UEFA Europa League Preview: Southampton, Vojvodina poised to advance

Southampton are firmly on course to reach the play-offs of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, while Vojvodina are also in the box seat in their third qualifying round tie.

Ronald Koeman's Southampton travel to the Dutch city of Arnhem leading Vitesse 3-0 after last week's comprehensive first-leg win at St Mary's.

Graziano Pelle, Dusan Tadic and Shane Long were on target as Southampton ended a 12-year European absence in style and recent recruit Cedric Soares is hoping to extend the Premier League club's run in the competition at GelreDome.

"Teams are already expecting a high level from us, so they will respect us more. It means maybe there will be more attention so we need to be better and surprise them," the Portuguese defender told SAINTS, the club's official matchday magazine.

Vojvodina are back on home soil in Serbia for the visit of Sampdoria, who are on the brink of elimination following a humiliating 4-0 defeat last week.

Ognjen Ozegovic scored a second-half brace as Vojvodina spoiled Walter Zenga's first competitive match in charge at Sampdoria.

Borussia Dortmund, Athletic Bilbao and Saint-Etienne take leads into their return fixtures.

Thomas Tuchel will make his home bow with Dortmund leading Wolfsberger 1-0, Bilbao are up 2-0 as they prepare to visit Inter Baku, while Saint-Etienne enjoy a 3-0 buffer over Targu Mures.

As for West Ham, they head to Romania with their tie against Astra firmly in the balance at 2-2.

Legia Warsaw are poised to advance after they were awarded a 3-0 win at the expense of Kukesi.

Kukesi have been punished by UEFA following the abandonment of their clash last week, which saw a Legia player injured by an object apparently thrown from the crowd.

Copenhagen, PAOK, Dinamo Minsk and Rabotnicki were 1-0 winners last week, against Jablonec, Spartak Trnava, Zurich and Trabzonspor respectively.

Odd trail Elfsborg 2-1, while Ironi Kiryat Shmona, Vitoria Guimaraes, Zelezjnicar and IFK Goteborg are adrift by the same scoreline ahead of clashes with Slovan Liberec, Rheindorf Altach, Standard Liege and Belenenses.

Hajduk Split travel to Norway having defeated Stromsgodset 2-0 last week and Bordeaux take a 3-0 lead into their clash with AEK Larnaca.

It is all to play for between Rubin Kazan and Sturm Graz, with the former up 3-2, AIK must overturn a 3-1 deficit against Atromitos, AZ Alkmaar are preparing to face Istanbul Basaksehir fresh from their 2-0 triumph last time out, while Apollon versus Qabala is locked at 1-1.

Zilina and Krasnodar both carry 2-0 advantages into return-leg matches away to Vorskla and Slovan Bratislava, Zorya lead Sporting Charleroi by the same scoreline, and Kairat's 2-1 win has them narrowly in front against Aberdeen.

Only one goal separates Rosenborg and Debrecen, who lost 3-2 at home.

Meanwhile, Omonia Nicosia and Brondby, and Vaduz and Thun are coming off goalless draws.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1