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South African players could feature in UEFA Europa League on Thursday

Bafana Bafana star May Mahlangu will be seeking to help his Helsingborg side get their UEFA Europa League challenge back on track when they host FC Twente on Thursday.

Helsingborg have been drawn in a tough group that also includes Spanish La Liga side Levante, as well as German Bundesliga outfit Hannover.

The Swedes lost their opener 1-0 in Spain and another defeat against Twente would be a serious dent in their hopes of challenging for the top two positions in the pool.

Mahlangu picked up a thigh injury in the 3-0 Swedish league win over Åtvidaberg on Sunday, but has been given the green light to play against the Dutch side.

Anele Ngcongca could make a return from a knee injury as his Genk side take on Basel in Switerland.

Genk started their pool campaign with a fine 3-0 home win over Hungarian side Videoton, a game Ngcongca missed because of the ligament problem with his knee. He is back in training now though and although Thursday could come too soon for him, there is a chance he will play.

The other team in Genk’s pool is Sporting Lisbon from Portugal, who will be favourites to take top honours, making this game against Basel crucial for both sides as they jostle for possible second place.

Johannesburg-born Sergio Marakis, who has been included in Maritimo’s UEFA Europa League squad for this season but has yet to play, will be in contention again when the side travel to Belgian side Club Brugge.

Maritimo drew 0-0 with Newcastle United in their home match and must also play against French side Bordeaux in this pool, which is an extremely tight one.   

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