Germany almost have two teams through with Bayern Munich virtually qualified after their 5-0 thrashing of Anderlecht in Brussels, and a Bundesliga side are guaranteed from the duel on Wednesday between Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen, which have a 1-0 advantage having won their home leg.
Werder Bremen, however, need to overcome a 2-0 deficit when they host Scottish side Rangers on Thursday, as the Bundesliga title chasers look to keep their bid to become the seventh German side to win Europe’s second-tier football competition alive.
However, England’s three hopefuls – Everton, Tottenham and Bolton – all face a tough task to stay in the competition which their country has won ten times.
Everton need two goals at home against Fiorentina, and Bolton need to win, or draw by 2-2 or 3-3, in Lisbon against Sporting Lisbon to make up for their 1-1 draw at home. Everton boss David Moyes knows his side face a tough challenge, but believes they are up to the task.
“The problem was that we were playing a good Italian team on the night and it wasn’t the way we have been playing of late,” said Moyes. “We have got to give them credit, they played well on the night, defended well and got their goals late on.”
Tottenham face the trickest task of the trio after being beaten 1-0 at home by PSV Eindhoven and need to win in the Netherlands.
Elsewhere French side Marseille, finalists in 1999 and 2004, travel to St. Petersburg as favourites after a comfortable 3-1 win at home against Zenit. Spaniards Getafe, playing their first UEFA Cup, could continue their surprise run as they hold a 2-1 advantage going into their home time against Benfica.
The Portuguese club have a new coach with former Portugal international Fernando Chalana replacing Jose Antonio Camacho who resigned Sunday claiming the motivation has disappeared from handling one of Portugal’s biggest clubs.