November 22, 2012
All Roads lead to swift qualification for Hector
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.3||1.3|
|Goals against *||2.3||1.0|
|Last 5 home||L-L-D||D-W-D-W-W|
|Last 5 away||W-L-L||L-W-W-D-L|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Helsingborg | Levante|
Levante defender Hector Roads is hoping his side can seal their spot in the last 32 of the Europa League against Helsingborg on Thursday night and not leave open the possibility of suffering heartache in the final round of group fixtures.
Levante, playing in Europe for the first time, are currently second in Group L on seven points, three behind already-qualified Hannover, four ahead of FC Twente and six clear of Helsingborg.
That means a victory in Sweden would guarantee the Spanish side a top-two berth, but should they slip up then all could rest on matchday six, where Levante play host to play in-form Germans Hannover.
Roads wants to ensure it does not come to that, saying: "We want to get something positive and try to seal our qualification for the last 32 as soon as possible. We would love to get through to the next round and we want to do it there.''
The 24-year-old is not expecting it to be easy, however, against a Helsingborg side who must win their final two matches to still have a chance of going through.
Age Hareide's men have also finished their domestic league campaign for the year, which means they can focus all their efforts on Europe.
Roads added: "It's a very important game for them and if they win they will have a chance of getting through. It's their last chance.''
Hareide has urged his side to show better concentration as they seek to keep their dreams alive.
Helsingborg should be in a more promising position in the group but have seen a number of points slip away in the closing stages of matches.
Against FC Twente they were 2-0 up with 16 minutes remaining but had to settle for a draw, while in their last two matches they have conceded stoppage-time winners to Hannover, going down 2-1 at home and 3-2 away.
Hareide said of Thursday's game: "We must win. We have to keep focused. We created goals in both games against Twente and Hannover, we are strong at home and we have to show that against Levante.''
The Helsingborg boss is wary of the threat posed by the Primera Division's fourth-placed team, though, adding: "We played well against them in Spain (in a 1-0 defeat) and since then I think Levante have become stronger defensively.
"They are a difficult team to play against. We need to up the tempo and have speed in everything we do.''