Bottom-placed Helsingborg face a mountain to climb as they need to win next two games and few more results to go their way in order to qualify, which is a but far-fetched. La Liga high-flyers, on the other hand, would qualify for the next stage with a win in Sweden, and they indeed look closer to victory here.
Domestic season already over
Having won the 2011 Swedish Allsvenskan title, Helsingborg made it to Champions League qualifying stages, but after eliminating weak TNS and Slask, the Swedes suffered a double defeat to Celtic and were forced to continue their European campaign in Europa League. Age Hareide’s side then failed to prove they deserve to be playing at this level, having picked up just one point from four group games, meaning their chances of making it to the next stage are slim to none. On top of that, the players appear to be running on empty given that their league campaign ended some ten days ago, with sixth-place finish in Allsvenskan unlikely to give the team the boost they needed to turn their Europa League campaign around. With several important players missing from the starting line-up, Helsingborg will have their work cut out for them.
Starting centre-backs Walid Atta and Peter Larsson are both suspended, while Loret Sadiku and Joseph Baffo are doubtful through injury.
Levante flying high
Levante largely impressed in their previous league campaign, finishing the season just three points behind Champions League places and thus ensuring their first ever European campaign. Club chiefs made sure the squad were reinforced during the off season, having made some very good signings, with the club from Valencia quickly proving their last season’s success was no accident. The fact they took Europa League very seriously helped them pick up 7 points from first 4 group games, while the good run of results in arguably the world’s strongest league saw them climb to fourth place in La Liga. As a result, the players are now brimming with confidence and are very motivated to win in Sweden and thus qualify for the Europa League knockout stages.
Strikers Obafemi Martins and Fanis Gekas both miss out, while midfielder Dariusz Dudka is not yet ready to return.
Having taken just one point from four group games and with their domestic season already over, Helsingborg don’t have much to hope for at the moment, especially as their starting centre-backs are suspended. Levante, on the other hand, are on top of their game and extremely motivated to qualify for the next stage.
Top pick: Away win 2.20 (6/5) @ Coral
Alternative pick 1: Over 2.5 goals 1.86 (6/7) @ 188BET
Alternative pick 2: Both teams to score 1.73 (8/11) @ Stan James