Thursday’s Europa League preview: Spurs go Greek, Everton faces Lille

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Like the UEFA Champions League, the Europa League group stage reaches its midpoint this week.

The pair of Premier League clubs remaining in the competition face quite different tests on Thursday.

[ MORE: Wenger risked and succeeded in Belgium ]

Let’s dig into the big name matches.

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Asteras Tripolis
Spurs head to Greece to face a club that beat Partizan Belgrade at home 2-0 and drew Besiktas in Turkey. This is by no means an easy match as Spurs hope to hit the turn in first place.

Lille vs. Everton
The Toffees thumped Bundesliga’s Wolfsburg and drew Krasnodar on the road. A visit to Lille is somewhere in between those two, and no sure thing. The Great Danes boast Nigeria keeper Vincent Enyeama, Liverpool loanee Divock Origi and Man City loanee Marcos Lopes.

Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Apollon Limassol
USMNT defender Fabian Johnson’s Bundesliga club will be in big Europa trouble if they can’t get three points against their Cypriot visitors. That said, a Limassol win would be a pretty big upset.

Celtic vs. Astra Giurgiu
The Bhoys managed to get to the “easy” game of the group on top, beating Dinamo Zagreb and drawing 2-2 at Red Bull Salzburg.

Elsewhere
Villarreal vs. FC Zurich
Aalbork BK vs. Dynamo Kiev
Steaua Bucharest vs. Rio Ave
Dinamo Minsk vs. Guingamp
PAOK Salonika vs. Fiorentina
Trabzonspor vs. KSC Lokeren
Club Brugge vs. FC Copenhagen
Torino vs. HJK Helsinki
Partizan Belgrade vs. Besiktas
FC Red Bull Salzburg vs. Dinamo Zagreb
Estoril Praia vs. Dinamo Moscow
PSV Eindhoven vs. Panathinaikos
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk vs. FK Qarabag
Inter Milan vs. St. Etienne
HNK Rijeka vs. Feyenoord
Standard Liege vs. Sevilla
FK Krasnodar vs. VfL Wolfsburg
BSC Young Boys vs. Napoli
Slovan Bratislava vs. Sparta Prague