UEFA Europa Leauge 2013: Key Players to Watch from Top Contenders

Mike Moraitis@@michaelmoraitisAnalyst IFebruary 15, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 14:  Clint Dempsey of Spurs controls the ball during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg match between Tottenham Hotspur and Olympique Lyonnais at White Hart Lane on February 14, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

The UEFA Europa League is in the second leg of the last 32 and there will be some key players from the top contenders who will be the difference in their club's success moving forward.

Among these contenders are Liverpool, Tottenham and Fenerbahçe, to name a few.

Let's take a look at the top players from each club and why they are so important to their respective squads.



Clint Dempsey, Tottenham Hotspur


With the injury to Jermain Defoe forcing the striker to miss time, Dempsey's role on the team just became more important. Defoe was the club's leading scorer with four goals during this Europa League term, while Dempsey has yet to net a single goal in that time.

We all know Dempsey is far more talented than what he has produced thus far and it's just a matter of time before he finds the back of the net. Dempsey has scored five times and assisted on three in 21 matches for Tottenham in the Premier League.

Aside from his goal-scoring abilities, Dempsey also has great vision that can help set his teammates up close to the net for easy chances.

No matter how he affects future matches, Dempsey's skills are desperately needed if Hotspur is to replace Defoe's production.



Luis Suarez, Liverpool

The incredible production of Jonjo Shelvey with four goals and one assist has been a welcome sight for Liverpool, but the midfielder could use some help on the offensive end.

Suarez is a talented forward who can change a match with his pace and ability to score the ball. He has netted just one goal thus far in the tournament phase and could do a better job setting his teammates up as he has yet to record an assist.

Liverpool will need more scoring from Suarez in order to provide some more offense after finding the back of the net just three times in its last three matches.

Liverpool is in a three-way tie for first in Group A, so a win in its next match is vital for the future of the club.



Dirk Kuyt, Fenerbahçe

Fenerbahçe has struggled to score the ball in its last three matches with just three goals in total throughout—including a 0-0 draw in its last match and a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Mönchengladbach before that.

Despite its recent struggles, Fenerbahçe is still at the head of Group C by two points, but another loss could be devastating to momentum moving forward.

Kuyt has been the club's leading scorer in the tournament phase with two goals in all, but he has also assisted on one goal as well.

If Fenerbahçe is to have success in this tournament, it must snap out of the scoring funk it's currently in. With his ability to score and find open teammates for easy chances, Kuyt is the man who can get things going.