Bordeaux in need of win
Struggling Bordeaux are "obliged" to beat Eintracht Frankfurt in the pick of Thursday night's Europa League clashes, according to midfielder Ludovic Obraniak, but their dream of reaching the knockout stage could be taken out of their own hands regardless.
When the draw was made in August, Les Girondins looked like clear favourites to win Group F, yet they have instead won only one game and sit bottom of the standings, trailing both Maccabi Tel Aviv and APOEL while leaders Frankfurt are six points better off.
The Germans only need a point from their trip to the Stade Chaban-Delmas to qualify for the last 32 while Bordeaux require an elusive second group victory to stay alive.
Should Maccabi Tel Aviv beat APOEL in Nicosia, however, the French side will be eliminated from the competition anyway, unless they have beaten Frankfurt by more than three goals.
"We're obliged to beat Frankfurt," Bordeaux midfielder Obraniak told his club's website.
"We've put ourselves in a complicated situation and, above all, we need to focus on ourselves, starting by winning our match."
Another Ligue 1 club at risk of missing out are Lyon, who could be caught by third-placed Guimaraes should they slip up while hosting Group I toppers Real Betis.
The Seville club will assure themselves of progression with victory over Les Gones while Guimaraes visit Rijeka looking to snatch second place, which is just two points beyond them.
"We expect a complicated game on Thursday night," Lyon goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre told www.olweb.fr. "We know how much this game means for our qualification."
Betis' city rivals Sevilla, meanwhile, are poised to seal their place in the knockout competition with home victory over Estoril and Slovan Liberec will join them if they can beat Freiburg in Group H.
A German triumph in Slovenia would close the current gap dividing second from third before matchday six, but Estoril coach Marco Silva is not giving up on steering the Portuguese side into second place, despite the fact they trail Liberec by four points.
"We are very satisfied with what we have achieved so far in Europe," he said. "We are where we expected to be in both the Europa League and in domestic competition."
Genk host Dynamo Kiev in Group G, where Rapid Vienna and FC Thun are ready to capitalise on any slip-up from the Ukrainians should the Belgian club get the win they need to progress.
Swansea are targeting an unlikely double in Group A having stunned 2004 UEFA Cup winners Valencia 3-0 on home turf on matchday one.
To continue in the competition the Welsh side need to win the return game - or draw if third-placed St Gallen fail to win at Kuban Krasnodar - but a single point is all Valencia require.
Swansea's fellow Premier League representatives Tottenham have already qualified from Group K ahead of their trip to face minnows Tromso, and Anzhi Makhachkala will join them in the next round if they can avoid defeat at home to Sheriff Tiraspol.
Wigan are also flying the British flag and can progress with victory over Zulte Waregem in Group D.
The reverse result would, however, see the Belgians leapfrog the Lancashire outfit into second place ahead of the final day. Maribor have an outside chance of progressing but must tackle already-qualified Rubin Kazan in Russia.
Ludogorets are already assured of a last-32 berth and host PSV Eindhoven, who would cut Chornomorets adrift in Group B - the Ukrainians are hosting basement boys Dinamo Zagreb - with an away victory.
Fiorentina and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk have already taken the top spots in Group E. The Italians visit Pacos de Ferreira while Dnipro welcome Pandurii Targu Jiu.
Group C has also been decided with Salzburg, who are through, visiting Elfsborg while fellow qualifiers Esbjerg host Standard Liege.
Elsewhere, Trabzonspor need only avoid defeat at home to Apollon Limassol to progress from Group J.
Lazio are second and have a four-point advantage on the Cypriots but will need to win at Legia Warsaw to guarantee their own progress.
Group L should be sewn up with both PAOK and AZ Alkmaar needing single points from their respective games against Shakhter Karagandy and Maccabi Haifa to move into the Europa League knockout stage.