Huge battles ahead, as Thursday night is all about the first step to the quarter-finals. Europa League is much stronger than last year, so the expectations remain high once more. Let’s see these new matchups as they are ready to perform in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16, but also their odds, in a chance to understand better what is going to happen.
Bayer Leverkusen fought hard against Monaco, beating the French team away, despite the loss in the first match. Xabi Alonso’s players bounced back quickly in the most astonishing matchup of the last round. Now, they have to face Ferencvaros, a team that finished first in the group above Monaco, Trabzonspor and Crvena Zvezda. Leverkusen’s odds are at 1.33, Ferencvaros’ odds are at 9.00, while the draw is set at 5.00.
RB Salzburg’s obstacle was tough to overcome for Roma, but Olimpico always gives a huge advantage to the hosts. Mourinho may have seen his players lose away, but in the second leg, they scored twice to qualify. They will meet a stronger opponent in the face of Real Sociedad, a team that finished above Manchester United in the group stage, while also competing to participate in next season’s Champions League via La Liga. Roma to win is at 2.10, Real Sociedad is at 3.70, while the draw is set at 3.20.
Sporting Lisbon prevailed easily against Midtjylland, but the next opponent is not someone you could sleep on. Arsenal wants to win both Europa League and the Premier League and Arteta would love to see his players perform greatly against one of the best teams in Portugal. Sporting Lisbon’s odds are set at 3.50 while Arsenal is favoured at 2.10. The draw is at 3.40.
Union Berlin and Union St. Gilloise have already faced each other in the group stage of the competition, both winning as visitors. Union Berlin prevailed over Ajax in the playoff round and it will be very interesting to see how the two teams will adapt to this scenario. The hosts are favoured at 1.65, Union S.G. to win is at 5.50, while the draw is set at 3.70.
Later this day are going to begin another four matches. Di Maria scored a hat-trick in France against Nantes and he will have the chance to help Juventus beat Freiburg too, a team that still wants to participate in the Champions League next season. Juventus’ odds are set at 1.65, Freiburg’s odds are at 5.50 while the draw is at 3.70.
Manchester United threw Barcelona out of Europa League, but Erik ten Hag wants to bounce back after the humiliating loss to Liverpool. Real Betis is having another very good season and will not be the sidekick of this pair. Manchester United to win is at 1.44, Real Betis to win is at 7.00 and we find the draw at 4.60.
Sevilla faces the danger of relegation in La Liga, but Europa League is always another topic to discuss. After eliminating PSV, the Spanish team will face Fenerbahce. Sevilla is favoured at 1.73, Fenerbahce’s odds are at 4.80 and the draw is set at 3.70.
In the last battle of the night, Shakhtar Donetsk will face Feyenoord. The hosts are at 3.00, the Dutch team is at 2.30 and the draw is set at 3.50. A matchup without a clear favourite.
John Sampson is a sports writer and tipster who is passionate about football. He studied Political Sciences but his true love has always been sports, specifically football.
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