Bayer Leverkusen vs Rangers (Agg: 3-1)
Thursday, 06-08-2020 @7:55pm
Ref: Danny Makelie (Holland)
Nadiem Amiri has been ruled out for Bayer Leverkusen. As a precautionary measure, the midfielder is in quarantine after a member of his personal circle has been infected with coronavirus.
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard will not be able to call upon either of his new recruits as they return to Europa League action after a five month hiatus. Forwards Cedric Itten and Kemar Roofe are not available so it will instead be down to Alfredo Morelos to lead the line against Bayer Leverkusen as Rangers look to overturn March’s 3-1 first-leg defeat at the Bay Arena. But Gerrard has no concerns about starting the Colombian despite the widely held belief that his days in Glasgow are numbered now that the Light Blues have secured a couple of replacement options up front.
This will be the fourth competitive meeting between Leverkusen and Rangers with each of the previous three all coming in the UEFA Cup/Europa League (one win each and one draw). Rangers’ only victory against Bayer Leverkusen came away from home, beating the Germans 2-1 in the last 32 of the 1998-99 UEFA Cup. Rangers have won just one of their last 19 away matches against German opposition in major European competition (D8 L10), a 2-1 victory at Leverkusen in October 1998, failing to score in 14 of those games. Bayer Leverkusen will be aiming to reach the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup/Europa League for the first time since 2007-08. The German side have lost just two of their 18 two legged knockout ties in major European competition having won the first leg, with their last such elimination coming against Atlético de Madrid in the last 16 of the 2014-15 Champions League campaign. Rangers will need to overturn a 3-1 first leg defeat to reach the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup/Europa League for the first time since 2007-08 (losing finalists that year); Indeed, the Scottish side have progressed from each of their last two two legged knockout ties in major European competition when they’ve lost the first leg (against Marítimo in 2004-05 and Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2006-07). Alfredo Morelos has been involved in seven of Rangers’ 13 Europa League goals this campaign (6 goals, 1 assist).
Sevilla vs AS Roma
Schauinslnad Reine Arena, Duisburg
Thursday, 06-08-2020 @7:55pm
Ref: Borjan Kuipers (Holland)
One of the glamour ties of the UEFA Europa League round of 16 draw finally gets played after five months of waiting on Thursday. Five times winners Sevilla and Serie A giants Roma face off in Duisburg, Germany in what is a one-off game after the original 1st Leg scheduled for the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan was called off due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Sevilla will believe they have a real chance of improving on their already extraordinary record in this competition. They come into the game on the back of a strong end to LaLiga where they won 5 of their final 6 games to claim a top four finish with some ease.
Julen Lopetegui’s side have to take huge confidence from having now gone 17 games unbeaten in all competitions in a run that stretches back to February. The boos and whistles that greeted the end of Sevilla’s last match in this competition, a goalless home draw against Cluj, now seem a lifetime ago but their European hopes are hampered by the recent departures of both Ever Banega and Sergio Reguilon.
They are up against a Roma side that ultimately finished 5th in Serie A, missing out on Champions League qualification. They are in terrific form too with 7 wins from their final 8 league fixtures in a campaign which ended with a shock away win at champions Juventus on Saturday.
Paulo Fonseca will be hoping his team can build on that momentum but in truth it has been a while since they have played a truly important game given they were never seriously in the race for a top four finish in Serie A but comfortably made the Europa places.
The sides have never previously met in a competitive setting. Sevilla beat Roma 2-1 in a 2017 friendly. Meanwhile Roma were 6-4 winners in a friendly game in 2015.
Wolves vs Olympiakos (Agg: 1-1)
Molinuex Stadium, West Midlands
Thursday, 06-08-2020 @10pm
Ref: Szymon Marciniek (Polland)
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has no fresh injury concerns ahead of Thursday’s match at Molineux.
Olympiakos will be without goalkeeper Jose Sa, who suffered an injury in training ahead of the clash with Wolves. Bobby Allain is set to deputise in between the sticks. They will also be without defender Ruben Semedo after he was sent off in the first leg on March 11.
This will be just the second competitive meeting between Wolves and Olympiakos, after the side’s 1-1 draw in Greece in the first leg. Wolves’ Europa league campaign began over a year ago, playing their first qualifying game against Crusaders on 25th July 2019. The English side last progressed to the quarter finals of a major European competition back in 1972 in the UEFA Cup, going on to reach the final that season in which they were beaten by Tottenham. Olympiakos have already knocked English opposition out of the Europa League this season, overcoming a first leg defeat to Arsenal in the previous round; Indeed the Greek side will be aiming to reach the quarter finals of a major European competition for the first time since the 1998-99 Champions League campaign. Wolves have scored in all eight of their Europa League matches since their 0-1 defeat to Sporting Braga in their opening group game (18 goals in total). Wolves’ Diogo Jota has scored a hat-trick in back-to-back Europa League appearances at Molineux (vs Besiktas & Espanyol) – the last player to score three hat-tricks in a single European season was Cristiano Ronaldo for Real Madrid during the 2015-16 Champions League campaign.
FC Basel vs Eintracht Frankfurt (Agg: 3-0)
St. Jakobs Park, Basel
Thursday, 06-08-2020 @10pm
Ref: Antonio Mateu (Spain)
Basel were the favorites coming into this two-legged tie, bit all hopes for them was cast out by the time the first leg came to an end.
Despite coming from an inferior Swiss league, Bebbi registered a dominating and unexpected win on the road, and now just need to come through this home fixture.
Adi Hutter’s men really have been through a lot this season. After a series of terrible performances, they did manage to get their act together towards the end of the campaign. However, it was a bit too late. They had to settle for a ninth-place finish, which ultimately ruled them out of the Europa League.
And on top of that, they have a mountain to climb in order to make it to the Quarters.
Meanwhile, Marcel Koller’s men have been the best team in Switzerland for the past several years along with Young Boys, and this time around, they have qualified for the Champions League.
As things stand, expect Basel to make the most of their away goals, and progress to the next round.
The reverse fixture had ended in a 0-3 win for the Swiss team, on the road. This has been the only encounter between the teams so far, and thus Koller’s men have a 100% winning record in h2h clashes, and they are yet to concede a goal as well.
The Europa League results on Wednesday, 05-08-2020
-Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 Wolfsburg (Agg: 5-1)
-FC Copenhagen 3-0 Istanbul BB (Agg: 3-1)
-Inter Milan 2-0 Getafe
-Man United 2-1 LASK Linz (Agg: 7-1)