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HAMBURG - SV Hamburg visit Celtic for a Europa League match today knowing their opponents desperately need a result to keep a stuttering qualifying campaign on track.
Celtic are bottom of Group C with just one point from their two opening two matches against Hapoel Tel Aviv and Rapid Vienna.
Defeat at Celtic Park in Glasgow against the Bundesliga high-fliers would see Tony Mowbray's side cut adrift at the bottom.
While Hamburg are joint top of the German league, behind Bayer Leverkusen on goal difference, Celtic dropped a point behind Rangers in the Scottish Premier League after a goalless weekend draw at home to Motherwell.
"Our start in the group has been very disappointing," admitted Celtic defender Mark Wilson.
"The Germans are a quality team but I feel if we are going to progress this is one we will have to win."
Everton have no such worries ahead of a first-ever competitive encoun- ter against Benfica after enjoying victories in both their opening fixtures to top Group I.
The leading sides in each group join eight third-placed teams from the Champions League group stage in the round of 32.
However, David Moyes is likely to be without Steven Pienaar for the clash as the South African midfielder is still recovering from a knee injury sustained against Portsmouth last month.
"The Benfica match could be one game too soon but I am taking it day by day. At the moment I am struggling with running so I may have to wait until it feels stronger," he said.
Lille lead Group B alongside Valencia with four points ahead of the visit of Serie A side Genoa, who lie just one point behind but are in need of a boost after a 5-0 thrashing by Inter Milan at the weekend.
Valencia, meanwhile, welcome Czech champions Slavia Prague, trying to make it 13 European matches without defeat under Unai Emery.
In Group E, Roma will be without their injured captain Francesco Totti when they visit English Premier League side Fulham, who seem to have found their footing this season after a slow start.
Roy Hodgson's side is the only unbeaten side in the group as Basel, Roma and CSKA Sofia have all lost one game.
"Only we haven't lost, so maybe if we win this game we go through to the next round of the competition," said Fulham striker Diomansy Kamara.
In Group G, leaders Salzburg take on Levski Sofia looking to make it three wins out of three while Villarreal face Lazio with one victory already under their belt but in desperate need of a boost. Ernesto Valverde's side is bottom of Spain's La Liga.
"There is a certain amount of pressure at the club because the expectation is that Villarreal is a club that should be up there with the top sides," he said.
Werder Bremen can move on to nine ponts from their three matches in Group L with victory away to bottom side Austria Vienna. In Group K, PSV Eindhoven will be looking to maintain their unbeaten Europa League start at home to Copenhagen. - Sapa-DPA