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Europa League: Single-Leg Fixtures Will Increase the Drama

Europa League: Single-Leg Fixtures Will Increase the Drama

When the outbreak of COVID-19 caused chaos in the football calendar, Euro 2020 quickly became Euro 2021, but the domestic and European football authorities were determined to get the big leagues and European competitions back on.

And with the Bundesliga, Premier League, La Liga and Serie A cramming fixtures in to ensure their campaigns could reach a satisfactory and fair solution, it meant the Europa League was shunted further back in the calendar. In turn, that means four of the best sides left in the competition will be playing out the round of 16 with a single-leg clash at a neutral venue.

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The Europa League 2020 be
tting odds pitch Inter, Sevilla, Getafe, and Roma in a clutch of eight teams with a realistic chance of lifting the trophy, and they come head-to-head in the first week of August in a round of matches to reveal the quarter-finalists.

Antonio Conte’s Inter meet Getafe, on the 5th August, at Schalke’s stadium in Gelsenkirchen. And on the following day, Sevilla vs Roma is the single-leg fixture in Duisburg.

The other six round-of-16 ties are already underway.

Tournament favourites Manchester United have a foot firmly in the quarter-finals with a 5-0 lead over LASK already in the bank, while Bayer Leverkusen have established a handy 3-1 lead over Rangers after Kai Havertz had put the Bundesliga side ahead with a first-half penalty.

Shakhtar Donetsk have nudged ahead of Wolfsburg, 2-1, in a fascinating tie which is in the balance, so take a look at the SBOBET odds for that one in the run up to the game.

In the other fixtures, Copenhagen trail Istanbul Basaksehir by 0-1, Basel lead Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 and Wolves are tied at 1-1 with Olympiacos.

Three players to look out for

Raul Jimenez – Wolves

After another great season in the Premier League, Jimenez is sure to be in the Europa League 2020 highlights when the round of 16 begins.

The Mexican hit a beautiful volley in a recent 1-1 draw with Burnley to make it 17 goals for the season and has added six assists. His current form has made him one of the most sought-after properties in football.

Lucas Ocampos – Sevilla

For a winger, Ocampos has a great eye of goal and he’s one of the main reasons Sevilla have stormed into next season’s Champions League. The 26-year-old Argentine has scored 14 goals and made three assists. With time on his side, Ocampos is sure to add to his two goals in three appearances for Argentina.

A Europa League runner-up with Marseille in 2018, he would love to go all the way this year.

Leonardo Spinazzola – Roma

Having been loaned out to a number of clubs during his time at Juventus, Italian international Spinazzola has now made his home in Rome, signing for I Giallorossi in a £30m move at the start of the season.

He’s a versatile player who prefers to play on the left flank as an attacking wing-back where his speed, strength, pace and mesmerising dribbling skills make him one of the most exciting players in the competition.

2020/21 Europa League qualifiers

In a crucial match in Italy, Inter Milan and Roma were in action on Sunday in a four-goal thriller in which Inter’s Romelu Lukaku grabbed a share of the spoils with an 88th-minute equaliser. Conte’s team has already qualified for next year’s Champions League, while Roma are in a three-way battle for two Europa League places with Napoli and AC Milan.

In Spain, Villarreal have had a superb season and will be back in Europa League action after missing out this year, and they will be joined by Real Sociedad and surprise package Granada.

Getafe were desperately unlucky, in the top seven all season but slipped to eighth on the final day, so they will need to win this competition to appear in Europe again next term.

In the Bundesliga, Bayer Leverkusen have qualified again, while speculation around the future of Havertz rages on, and they are joined by Hoffenheim who finished sixth.

Wolfsburg have made it to next season’s competition after another solid campaign in the Bundesliga and they are already strengthening their squad, adding to their US contingent with the recruitment of Bryang Kayo and Kobe Hernandez-Foster.

And in the Premier League, Wolves and Spurs are in great positions to grab Europa League places, though Arsenal could still sneak in. Meanwhile, Leicester City and Manchester United are battling for the fourth place and the loser will return to Europa League action.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.




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Stuart Wilkin
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