1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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    Liverpool secured their

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  4. Napoli's title dreams hinge on conquering Serie A's provinciali

    Do not even mention it.

    It's that word that starts with an 's'.

    Maurizio Sarri doesn't want to hear it uttered. In fact he says it remains out of the team's vocabulary. Goalkeeper Pepe Reina recently joked that Sarri will kill him if he says it.

    Club owner Aurelio De Laurentiis doesn't want to say "that little word" either. For the cinema tycoon, taking this team from bankruptcy to these heights in 12 years while impressively being the only Italian club to compete in Europe for the last six seasons he must surely be floating near cloud 9 these days.

    For De Laurentiis, the thought of Napoli having a genuine chance of capturing their third Scudetto yes, that wicked word under a tactical mastermind like Sarri all while playing some of the best football in Serie A seems too good be to be true at the moment.

    Despite the pair as well as the players not wanting to get too ahead of themselves, prominent football figures in the peninsula have come forward

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  5. Fiorentina Hold on to Top Spot and Juventus Continue Their Climb in Serie A 2015/16 Week 12

    Serie A 2015/16 week 12 saw Fiorentina maintaining their top slot, Inter Milan retaining a strong second-place position, and Juventus continuing their climb up the table, among other things. All of the "major contenders" in Italy won their matches this past weekend, ratcheting up the competitive tension at the top of the table even further. Now, with a break this coming weekend for Euro 2016 play, each of these clubs will have a chance to take a deep breath and reassess their plan of attack for the remainder of the calendar year.

    Fiorentina continue to impress in the 2015/16 Serie A. Though they've lost three of their 12 games so far, the Lilies have also won nine-more than any other soccer team in the league. The football club's win this past weekend-a 2-0 away game triumph against Sampdoria-kicked their goal difference up to +15 and served as insurance to protect their leading position.


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  6. Napoli Contend for the 2015/16 Serie A Top Spot

    Juventus have entered the top 10 for the first time in the 2015 2016 Serie A competition, following a 2-1 win against Torino on Halloween. The game marked a fine moment for the Zebras and showed that they
    have come a long way since the back-to-back losses (and the 17th-place berth) that started their season. However, Juve has still only won five of their 12 fixtures so far, a fact that will likely keep the football club from contending for a fifth consecutive Serie A title.

    Juve's collapse has been tragedy for some soccer fans, but an opportunity for many others. With Italy's most dominant football club seemingly out of the running for the 2015/16 Serie A title, there has been considerable excitement at the top of the table. But which team will ultimately be triumphant? The recent runners-up from AS Roma? The comeback kings from Inter Milan? The current leaders, Fiorentina? Or the consummate hard-workers over at Napoli? Indeed Napoli contend for the 2015/16 Serie

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  7. The 2015 - 2016 Europa League Group Stage Draw: Which Teams Are Set up Well for Knockout Stage Advancement?

    It's always tricky to predict how the UEFA Europa League will play out, largely due to the fact that even after the group stage has been played, the tournament frontrunners could still be coming from elsewhere. Indeed, the tradition of incorporating the third-placed teams from each of the Champions League groups lends an air of unpredictability to the action in the annual Europa League tournament that you don't necessarily get in the UCL. Quite simply, with the Europa League, you never know who might emerge as a major contender. However, following the 2015 - 2016 Europa League group stage draw we take a look at the likely winners and losers.

    In the UEL, it's particularly pivotal for football clubs to win their groups, instead of to advance to the knockout stages by finishing second. Second-placed teams are left unseeded for the knockouts, which can result in very difficult draws against either top UEL group stage finishers, or tough-to-beat UCL teams.

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  8. Benitez officially unveiled as Napoli coach: is this a good move all round?

    After Benitez's move to Napoli was announced last month he was officially unveiled as the teams coach last week. Napoli are an Italian football club based in the Naples area, Walter Mazzarri the teams former coach has moved to Italian rivals Inter Milan but left behind a strong legacy after helping the team to secure second place in the top flight of Italian football, the Serie A league. Cavani a Napoli player was last seasons Serie A top goal scorer netting 29 times, and certainly helped the team to their best league finish since 1990 however, it is rumoured he is looking to move on during the summer and has been linked with a possible transfer to Chelsea or Real Madrid.


    Potentially losing Cavani is a huge blow for Benitez and it is rumoured he is looking at some big

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