Europa League quarter finals preview

    07 Apr 2016 | Europa League | Opinion
    Europa League quarter finals preview

    The Europa League returns on Thursday with eight teams competing in the quarter final, first leg. This round offers four scintillating match-ups that will ensure an evening of lively football. Some big names were knocked out in the last phase and the remaining sides will have to be focused.

    Jurgen Klopp will be the centre of attention as he takes his Liverpool team to face off with his old side Borussia Dortmund at the Westfalenstadion. The Liverpool boss says his players hold a "serious chance" of overcoming his old club and progressing to the next stage. The Reds know they have a tough task against a Dortmund side who are unbeaten in all competitions this year and are Europa League favourites.

    Liverpool will take confidence in the knowledge that they are unbeaten in this competition so far and have been performing well against the big sides. Dortmund top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang says the German side are excited about a reunion with their former boss, but he acknowledges it will be a "very difficult" match. The Gabon international forward will be a danger man, having scored seven goals in the tournament so far. Klopp will be looking to his magician in midfield, Phillipe Coutinho to be a creative force. The two sides have clashed in UEFA competitions on three previous occasions, with each side winning once and one draw.

    Predictions for Borussia Dortmund - Liverpool FC

    Europa League Holders Sevilla are looking to win the competition for a third successive year. On Thursday they travel to the San Mames Stadium to face an Athletic Bilbao side who are one place above them in La Liga. Both sides have lost two of their last three games in all competition and this tie promises to be a tight affair.

    Bilbao will look to tournament leading scorer Aduriz to give them a real attacking threat. It will be an emotional return for Sevilla striker Fernando Llorente who faces the side that brought him through ranks. The player became a club legend with Bilbao after eight successful years leading the line. Sevilla manager, Unai Emery will believe his side hold the edge, having beaten Bilbao 2-0 when the sides met in the league in January. The bookies also make Sevilla favourties for this tie and second favourites to win the competition outright.

    Predictions for Athletic Bilbao - Sevilla FC

    Czech title contenders Sparta Prague head to the Estadio El Madrigal to face a Villareal side who are currently fourth in La Liga. Sparta convincingly overturned Lazio in the previous round to show they are a real threat in this competition.

    Villareal have won all of their five home games in the tournament so far and will look to build a strong lead in the first leg. Zdenek Scasny's Sparta side are unbeaten in their last six games in all competitions and will be confident they can take something from Thursday's game. The Spaniards are third favourites for the competition whole and will know that they can lock out Sparta's attack, having not conceded at home in the Europa League. Villereal are slight favourites to progress.

    Predictions for Villarreal CF - Sparta Praha

    Ukranian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk face Portuguese side S.C. Braga in the fourth and final tie. Donetsk are unbeaten in this competition having beaten Schalke and Anderlecht on route to the quarter finals.

    Braga showed great character in the last round, storming back to beat Fenerbahce 4-2 on aggregate after losing 1-0 in the first leg. Braga are more than capable of raising their game again here. Shakhtar boss Mircea Lucescu will look to his club's greater European experience and believe his side have enough to progress.

    Predictions for Sporting Braga - Shakhtar Donetsk

    Predictions for Europa League

    Home team - Away team Tip
    flag_14 UEL
    APOEL FCKarabakh Agdam
    07/11/2019 18:55
    X
    flag_14 UEL
    F91 DudelangeSevilla FC
    07/11/2019 18:55
    2
    flag_14 UEL
    FC KøbenhavnDynamo Kiev
    07/11/2019 18:55
    X
    flag_14 UEL
    FC LuganoMalmö FF
    07/11/2019 18:55
    2

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