UEFA Europa League 2012: Samuel Eto'o and More Stars to Watch on Thursday

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2012

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - APRIL 22: Samuel Eto'o of FC Anzhi Makhachkala celebrates after scoring a goal during the Russian Football League Championship match between FC Spartak Moscow and FC Anzhi Makhachkala at the Luzhniki Stadium on April 22, 2012 in Moscow, Russia.  (Photo by Dmitry Korotayev/Epsilon/Getty Images)
Dmitry Korotayev/Getty Images

Europa League play continues on Thursday with a full slate of matches sure to keep football fans occupied for a good portion of the day. A total of 24 games will be played, which means there will be no shortage of star power to keep an eye on.

Since it will be impossible to take in every match, let's take a look at three superstars to keep track of during the day's action. These players will likely stand out from the crowd.

For a complete schedule of Thursday's Europa League action, click here.


Samuel Eto'o (Anzhi Makhachkala)

Eto'o developed into one of the world's most dangerous strikers during his time with Barcelona and Inter Milan before deciding to make a huge-money move to Anzhi. It's caused him to fall off the radar a bit outside of these types of tournament matches.

The 31-year-old Cameroon international has continued his scoring ways in Russia, bagging 18 goals in 28 games over the last two seasons. He's also got off to a quick start in Europa League play, finding the net five times in seven appearances.

Eto'o and Anzhi will take on BSC Young Boys of the Swiss Super League. The team's back line should be no match for the dynamic striker, who should find the score sheet at least once.


Falcao (Atletico Madrid)

Falcao has been virtually unstoppable since joining Atletico Madrid last summer, scoring an eye-popping 46 goals in 56 appearances for the club. He continues to establish himself as one of the best strikers in Europe.

He's been even more dominant in Europe League play over the past two seasons, scoring 29 times in as many games. The Colombian star has always seemed to rise to the occasion. As the level of competition increases, so does his level of play.

The Colchoneros, who are currently in second place in La Liga, will be looking to him to lead the offensive attack against a pesky Viktoria Plzen side that's tied with them atop the group table.


Diego Milito (Inter Milan)

Milito has made several stops during his long career and the best way to describe him would be consistent. He's been one of the most reliable forwards on the planet for a decade, and that's continued this season at age 33.

While he doesn't have elite speed and isn't going to blow anybody away with his athleticism, he's technically sound and has the ability to create plays—both for himself and his teammates—that other players wouldn't even dream about.

Those skills have led Milito to three goals and three assists in 10 games during the current campaign. He gives Inter the advantage over Neftchi in a match that should be under control by halftime.