LIVERPOOL (ENG) v RUBIN KAZAN (RUS)
Jurgen Klopp takes charge of Liverpool at Anfield for the first time on Thursday when the three-time Uefa Cup winners host Russian outfit Rubin Kazan.
A disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Sion on matchday two left the Reds with just two points from their first two Group B fixtures, but the Anfield faithful will hope the arrival of Klopp can spark an upturn in fortunes.
“There are good players here. I saw many good things in my team,” Klopp told Liverpool’s club website after making his bow in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Tottenham Hotspur.
“We don’t have to sprinkle magic dust on them ‘and now you can play football’. They know how to play,” added the German, insisting that his squad simply needed time to click into gear.
Rubin, bottom of the group on one point, have also changed their coach since the group stage draw was made as Valeri Chaly took over as caretaker boss from Rinat Bilyaletdinov in September after the Kazan-based side lost six of their first seven league games.
ANDERLECHT (BEL) v TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (ENG)
Anderlecht and Tottenham will roll back the years when the two sides meet at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium in a rematch of the 1984 Uefa Cup final, won by Spurs 4-3 on penalties after a pair of 1-1 draws.
The north Londoners have four Belgian players on their books but will be without Nacer Chadli for six weeks after he damaged ankle ligaments in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool.
Spurs are unbeaten in the Premier League since the opening weekend of the season and lead Group J with four points, three ahead of an Anderlecht side without a win in five European matches.
With two home matches to come Mauricio Pochettino’s men know victory in Belgium would leave them well positioned to reach the knockout stages.
QABALA (AZE) v BORUSSIA DORTMUND (GER)
Borussia Dortmund make a 3 300-kilometre trip east to Azerbaijan where Group C rivals Qabala will put their strong defensive home record on the line as they face German opposition for the first time.
Dortmund are unbeaten in Europe under new boss Thomas Tuchel, who saw his side win 2-0 on his return to former club Mainz last Friday to end a three-game winless run in the Bundesliga.
“The match against Mainz was the first step in the right direction. Our game will come back to us gradually,” said Marco Reus, who scored the opener in the victory at Mainz, in an interview posted on Dortmund’s club website.
The Germans top the group on four points, while Qabala are bottom on one but did record a fifth consecutive clean sheet at home in Europe after opening the campaign with a 0-0 draw against PAOK.
MOLDE (NOR) v CELTIC (SCO)
Ronny Deila takes the Scottish champions to his native Norway to face Molde, who are the surprise early frontrunners in Group A after stunning Fenerbahce in Turkey before drawing with Ajax.
Celtic let a two-goal lead slip against Fenerbahce in a 2-2 draw last time out but the Hoops returned to the top of the Scottish Premiership at the weekend for the first time in over a month.
Celtic, with two draws from their opening two matches, could move top should they beat Molde but Deila has warned his players not to underestimate Thursday’s opponents.
“They are a good organised team and very hard-working. They are good at breaking when they have a chance,” the Celtic boss said.
“They have surprised a few people in this campaign and that’s something we have to take very serious, but with three points there we can put ourselves in a very good position.”
FENERBAHCE (TUR) v AJAX (NED)
Fenerbahce and Ajax, two big-name casualties in this season’s Champions League qualifying rounds, are both still searching for their first wins in Group A as the two sides meet in Istanbul.
Fenerbahce are still picking up the pieces after crashing to a 3-1 home defeat against Molde on matchday one and there’s plenty of reason for concern in Turkey with Ajax having won all eight previous meetings with Turkish teams.
“It’s like we are two distinct teams,” Fenerbahce coach Vitor Pereira, whose side are propping up the group with a solitary point, told Uefa.com.
“One is enthusiatic, ambitious and plays entertaining football, creating lots of chances and keeping pressure on opponents; the other is nervous, loses composure after conceding and throws in the towel under pressure,” he added, with marquee summer signings Nani and Robin van Persie still settling in.
All times CAT (SA, GMT+2)
9:05pm Fenerbahce v Ajax
9:05pm Molde v Celtic
9:05pm Bordeaux v Sion
9:05pm Liverpool v Rubin Kazan
5pm FK Qabala v Borussia Dortmund
9:05pm PAOK Thessaloniki FC v FC Krasnodar
9:05pm FC Midtjylland v SSC Napoli
9:05pm Legia Warszawa v Club Brugge
9:05pm Rapid Wien v Viktoria Plzen
9:05pm Villarreal v Dinamo Minsk
9:05pm Braga v Marseille
9:05pm Liberec v FC Groningen
7pm Dnipro v Saint-Etienne
7pm Lazio v Rosenborg
7pm Lokomotiv Moscow v Besiktas
7pm Sporting CP v Skenderbeu
7pm Basel v Belenenses
7pm Fiorentina v Lech Poznan
7pm Anderlecht v Tottenham Hotspur
7pm Monaco v Qarabag FK
7pm APOEL Nicosia v Asteras Tripolis
7pm Schalke 04 v Sparta Prague
7pm AZ Alkmaar v Augsburg
7pm Partizan Beograd v Athletic Bilbao