UEFA Europa League Qualifying Preview: Swansea, Sevilla confident of progression
By Football News
Swansea City hold a four-goal advantage ahead of their away trip to Malmo in the UEFA Europa League as they look to finish the job off.
Michael Laudrup's side dominated the first leg of their third round qualifying tie and all but put the tie beyond doubt with a 4-0 victory.
New signing Wilfried Bony grabbed two goals on his competitive debut for the Premier League side, with Michu and Alejandro Pozuelo also finding the net.
Malmo currently occupy second position in the Allsvenskan, but have extremely slim hopes of qualifying despite their impressive home form, having won the last four successive games at Swedbank Stadoin in all competitions, keeping clean sheets in three of them.
Bursaspor are considered slight favourites to progress into the play-off round thanks to the two away goals scored against FK Vojvodina. Taye Taiwo's last-minute strike in Serbia secured a 2-2 draw ahead of the return fixture in Turkey.
Another tie firmly in the balance centres around Botev Plovdiv and Bundesliga side Stuttgart, who will be hoping to capitalise on home advantage after their 1-1 draw in Bulgaria.
Plovdiv, though, will be no pushovers and have started the season strongly, conceding just twice in five Europa League outings.
Rubin Kazan, in their fifth Europa League campaign, hold a slender advantage in their tie with Danish side Randers after a 2-1 first-leg win.
The Russian side raced into a two-goal lead before half-time through Dmitri Torbinski and Jose Rondon, and will be confident of progressing to the next round at home.
Saint-Etienne, Udinese and Sevilla all hold healthy leads ahead of their second-leg matches and will be favourites to book their places in the play-off round with victories on Thursday.
French side Saint-Etienne cruised to a 3-0 victory Moldovan side Milsami-Ursidos, Udinese had a Luis Muriel double to thank for their 3-1 win away at Siroki Brijeg and Sevilla's triumph over Mladost saw two late goals seal a 3-0 win.
The pick of the other ties sees Europa League new-boys Kuban Krasnodar attempt to protect a 2-0 lead at home against Motherwell, St. Johnstone host FC Minsk 1-0 up from their first encounter and Crvena Zvezda must overturn a 3-1 defeat when the former European Cup winners play host to FC Chornomorets Odesa.