Europa League time!
Europa League Round of 16 Leg 2
Shakhtar Donetsk (2) vs. (1) Wolfsburg
After what seems like ages European football is back as the Europa League 2nd legs are played out. Shakhtar go into this tie with a goal advantage having scored 2 in Germany. Wolfsburg have 1 to their name but will have to score at least 2 without conceding to win the game. Pressure on Wolfsburg with Shakhtar in the driving seat. Shaktar have won 11, and drawn 2 post lockdown having scored 35 goals in the process, and winning being named Champions for the 19/20 season. Shakhtar last played on 29th of July. Wolfsburg won 4, drew 2 and lost 4 post lockdown as they finished 7th in the Bundesliga, the Germans last played on the 30th of July in a friendly. Shakhtar are the favourites and should win this game based on form.
Copenhagen (0) vs. (1) Istanbul Basaksehir
Istanbul go into the 2nd leg with a 1 goal lead while Copenhagen missed their chance in the 1st leg to grab an away goal. Istanbul have won 5, drawn 1, and lost 2 post lockdown but they finished the 19/20 season as Champions of Turkey for the first time in their history, they played their last game on the 26th of July. Copenhagen have won 6, drawn 4, and lost 4 post lockdown as they finished their season in 2nd. Copenhagen last played on the 26th as well. An evenly matched game but I would put Istanbul as slight favourites. An away goal for the Turkish champions would mean that Copenhagen would have to score 3 goals.
Man United (5) vs. (0) LASK
United finished the season in 3rd on goal difference as they secured Champions League football and can now play Europa League football without stress. They go into this leg having a 5-0 away goal lead over LASK who play in the Austrian Bundesliga. LASK have won 3, drawn 1, and lost 8 post lockdown finishing 4th in the Bundesliga. This should be a straightforward win for United even with their whole first team rested. LASK have nothing to lose and can play without fear at Old Trafford.
Inter Milan vs. Getafe
The first leg was postponed due to Covid and so these two teams go straight into the 2nd leg to be played at the San Siro. Inter just finished their season on the 2nd of August as they sat 2nd in the table a point behind Juventus. Inter won 8, drew 5, and lost 1 post lockdown. Getafe finished their season on the 20th of July sitting 8th in La Liga after a poor post lockdown period. Getafe won 1, drew 5, and lost 5 post lockdown in a dismal run of poor form that saw the drop out of the top four and into 8th. Inter should be favourites for this game but if away goals stands the Getafe will have nothing to lose and everything to gain. An interesting 90 minutes ahead.
Leverkusen (3) vs. (1) Rangers
Leverkusen scored 3 goals in Glasgow in the first leg as they take a big advantage into this 2nd leg. Leverkusen finished 5th in the Bundesliga having won 6, drawn 1 and lost 4 post lockdown, their last game was on the 4th of July. The Scottish Premier League was called off and so their were no games post lockdown. Rangers have been playing friendlies having all 4 scoring 10 goals in the process and conceding none. The Scottish Premier League returned to action last weekend as Rangers beat Aberdeen 0-1 in the first game of the 20/21 season. Leverkusen have the advantage and Rangers have to score at least 3 to progress to the next round.
Sevilla vs. AS Roma
This games first leg was also postponed due to Covid and so only the 2nd leg is being played in Seville. Sevilla finished 4th in La Liga winning 6, drawing 5 and losing none, they last played on the 20th of July. Roma just finished their season on the 2nd as they got up to 5th. Roma won 8, drew 1, and lost 3 post lockdown as they had a fairly good run of form. This should be a fun game to watch with both teams in really decent form. Roma will want to win more as they could secure Champions League football by winning the Europa League. An interesting game.
Basel (3) vs. (0) Frankfurt
Basel go into this game with a comfortable 3 goal lead they got in the 1st leg in Frankfurt. Basel have won 6 games post lockdown, drawn 1, and lost 3 as they finished 3rd in the Swiss league, Basel last played on the 19th of July. Frankfurt won 5, drew 3 and lost 4 post lockdown as they finished 9th in the Bundesliga. Frankfurt’s last game came on the 1st of August in a friendly. Frankfurt have it all to play for and have to score 4 goals to win the game and 3 without conceding to draw the game. All to do for the Germans with both teams seeking Champions League football.
Wolverhampton (1) vs. (1) Olympiakos
Wolves ended their Premier League season in 7th as they won 5, drew 1 and lost 3 post lockdown, they last played on the 26th of July. Olympiakos have won 10, drawn 1 and lost 1 post lockdown as they finished Champions in Greece. Wolves are looking for European football and will want to win the game having the away goal advantage. Olympiakos need to get 1 to swing matters in their favour. An interesting game for both teams.