Europa League Preview: Crucial games await Napoli and Leicester City

There is still a lot to play for in matchday four group stage fixtures.

Victor Osimhen and Paul Onuachu

The Europa League continues on Thursday, with all 32 teams in action on matchday four group stage fixtures.

After the group games, teams now go into the final stretch which will determine their longevity in Europe's second-tier continental competition.

On Thursday, 16 games will take place across several venues in Europe and here is a breakdown of eight important group situations going into these fixtures.

Scottish champions Rangers travel to Denmark to take on Brondby in the fourth round of Europa League group games.

Scottish side Rangers with Nigerian trio of Leon Balogun, Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey are in desperate need of a win to lift them into the top two of Group A but Brondby will be looking for revenge on home soil after losing away at Ibrox two weeks ago.

After a loss to group favorites Lyon and then a narrow 1-0 defeat away at Sparta saw Steven Gerrard's team get their European campaign off to a disappointing start, a win at home against Brondby on day three dragged them back into contention.

Heading into the final two games, they aim to put their destiny back in their own hands if they can match that result in Denmark and head coach Gerrard will know that.

Aiming to maintain their unbeaten start to Group H, Premier League outfit West Ham United's European journey continues when they travel to face Belgium First Division side Genk.

West Ham could seal their progression into the knockout stage after winning all three group games to start the campaign and aim to extend that run to four.

The Hammers have performed perfectly, their hosts Paul Onuachu's Genk, however, know a victory in midweek could take them into the top two even though they currently sit bottom of the group after consecutive defeats.

The challenge for the home side led by Onuachu will be that David Moyes's West Ham have been defensively solid and are yet to concede a goal in the competition this season.

At the Stadion Wojska Polskiego home of Legia Warsaw Napoli will look to do the double over their group C rivals as the Serie A leaders continue their Europa League campaign on Thursday evening.

On home soil, the Italian club, who dispatched the Polish champions after three late goals from Lorenzo Insigne, Nigeria's Victor Osimhen and Matteo Politano gave a 3-0 win, aims for the top of the standings with another win that would take them above their hosts.

Conceding just three goals in domestic competition this term the Scudetto hopefuls have now won five of their six away matches but the concern will be in attack where they will have to do without the services of top scorer Osimhen.

At the Groupama Stadium, on Thursday evening Lyon and Sparta Prague meet again in Europa League action two weeks on from their dramatic seven-goal thriller.

Sparta will be determined to get revenge as it was the French side who prevailed last time to stay top of Group A.

On the cusp of returning to the European spots, Lyon are sixth in the French Ligue 1 and will go into this clash with full confidence as Toko Ekambi and Aouar have scored in three consecutive games and their coach will be hoping their continue goal scoring form away against Sparta.

A place in the last 32 of the Europa League is at stake when Monaco host to PSV Eindhoven at the Stade Louis II.

The French side knows that victory may be enough to book their place in the knockout stage and also could prove pivotal at end of the group stages.

Victory for PSV should move them on top of Group B as their participation in the knockout stages is not yet guaranteed.

In the Dutch Eredivisie, PSV sits just two points off top spot and cannot afford to face the likelihood of dropping into the Europa Conference League with another setback on Thursday against Monaco.

At the BayArena, two weeks after their last Europa League encounter German Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen and Spanish side Real Betis meet again on Thursday evening.

A fortnight ago the teams could not be separated, and remained level on seven points at the top of Group G after playing out a 1-1 draw, .

With that draw, Leverkusen would likely have been the slightly happier of the two sides while Real Betis aim to be successful in the Europa League and have started strong in La Liga, where they sit 5th on the table, just four points behind leaders Real Sociedad.

The King Power Stadium plays host Spartak Moscow who take on the Foxes as they go head to head again after that 7-goal thriller in first encounter in Russia last month.

This game is between the bottom two on the table, another entertaining affair could be in store as Group C remains very open with the clubs separated by two and three points respectively from leaders Legia.

Since their competition debut last season the Midlands side has a strong home record behind them and despite their loss at home to Arsenal on Saturday should be favorites in this encounter.

When Marseille met Lazio two weeks ago on matchday three the two continental giants played out a drab goalless stalemate.

At the midway point, both sides are separated by one point in the rankings and when they meet again tonight at the Orange Velodrome, both sides will aim to make this week's Europa League contest a better watch for the neutrals.

Both teams find themselves in a tough group and will look to get the better of the other in their quest to qualify for the knockout stages.

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