Everything You Need To Know Ahead Of This Week's Europa League Action

We've got you covered ahead of a busy week in European football
11:00, 17 Feb 2021

The Europa League is back and although clubs may not be playing away ties in the locations you may expect them to be playing due to coronavirus restrictions, we do get to see all five of our British sides in action in the last 32! Here is what we have got in store this week....

Real Sociedad v Manchester United

Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin. 

When: Thursday February 18

Kick-off time: 17:55PM GMT

TV: BT Sport 1 and DAZN

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United side will travel to Italy, not Spain due to Covid restrictions, as they look to repeat their 2017 victory in this competition, having been knocked out of the Champions League late last year, despite beating both PSG and Leipzig in their opening two group games.

La Real winger Mikel Oyarzabal has made a rapid return from injury and should feature alongside former United player Adnan Januzaj. Paul Pogba meanwhile is expected to miss this one through injury. 

Sportsman Stat:  Manchester United have failed to beat Spanish opposition in their last nine attempts, with their last win coming against Celta Vigo in the Europa League semi-finals back in 2017. 

Betfred Special: Real Sociedad to win at 11/5

 

Wolfsberg v Tottenham Hotspur

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Where: Puskas Arena, Budapest. 

When: Thursday February 18

Kick-off time: 17:55PM GMT

TV: BT Sport 2 and DAZN

Another Covid-19 affected tie, this time Spurs will travel to Budapest to play Austrian outfit Wolfsberg. With Jose Mourinho’s men out of the FA Cup, but in the League Cup final, a Europa League title would mark a successful first full season in charge for the Portuguese boss. 

Harry Kane is back fit and firing although the manager is expected to make several changes for this game, which is Wolfberg’s first ever knockout in a major European competition. Carlos Vinicius will be hopeful of some gametime that has been severely lacking in recent weeks while Gareth Bale is running out of chances to make an impact. 

Sportsman Stat: Including finals, Jose Mourinho has won each of his last 12 knockout ties in the Europa League/UEFA Cup. 

Betfred Special: Tottenham to score over 1.5 goals at 6/4

 

Slavia Prague v Leicester City

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Where: Sinobo Stadium, Prague

When: Thursday February 18

Kick-off time: 17:55PM GMT

TV: BT Sport ESPN and DAZN

With a ten point advantage over their nearest rivals, current leaders of the Czech Liga Slavia Prague will be hoping to cause an upset as Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester come to town. With a whole host of injuries including James Justin and Timothy Castagne, we could see a weakened Leicester team attempt to get the job done with Kelechi Ihenacho expected to start. 

The Foxes have won just one of their past seven away games in Europe, while they will be the sixth different English side to have played Slavia Prague, with Leeds, Tottenham, Arsenal, Aston Villa and Chelsea coming before them. The hosts have only won once against English opposition, 2-1 v Leeds in the 1999/00 UEFA Cup quarter-final second leg.

Sportsman Stat: Since beating Glenavon in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1961/62, Leicester have won just one of ten knockout matches in European competitions, beating Sevilla in the Champions League in 2016/17.

Betfred Special: Draw at 12/5

 

Benfica v Arsenal

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Where: Stadio Olimpico, Rome

When: Thursday February 18

Kick-off time: 20:00PM GMT

TV: BT Sport 2 and DAZN

The tour of Europe continues as Benfica and Arsenal will do battle in the Italian capital instead of Portugal. Mikel Arteta’s side, fresh from putting Leeds to the sword will be hopeful that captain Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang can continue his goalscoring form, having taken home the match ball on Sunday. 

Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey are both likely to miss this one through injury, while Emile Smith Rowe could drop out for Nicholas Pepe but Rob Holding is expected to return to the starting XI. Benfica currently sit fifth in their league, 13 points off unbeaten leaders Sporting CP. 

Sportsman Stat: Pizzi has been directly involved in more goals than any other player in the Europa League this season (6 goals, 2 assists) The last player to score more goals in a European campaign was Eusebio in 1970/71.

Betfred Special: Pizzi to score at anytime 5/2

 

Royal Antwerp v Rangers

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Where: Bosuilstadion, Antwerp

When: Thursday February 18

Kick-off time: 20:00PM GMT

TV: BT Sport 3 and DAZN

Steven Gerrard’s champions elect Rangers will look to carry their domestic success abroad as they visit Belgium. Their last trip there was a successful one as Kemar Roofe scored from his own half to secure an all-important win over Standard Liege.

Royal Antwerp, who secured their very first Europa League appearance by winning the Belgian Cup final last year, won four of their six group stage games to set up this tie against Gerrard’s side.

Sportsman Stat: Antwerp's only previous UEFA tie against Scottish opposition dates back to October 1989 and a 6-3 aggregate win over Dundee United.

Betfred Special: Rangers to win and both teams to score at 3/1

Other Europa League Round of 32 fixtures

Red Bull Salzburg v Villarreal

Lille v Ajax

Olympiacos v PSV

Young Boys v Bayer Leverkusen

Red Star v Milan

Dynamo Kiev v Club Brugge

Braga v Roma

Krasnador v Dinamo Zagreb

Molde v Hoffenheim

Maccabi Tel-Aviv v Shakhtar Donetsk

Granada v Napoli

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