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March 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|
To access the BT Sport app, click here. For Fox Soccer 2Go, click here.
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.
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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.
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Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes promised the fans he and his team-mates will not hide away from attacking the Giallorossi, per Squawka News:
Squawka News @SquawkaNews
Anthony Lopes on Roma vs. Lyon: “We’ll go there and try to play the way we know how. That will be easier than trying to sit on our lead.” https://t.co/JNNr7X4zbn
3/14/2017, 6:21:00 PM
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.
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.