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Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2017

The UEFA Europa League returns on Thursday, when the second legs of the round-of-16 matches will be played out across the continent.

Manchester United will host FC Rostov after earning an away goal in a 1-1 draw in Russia, while AS Roma have their work cut out for them against Lyon.

FC Schalke 04 and Borussia Monchengladbach are all tied up after the first leg, and Ajax have a one-goal deficit to deal with against FC Copenhagen.

Here’s a look at the TV schedule and live-stream info for Thursday’s fixtures, as well as full predictions:

Europa League Schedule
6 p.m. GMT FC Krasnodar Celta Vigo 1-1 Fox Sports 2 (U.S.) Fox Soccer 2Go, BT Sport app
6 p.m. GMT Besiktas Olympiakos 2-0 Fox Sports 1 (U.S.), BT Sport 3 (UK) Fox Soccer 2Go, BT Sport app
6 p.m. GMT KRC Genk KAA Gent 1-1 / Fox Soccer 2Go, BT Sport app
8:05 p.m. GMT Ajax FC Copenhagen 1-1 / Fox Soccer 2Go, BT Sport app
8:05 p.m. GMT Anderlecht APOEL Nicosia 2-2 / Fox Soccer 2Go, BT Sport app
8:05 p.m. GMT Borussia Monchengladbach Schalke 04 1-0 Fox Sports 2 (U.S.) Fox Soccer 2Go, BT Sport app
8:05 p.m. GMT AS Roma Lyon 2-1 BT Sport 3 (UK) Fox Soccer 2Go, BT Sport app
8:05 p.m. GMT Manchester United FC Rostov 3-0 Fox Sports 1 (U.S.), BT Sport 2 (UK) Fox Soccer 2Go, BT Sport app
WhoScored.com

To access the BT Sport app, click here. For Fox Soccer 2Go, click here. 

 

Preview

United didn’t have it easy in Russia, but the 1-1 scoreline puts the Red Devils in a prime position to advance against Rostov with a solid outing in the second leg.

Rostov have put together some impressive results in Europe this year, but the majority have come at home―they’ve been far less impressive on the road.

United manager Jose Mourinho told reporters after Monday’s 1-0 FA Cup loss against Chelsea that he’s keen on using his top players against Rostov, a clear sign he’s not taking his opponents lightly.

Manchester United's Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho (L) looks at Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (C) fighting for the ball with Rostov's Ecuadorian midfielder Christian Noboa (R) during the UEFA Europa League round of 16 football match bet

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Per Mark Froggatt of the club’s official website, he said: “We have a very important match on Thursday and I want to rest a little bit to try to prepare the team as best we can. That’s the most important thing now.”

The Europa League should be a priority for the Red Devils at this point―it’s their best chance of qualifying for next year’s UEFA Champions League, especially given the lack of elite teams left in the competition.

Roma and Lyon are two of the best sides remaining, but one of the two will not advance to the quarter-finals. After winning 4-2 in France, Lyon are the clear favourites to advance.

LYON, FRANCE - MARCH 9: Edin Dzeko of AS Roma and Emanuel Mammana of Lyonj (left) in action during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between Olympique Lyonnais (OL) and AS Roma at Parc OL on March 9, 2017 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Jean C

Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes promised the fans he and his team-mates will not hide away from attacking the Giallorossi, per Squawka News:


That’s probably a good tactic, as Roma have tremendous attacking firepower but tend to give up soft goals. The Italians collapsed completely in the first leg, highlighting their inability to deal with pressure, and more of the same should follow in the second leg.

Schalke and Monchengladbach played each other close in the first leg, with the latter side earning the advantage through an away goal in the 1-1 draw in Gelsenkirchen.

GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - MARCH 09: Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting of Schalke and Mahmoud Dahoud of Borussia Moenchengladbach battle for the ball during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between FC Schalke 04 and Borussia Moenchengladbach at Vel

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This tie is vitally important for both teams, who have disappointed in the Bundesliga this season and need a big result in Europe to salvage their campaign.

The same holds true for Ajax, as Feyenoord remain the favourites to win the Eredivisie title. A 1-0 win would suffice against Copenhagen, but the Danish side were the better team in the first leg and are expected to take the fight to the Dutch giants.



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