The 2014 Europa League returns after a break with the first leg matches in the Round of 32. All the teams that survived the group stages have been joined by the third place finishers from the Champions League group stages as the march to the final in Turin begins.
There's a chance that final could feature a team playing on their home field if Juventus decide that the Europa League is a worthwhile priority for them. There's little doubt the team has the talent but it may come down to whether or not Antonio Conte decides to take their tie against Trabzonspor seriously. They are joined by fellow Italian sides Fiorentina, Lazio and Napoli.
Two Premier League teams advanced from the group stages as Tottenham will play Dnipro of the Ukrainian League while Swansea City face a tough tie against Napoli. The Swans are currently 10th in the league but only four points above the drop zone, so their focus could be elsewhere. Spurs are also in the midst of a fight to earn a Champions League spot and will have to deal with playing on multiple fronts.
Real Betis is an interesting story as well with the Béticos in dead last in La Liga and in serious danger of relegation. They've been strong in Europe though despite their domestic struggles but surviving in La Liga may prove a more important priority. Spanish sides Sevilla and Valencia also begin play.
Last season's runner-up Benfica begin their trek towards a second straight finals appearance against PAOK Salonika.
Here's the full schedule for Thursday's Europa League action.
12 PM ET
Anzhi Makhachkala vs. Racing Genk
1 PM ET
Chornomorets vs. Lyon
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk vs. Tottenham
Dynamo Kiev vs. Valencia
Esbjerg vs. Fiorentina
Juventus vs. Trabzonspor
Liberec vs. AZ Alkmaar
PAOK Salonika vs. Benfica
3:05 PM ET
Ajax Amsterdam vs. SV Salzburg
FC Porto vs. Eintracht Frankfurt
Lazio vs. Ludogorets Razgrad
Maccabi Tel-Aviv vs. FC Basel
NK Maribor vs. Sevilla FC
Real Betis vs. FK Rubin Kazan
Swansea City vs. Napoli
Viktoria Plzen vs. Shakhtar Donetsk