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Thursday's Sport: Italian pair under Europa League pressure

The Europa League and Conference League group stages come to a conclusion on Thursday evening and Italian rivals Roma and Lazio are under pressure to book their spots in the knockout stages.

The Rome derby looms large for them this weekend, but first Roma and Lazio need to ensure safe passage in Europe. Manchester United will be eager to dent Real Sociedad's perfect record meanwhile in their final game. 

At the Champion of Champions Snooker meanwhile, world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan enters the fray in Bolton.

Europa League: Mourinho's men need a win

What:Roma v Ludogorets, Europa League
Where:Stadio Olimpico, Rome 
When: 20:00, Thursday 3rd November 2022
How to watch:BT Sport
Odds: Roma 3/10, Draw 19/4, Ludogorets 8/1

Jose Mourinho helped Roma win the inaugural Conference League last season but the Portuguese won't be happy with a dropdown into that competition now. 

His Roma side lost to 2-1 at Ludogorets on matchday one, but if they win the return match, they will replace the Bulgarian champions in second place in Group C and make the knockouts. 

Ante Simundza felt his Ludogorets side deserved more from their 1-0 loss last time at Real Betis and has vowed to take the fight to Roma in a battle for second spot. 

Europa League: All to play for in fascinating finale

What:Feyenoord v Lazio, Europa League
Where:Stadion Feyenoord 'De Kuip', Rotterdam
When: 17:45, Thursday 3rd November 2022
How to watch:BT Sport
Odds: Feyenoord 5/4, Draw 13/5, Lazio 21/10

Unlike their Rome rivals, Lazio don't require a final day win, but they head to face to Feyenoord knowing defeat may see them eliminated in a fiercely competitive Group F that includes Strum Graz and Midtjylland.

Just three points separate the four clubs going into the final round of games. Lazio top the group and defeated Feyenoord 4-2 in the reverse fixture, but a turnaround on that head-to-head in Rotterdam could see them dumped out. 

Manchester United have been far from convincing despite four Europa League wins on the trot since losing to Real Sociedad in their opener. The Red Devils are in Spain on Thursday needing to win by two goals to leapfrog their hosts and claim top spot in Group E. Erik ten Haag's side are 6/5 to collect a victory. 

Europa Conference League: Plenty at stake

What:Slavia Prague v Sivasspor, Conference League
Where:Eden Stadium, Prague
When: 17:45, Thursday 3rd November 2022
How to watch:N/A
Odds: Slavia Prague 4/11, Draw 15/4, Sivasspor 8/1

In the Conference League, the extra reward for teams that top their group is to skip the knockout round play-offs in the New Year, thus reducing the schedule by two games.

With West Ham, Villarreal and Djurgarden the only confirmed group winners heading into matchday six, there's still plenty to fight for on the final night of the group phase.

Slavia Prague have more reason to want progress than most. Their Eden Stadium is the host venue for the final in June next year. Slavia had had more shots on goal in five games (118) than any other team but they welcome Group G leaders Sivasspor lying third in the table and desperate for a win to keep alive their fading hopes of progress. 

Snooker: Rocket launches in Bolton

What:Ronnie O'Sullivan v Robert Milkins 
Where:University of Bolton Stadium, Bolton
When: 13:00, Thursday 3rd November 2022
How to watch:ITV4 & bet365 live Sports Streaming
Odds: Ronnie O'Sullivan 2/9, Robert Milkins 10/3

The format at snooker's Champion of Champions appears to be one Ronnie O'Sullivan relishes, with three overall wins since its inception in 2013.

The Rocket enters the fray on Thursday, facing Robert Milkins in his group stage opener at 13:00, with the winner back in the evening to face either Zhao Xintong or Mink Nutcharut for a place in the semi-finals. 

Kicking off as late as Thursday and with the final on Sunday and the prospect of two longer-frame matches to come at the weekend, it's the sort of scenario in which O'Sullivan may thrive once more. 

Chinese star Zhao Xintong won both the UK Championship and the German Masters last season and he'll be a big threat to the world champion if, as expected, they square off in the Group 2 final. 

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