Southampton on verge of qualifying for UEL playoffs

Southampton's Shane Long (R) celebrates scoring the third goal with Juanmi in the first leg against Vitesse. (AAP) Source: EPA

Southampton is firmly on course to reach the play-offs of the UEFA Europa League on Friday (AEST), while Vojvodina is also in the box seat in its third qualifying round tie.

Ronald Koeman's Southampton travels to the Dutch city of Arnhem leading Vitesse 3-0 after last week's comprehensive first-leg win at St Mary's.

Graziano Pelle, Dusan Tadic and Shane Long were on target as Southampton ended a 12-year European absence in style and recent recruit Cedric Soares is hoping to extend the English Premier League club's run in the competition at GelreDome.

"Teams are already expecting a high level from us, so they will respect us more. It means maybe there will be more attention so we need to be better and surprise them," the Portuguese defender told SAINTS, the club's official matchday magazine.

Vojvodina is back on home soil in Serbia for the visit of Sampdoria, which is on the brink of elimination after a humiliating 4-0 defeat last week.

Ognjen Ozegovic scored a second-half brace as Vojvodina spoiled Walter Zenga's first competitive match in charge at Sampdoria.

Borussia Dortmund, Athletic Bilbao and Saint-Etienne also take leads into their return fixtures.

Thomas Tuchel will make his home bow with Dortmund leading Wolfsberger 1-0, Bilbao is up 2-0 as it prepares to visit Inter Baku, while Saint-Etienne enjoys a 3-0 buffer over Targu Mures.

As for West Ham, it heads to Romania with its tie against Astra firmly in the balance at 2-2.

Legia Warsaw is poised to advance after it was awarded a 3-0 win at the expense of Kukesi.

Kukesi has been punished by UEFA after the abandonment of its clash last week, which saw a Legia player injured by an object apparently thrown from the crowd.

Copenhagen, PAOK, Dinamo Minsk and Rabotnicki were 1-0 winners last week, against Jablonec, Spartak Trnava, Zurich and Trabzonspor respectively.

Odd trails Elfsborg 2-1, while Ironi Kiryat Shmona, Vitoria Guimaraes, Zelezjnicar and IFK Goteborg are adrift by the same scoreline ahead of clashes with Slovan Liberec, Rheindorf Altach, Standard Liege and Belenenses.

Hajduk Split travels to Norway having defeated Stromsgodset 2-0 last week and Bordeaux take sa 3-0 lead into its clash with AEK Larnaca.

It is all to play for between Rubin Kazan and Sturm Graz, with the former up 3-2, AIK must overturn a 3-1 deficit against Atromitos, AZ Alkmaar is preparing to face Istanbul Basaksehir fresh from its 2-0 triumph last time out, while Apollon versus Qabala is locked at 1-1.

Zilina and Krasnodar both carry 2-0 advantages into return-leg matches away to Vorskla and Slovan Bratislava, Zorya leads Sporting Charleroi by the same scoreline, and Kairat's 2-1 win has it narrowly in front against Aberdeen.

Only one goal separates Rosenborg and Debrecen, which lost 3-2 at home.

Meanwhile, Omonia Nicosia and Brondby, and Vaduz and Thun are coming off goalless draws.

Source Omnisport