MATCHDAY: Fans to return at Arsenal for Europa League game

A look at what’s happening around the Europa League on Thursday:


Fans will return to a European football game in England for the first time since March when Arsenal hosts Rapid Vienna. A maximum 2,000 fans are allowed into the Emirates Stadium as coronavirus restrictions are eased in London. The club sold out the tickets within 20 minutes, having offered them to season-ticket holders on a first-come-first-served basis. Arsenal has already qualified for the knockout phase with two games to spare.


Premier League leader Tottenham only needs a draw at LASK to qualify for the last 32 but will be without striker Harry Kane due to injury. Fellow forward Carlos Vinicius, midfielder Erik Lamela and left back Sergio Regulion were also absent from training ahead of the clash in Austria, but center back Toby Alderweireld has returned after a groin injury. Dele Alli has barely featured for Spurs in the Premier League this season, but has been a regular in the Europa League.


Leverkusen is flying high in the Bundesliga and the Europa League, but injuries threaten to bring the German club down to earth. Top scorer Lucas Alario is one of six players out injured for Leverkusen, which is third in the German league and joint top with Slavia Prague in Europa League Group C. Attacking midfielder Nadiem Amiri has recovered from a stomach complaint and winger Karim Bellarabi is back from injury, but may not be able to manage a full game against Nice. Leverkusen beat Nice 6-2 in their first meeting and would secure qualification with a win.


Spanish club Granada can advance with a game to spare if it avoids defeat against PSV Eindhoven or if PAOK doesn’t beat Omonoia in the other Group E match. PSV, which trails leader Granada by four points, can go through with a win and a loss by Omonoia.


Real Sociedad can move closer to a spot in the next round with a home win against already eliminated Rijeka. The Spanish club will reach the knockout stage with a victory if AZ Alkmaar loses to Napoli in the other Group F match. Sociedad and AZ Alkmaar are tied with seven points, two fewer than Napoli.


A home win for Benfica against Lech Poznan will secure the Portuguese powerhouse in the next stage. It can also advance with a draw if Standard Liege fails to defeat Rangers in the other Group D match. Lech will be eliminated unless it wins at Benfica.


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