Europa League Quarterfinals Preview
SC Braga – Shakhtar Donetsk:
SC Braga is currently 4th in the table 20 points behind the first, SL Benfica and 6 points in front of the 5th. Therefore they focus mainly on the Europa League. Donetsk is currently 2nd, 3 points behind Dynamo Kiew. They won easily against RSC Anderlecht in the last round with 4:1 after both games. SC Braga didn’t have it that easy. They kicked out Fenerbahce in the last round after a good performance in the second game winning 4:1. They have had a very hard time winning against Sion before that and most recently lost against SL Benfica 5:1on the weekend. The odds are in favour of Shakhtar.
FC Villarreal – AC Sparta Prag:
This season Villarreal performs better than expected, recently drawing against Barcelona and currently being 4th in the Primera Division 8 points in front of the 5th. Sparta Prag on the other hand has little chance left winning the league, being 2nd, 9 points behind Viktoria Pilsen. Both teams easily managed to reach the Quarterfinals, Sparta prag winning 4:0 against Kuban Krasnodar and Villarreal beating Bayer Leverkusen 2:0. Both teams seem to be in good condition with FC Villarreal being the favourite.
Athletic Bilbao – FC Sevilla:
The two spanish teams met once this season already. FC Sevilla won by 2:0. Both teams have the same amount of points with Bilbao in the lead because of a better goal ratio. Especially Sevilla, the Europa League champion of last season, is underperforming this season, but also Bilbao could be better. It is going to be a tight game with two squads on the same level.
Liverpool FC – Borussia Dortmund:
The absolute highlight of this year’s quarterfinals. In the focus is obviously the former long-time coach of Dortmund who is now the coach of Liverpool, Jürgen Klopp. While Liverpool is performing quite bad this season, Dortmund re-established itself as the biggest opponent of Bayern München in the Bundesliga. We can expect a rough, but very interesting game. From my point of view Dortmund is the clear favourite in this match as they previously destroyed Tottenham and in general perform far better than Liverpool this season.