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Three Spanish sides in Europa League action (Preview)

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Madrid, Oct 19 (IANS) Three Spanish sides will be in Europa League action on Thursday looking to take an important step towards the knockout stages of the football competition.

Celta Vigo are looking to pick themselves up following a 0-5 defeat to Villarreal in La Liga when they entertain Dutch side Ajax at their Balaidos Stadium, reports Xinhua.

The game comes in the middle of a controversy involving their president Carlos Mourino, who is threatening to sell the club in order to secure its long-term economic future.

Villarreal meanwhile face a long trip to the Turkish capital of Ankara to take on Onmanlispor.

Fran Escriba's side have recovered from their elimination from the Champions League qualifying round, and are unbeaten in their subsequent nine games in all competitions.

Athletic Club Bilbao have to at least avoid defeat on their trip to play Belgian side Genk.

Athletic will be boosted by their 3-2 win in the Basque derby at home to Real Sociedad in La Liga recently.

But they have injury problems with Kepa, Eneko Boveda, Oscar de Marcos and Benat Etxeberria all missing the flight because of various physical issues.

Coach Ernesto Valverde will continue with his policy of giving opportunities to fringe players with second choice keeper Iago Herrerin starting on goal.

--IANS

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