Groningen travel to the Czech Republic on Thursday looking to turn around their Europa League campaign against Slovan Liberec.

gro marsEdwin van de Looi’s side have found it tough in the Europa League so far, losing to both Marseille and Braga so far, and another defeat on Thursday would leave them on the brink of an early exit from the competition.

The Groningen boss isn’t giving up on the competition though, “We’re one hundred percent going for the three points. Those three points are required, but if you’ve seen the team (Slovan Liberec), you know that it certainly is not an easy task. ”

Opponents Slovan Liberec, who qualified for the competition after winning the Czech cup, got off to a poor start in the competition after losing at home to Braga, but bounced back three weeks ago to shock Marseille 1-0 in France.

Groningen go into the game on the back of a 2-1 win over Willem II, which ended a run of three straight defeats, while Slovan Liberec drew 1-1 with Sigma Olomouc.

Team News

Groningen welcome back striker Michael de Leeuw after illness, but defender Rasmus Lindgren has not yet recovered from injury. Van De Looi opted for in-form attacker Mimoun Mahi to start up front last weekend, and he should keep his place ahead of Danny Hoesen.

Possible Groningen line-up: Padt, Hateboer, Tamata, Kappelhof, Reijnen, Maduro, Tibbling, De Leeuw, Rusnak, Linssen, Mahi

Slovan Liberec have a Dutchman in their ranks with ex-AZ attacker Kevin Luckassen part of their squad, but he is likely to start on the bench on Thursday.

Possible Slovan Liberec line-up: Koubec, Coufal, Pokorny, Svejdik, Hovorka, Sykora, Pavelka, Efremov, Sural, Shala, Rabusic

Head to Head

Thursday will be the first meeting between the two sides, but Groningen got the better of the only Czech side they have met before, beating FC Zbrojovka Brno 2-1 in the 1995 UEFA Intertoto Cup group stage.

Slovan Liberec have faced Dutch sides seven times, but have only come out victorious on one occasion.


Slovan Liberec 4/5 Draw: 11/4 Groningen 4/1

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