The two Europa League debutants Southampton and Hapoel Be’er Sheva face-off at the St. Mary’s Stadium for a place in the first knock-out round of the competitions.
The group has been already won by Sparta Prague with 12 points, while Be’er Sheva and Southampton are second and third respectively with 7 points. While Inter Milan are eliminated after managing just 3 points from their 5 matches so far.
Hapoel Beer Sheva are only ahead of Southampton on the basis of a 0-0 draw in the first leg clash between the two on matchday 2. A draw by any score-line will certainly sent the Israeli outfit through, while Southampton must win to progress.
The Saints have won both their home fixtures in the group stage, 3-0 against Sparta on matchday 1 followed by a 2-1 win against Inter Milan. While they are win-less away from home. Beer Sheva on the other hand started the tournament with a 2-0 surprise win away at Inter Milan. They defeat the same side again on matchday 5, when they came back from 2 goals down to earn a priceless 3-2 win.
The first leg clash at the Turner Stadium on matchday 2 is the lone meeting between the two sides. Neither Southampton nor Hapoel Be’er Sheva had previously met clubs from their opponent’s country.
Clubs from England and Israel have met on 17 fixtures in the history of UEFA competitions. The English clubs dominated those fixtures bagging 11 wins and 4 draws and were beaten only twice 2 defeats. An Israeli club had never won in English soil with the 8 fixtures ending in 2 draws and 6 defeats
Source: League Lane
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