals in his first season, and is poised to advance from the group stage again.
Victory in Poland will clinch a place in the last 32.
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