Football: Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton seek to advance further in Europa League

Liverpool's Italian striker Mario Balotelli (front) spreads his arms wide after scoring from the penalty spot for the opening goal as German midfielder Emre Can (back) embraces him from behind during the Uefa Europa League round of 32 first leg footb
Liverpool's Italian striker Mario Balotelli (front) spreads his arms wide after scoring from the penalty spot for the opening goal as German midfielder Emre Can (back) embraces him from behind during the Uefa Europa League round of 32 first leg football match between Liverpool and Besiktas at Anfield on Feb 19, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Liverpool return to the scene of the greatest moment in their recent history in the Europa League on Thursday as Tottenham Hotspur go to Italy just three days before the English League Cup final.

The Ataturk Olympic Stadium will forever be remembered by Liverpool fans as the scene of their remarkable triumph in the 2005 Champions League final, when they came from 3-0 down to draw level at 3-3 with AC Milan before winning a penalty shoot-out to lift the European Cup for the fifth time.

On this occasion, the only prize on offer in the round-of-32, second leg is a berth in the last 16, and Liverpool hold the upper hand after a Mario Balotelli penalty secured a 1-0 win at Anfield last week.

The Reds are unbeaten in seven games while Besiktas were knocked off the top of the Turkish Super Lig at the weekend after losing 1-0 to Eskisehirspor.

Meanwhile, Tottenham face a make or break few days in their campaign as they go to Florence having to score in the second leg of their tie against Fiorentina after drawing 1-1 at White Hart Lane.

The match will be a huge test of Spurs' resolve with Fiorentina unbeaten in 10 games and with the small matter of the League Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley following on Sunday.

"It will be a difficult game," said Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. "I think this is our first final before Sunday as Fiorentina are only one game from going into the next round. We know that we need to score but we are confident."

Everton already have one foot in the next round as they host Swiss side Young Boys having won 4-1 in Bern last week with Romelu Lukaku scoring a hat-trick.

As they struggle in the league, they could be forgiven for being distracted by Sunday's trip to Arsenal but midfielder James McCarthy said Everton minds are only on continuing their European run.

"We have a big lead but we won't take any prisoners. We have come back from a great result in Europe and we need to try and get the wins at home. The fans have come out in their numbers and we need to go again on Thursday," he told the club's website.