UEFA Europa League Preview: Emery hails Sevilla's stubbornness

Sevilla coach Unai Emery hailed his team's ability to grind out results, as they prepare to host Standard Liege in the UEFA Europa League.

The Belgians will visit Sevilla a point adrift of Emery's men at the top of Group G, following their 0-0 draw in Liege on the last matchday.

Sevilla (five points) have only won one of their first three games in Group G but Emery has been pleased with how his defending champions secured draws away to Liege and Rijeka in their past two matches on the continent.

Emery led Sevilla to the Europa League title with a penalty shoot-out triumph over Benfica last season.

Along with their strong start in the Europa League, Sevilla have also begun their La Liga campaign brightly, although a loss to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday did see them drop to fifth in the standings.

"We are delighted with how we have started," Emery told UEFA.com.

"The main quality I am trying to get into the side is their ability to compete.

"They are giving their best, pushing in the right direction, and along with the daily work that we undertake this enables us to deliver performances and obtain these kind of results."

Sevilla weathered a storm away to Liege two weeks ago to earn a scoreless draw, while they needed a 91st-minute equaliser from Stephane M'Bia to draw 2-2 in Croatia against Rijeka.

Their 1-0 loss at Bilbao was their first defeat in seven games but they will face another in-form side on Thursday with Liege on a four-match unbeaten streak, including a 2-0 victory against Mechelen on Saturday.

In the other Group G clash, Feyenoord (three points) host Rijeka (four).

Three clubs will look to continue their perfect starts to the Europa League group stage, with qualification for the round of 32 up for grabs if they can win their fourth straight matches.

Dinamo Moscow, Fiorentina and Legia Warsaw have stormed out of the blocks in Group E, Group K and Group L, respectively.

Estoril will be Dinamo's next challenge after the Russians won 2-1 in Portugal on the last matchday, while Fiorentina will resume hostilities with PAOK after winning 1-0 in Greece a fortnight ago.

Legia Warsaw will host Metalist Kharkiv of Ukraine after also winning 1-0 on the road on matchday three.

Fixtures involving some of the bigger clubs in the Europa League will see Villarreal head to Zurich, Tottenham visit Asteras Tripolis in Greece, Panathinaikos host PSV Eindhoven, Saint-Etienne welcome Inter to France, Everton take on Lille and Napoli face Young Boys.