1. Europa League Hopes of Securing a 2016/17 UCL Spot

    By Greg Lea.

    It was a rule change that, in hindsight, should really have been introduced sooner. When Uefa decided in 2014 that future winners of the Europa League would automatically qualify for the following season's Champions League, the tournament was given a new dimension and its participants another incentive to take it seriously.

    Sevilla were the first club to benefit from the amendment, with their 3-2 triumph over Ukranian outfit Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in the final last May allowing them to enter the group stage of Europe's primary club competition this term despite only finishing fifth in La Liga. The Rojiblancos, who have won the tournament in each of the last two years and four times since 2006, are in a similar position this time around, too: ahead of the first leg of their round of 32 tie with Molde on Thursday, Sevilla's best chance of qualifying for the Champions League is by winning the Europa League once again.

    In that respect, Unai Emery's

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  2. Is Serie A the League to Watch in 2016?

    In the Spanish La Liga, five points currently separate the top four clubs on the standings table. In the English Premier League, the top-four spread is six points. In the German Bundesliga, it's 17 points. In the French Ligue 1, it's 24. Compare those figure to the Serie A, where just three points separate the top four soccer clubs on the league standings table, and it's clear to see that Italy's top-flight division is the fiercest competition in all of European football this season.

    Indeed, fueled by the early season struggles of Juventus and the comeback of Inter Milan, the Italian Serie A has been an unpredictable battle this season. As of the matches played during the weekend of January 9th, Napoli are leading the way in the league with a tally of 41 points. Juventus and Inter Milan are two points back, with Juve enjoying the advantage thanks to superior goal difference. Fiorentina round out the top four, with a point tally of 38.

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  3. What to Expect from the Europa League Round of 32

    With the group stages concluded for both the 2015/16 Europa League and Champions League tournaments, UEFA announced the round of 32 draw for the UEL on Monday, December 14th. In addition to top group stage contenders from earlier in the Europa League (like Napoli, Rapid Wien, and Tottenham Hotspur), the round of 32 will also include the third-placers from the Champions League (including football clubs like Manchester United, Olympiacos, and Bayer Leverkusen).

    The combinatory nature of the Europa League knockout stage always serves to inject some extra excitement into the proceedings. However, it also serves to make the round of 32 especially harder to predict. With that in mind, we are taking a look at the draw for the round of 32 and trying to decipher which teams will progress and which teams won't.

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  4. Tough European tests on the cards for Italian clubs

    By Matthew Amalfitano.

    The big theme over the past few years in the peninsula has been the desire for Italy to regain their fourth Champions League spot back, having lost it after the 2011/2012 season.

    A substantial reason in how Germany overtook Italy in UEFA's coefficient ranking system stem from a large lack of concern towards Europe's second premiere club competition, the Europa League. Italian clubs saw the competition simply as a waste of resources given the previous winners of the competition did not receive a direct place in the Champions League group stage. Thus, coaches often fielded weaker sides to keep their squad fresh and avoid injury.

    This factor coupled with generally mediocre Champions League performances over the past five seasons that have seen just two quarterfinal and one finalist appearance, has aided in the deterioration of the country's ranking, even coming close to being overtaken by France and or Portugal.

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  5. Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur Seal Spots in Europa League 2015/16 Knockout Phase

    Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have both had their ups and downs so far in the 2015 2016 season, with the former replacing their coach and the latter going through an early dry spell that saw star striker Harry Kane playing at a lower-than-expected level. However, after week five both teams have secured spots in the Europa League 201516 knockout phase, marking a turn in the fortunes of both clubs.

    The Reds and the Spurs are two of the 15 teams in this year's Europa League that, with just one game day remaining in the group stage, have officially earned advancement into the knockouts. That statistic leaves nine slots up for grabs, with the remaining eight to be filled by third-place squads from the Champions League.

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    A Solid Premier League Showing

    Liverpool secured their

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  6. Lazio Ticket Price Increase!

    Are football ticket prices too high? Lazio fans seem to think so. In a recent report from ESPN FC, it was revealed that Lazio's season ticket sales have hit their lowest point in a decade. After a 10 percent Lazio ticket price increase compared to last year, it seems as if fans are choosing to watch Lazio's football games from home instead of buying up seats at Stadio Olimpico. According to ESPN, it was Lazio's first price hike since 2004, and has therefore resulted in the soccer club's lowest season ticket sales since 2004. That's a pretty clear cause-and-effect relationship.

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    The Right Time for a Price Hike?

    It does sense that Lazio officials

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  7. SS Lazio Team Profile: One of Italy's Most Underrated Football Clubs

    Societa Sportiva Lazio were a top-ranked Italian football club at the turn of the century, keep reading this SS Lazio team profile to find out more about the clubs highs and lows. Between 1998 and 2000, the squad won a Serie A title once, the Coppa Italia twice, the Supercoppa Italia twice, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, and the UEFA Super Cup. It was an astonishing show of success for a soccer club that had only won a small handful of major trophies before (a Serie A title from the 1973 1974 season and a Coppa Italia from 1957 1958), and it put Lazio on the map as a team to watch for the new era of Italian football.

    Compared to the lightning-in-a-bottle success of those three years, it's tough not to see what Lazio has done since as a disappointment. In the years following the 1999 2000 season, the White and Sky Blues scored three more Coppa Italia victories (in 2004, 2009, and 2013), and even won the Supercoppa Italia one more time (in 2009). However, as of yet, Lazio have not won

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