UEFA Europa League Thursday: Manchester City and Liverpool Hope Wins Will Stop Criticism Of Management

After two days of hot Champions League action, Thursday brings more continental excitement, with 24 group-stage matches occurring over just four hours in the Europa League.  While it will be tough for the Europa matches to approach the surprises and thrills of the last round of Champions League matches, Europe's second tournament will certainly give it a go, with matches such as Lech Poznań-Manchester City, Juventus-FC Salzburg, Paris Saint-Germain- Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool-Napoli, and CSKA Moscow-Palmero.

One match that looks to be fairly uneventful is the one between title holders Atlético Madrid and Rosenborg BK. Atlético found their first win last matchday against the Norwegian side, but still sit third in Group B, behind Bayer Leverkusen and Aris Thessaloniki.

Fans of the English Premier League will be tuning in to both Manchester City and Liverpool as the exploits of both clubs continue to make headlines. City are away at Lech Poznań, hoping to put behind a dismal two weeks in which their ten-man squad lost to Arsenal before a full strength side lost to Wolverhampton. With reports of unrest within the club emerging in the media, Roberto Mancini needs to quell doubts about his abilities with a resounding win over the faltering Polish side.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have seemingly put the past behind them and are climbing out of the pit they were consigned to at the beginning of the season. When the club traveled to Naples two weeks ago, Roy Hodgson was on his last legs, but after a draw in Europa and two wins in the league, the Merseysiders' confidence is returning. However, Napoli like nothing more than to win on a grand stage, so Liverpool will need to field a strong side to contain the likes of Edinson Cavani, Marek Hamšík and Ezequiel Lavezzi.

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