With the announcement of the Champions League last eight, comes the draw for Uefa’s other club competition. A guaranteed place in the Champions League is up for grabs for the winner of the Europa League, which adds to the intrigue, with many teams off the pace in their domestic leagues. The 8th and 15th of April will be matchday’s for all clubs involved to run off both legs of their fixtures. The semi finals will then take place on the 29th of April and the 6th of May. The eventual finalists will proceed to Gdansk on May 26th. A small matter of the quarter finals separate all sides from eventual glory, lets see who is standing in each others way.
Granada v Manchester United
Another Spanish side for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to pit his wits against. The Red Devils ran out 4-0 aggregate winners over Real Sociedad before defeating AC Milan. Granada actually lost in their last Europa League game, against Solskjaer’s former side Molde, however won the overall tie 3-2. The score was also the same in the last 32 stage when they beat Napoli, so they are by no means a pushover even though they only occupy the eight position in La Liga.
Arsenal v Slavia Prague
Arsenal’s best chance of progressing to a Champions League spot will be by winning this competition. Defeating Greek opposition Olympiacos in the first leg of the last 16, they interestingly managed to lose away from home. They will have to travel to Sinobo Stadium in Prague in the second leg, after Slavia Prague got the better of Rangers in their last Cup game.
Ajax v Roma
Ajax and Roma sounds like a proper epic encounter between two great sides. Roma defeated both Shakter Donetsk and Braga 5-1 over both ties, so will no doubt be confident facing the Dutch team. Ajax managed nine goals in their four previous games against both Lille and Young Boys.
Dinamo Zagreb v Villarreal
In the shock of the round Dinamo scored three to reverse the two goal deficit they had going into the Spurs game. They will now go up against Villareal who defeated Austrian team Rb Salzburg and Ukranian oufit Dynamo Kiev, scoring eight across the four games.
United, Granada, Ajax and Roma have a tougher side of the draw, while Arsenal fans will surely be happier to be on the other side. Interestingly though, if Arsenal and Villareal progress a reunion with former Gunnars boss Unai Emery is on the cards. Emery has form in this Cup competition having won it three years in a row with Sevilla. A Manchester United and Arsenal final is now also a possibility, which for Premier League fans is obviously the most desired outcome.
Who will be crowned Champions come May 26th? Lets us know on Scoreline this weekend, and every weekend from 2-6 on Saturday and Sunday by texting us on 0833069696