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Europa League quarter-final previews: All the second-leg clashes

The Europa League returns this Thursday with thrilling quarter-final second-leg clashes set to be held across four different stadiums in three different cities

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The UEFA Europa League returns this Thursday with thrilling quarter-final second-leg clashes set to be held across four different stadiums in three different cities. 

Only Atalanta and Bayer Leverkusen hold a wider win margin heading into the second leg while Roma and Benfica hold slim leads, setting the stage for a pulsating second-leg quarter-final round.

AS Roma vs AC Milan

The second leg of an all-Italian affair between Roma and Milan is set to take place at the Stadio Olimpico with Roma holding a slim lead after recording a 1:0 win at San Siro in the first leg.

The Giallorossi’s aim of reaching three consecutive European finals is very much on track after reaching the finals of the UEFA Conference League and the UEFA Europa League in the past successive seasons.

A 17th-minute Gianluca Mancini header was the difference in an entertaining first-leg tie where Daniele De Rossi’s side had the best chances despite Milan dominating the entire duration of the game.

The Rossoneri’s streak of ten-match unbeaten run against Roma was ended at San Siro and Stefano Pioli’s side will look to avoid successive defeat as they bid for their only chance of silverware this season.

Understandably, this game is expected to be sold-out but fans can still buy Roma tickets through trusted resellers such as

Team news

Evan Ndicka – who collapsed in the 77th minute of Roma’s suspended tie against Udinese – is reported to be in stable condition but the Ivory Coast international will not feature in this game as he steps up his recovery.

Sardar Azmoun is sidelined with an injury while Bryan Cristante is suspended for this clash.

The Rossoneri will be without Pierre Kalulu, and Simon Kjaer for the trip to the Italian capital.

On a positive note, Tommaso Pobega is back in full training while Fikayo Tomori is available for selection after missing the first leg through suspension.


This clash is far from over and Milan will be all out to record a comprehensive win in Rome.

However, De Rossi’s side could play to the counter while cautiously guarding their defence against Milan’s attack.

We’re predicting a 2:1 win for Milan.

Atalanta vs Liverpool

Liverpool have an uphill task when they travel to Gewiss Stadium to face Atalanta in the second leg of the quarter-finals.

Gianluca Scamacca scored a brace before Mario Pasalic added a third goal as the Reds suffered a humiliating 3:0 loss at Anfield, their second successive loss to Atalanta at home.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s side let a two-goal lead slip when they faced Hellas Verona in Serie A last weekend and they now prepare to face a Liverpool side that are renowned for staging memorable comebacks.

The Reds are well-known for mounting some of the greatest comebacks in European football. The 3:3 comeback against AC Milan in the Champions League final and the 4:0 win over Barcelona to overturn a 3:0 first-leg loss are testaments that Liverpool cannot be ruled out just yet, especially with Jürgen Klopp aiming to end his final season with the Reds on a high.

Team news

Saed Kolasinac returned to the bench last weekend after missing the trip to Anfield with an abductor injury.

Giorgio Scalvini is ruled out for this clash and is the only notable absentee in Gasperini’s squad.

Conor Bradley limped off the pitch in the loss to Crystal Palace and his availability for the game remains unclear.

Ben Doak remains out with a knee injury while Joel Matip and Thiago Alcantara are out of the season with knee and muscle injuries respectively.

On a positive note for the Reds, Alisson Becker returned to the squad against Palace while Stefan Bajcetic stepped up his recovery by participating in an under-21s game last week.

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Diogo Jota have also made timely returns to the squad and could feature in the must-win game against Atalanta.


Until the final whistle, Liverpool are never ruled out of any tie irrespective of the scoreline. The Reds have come from behind to win multiple games this season.

While the Europa League presents a different scenario, the Reds only need to sort out their finishing problem having failed to convert any of their 40 shots in the last two games.

With Jota and Alexander-Arnold back in the squad, Liverpool are tipped to win but a clean sheet is unlikely.

We’re predicting a 3:1 win for Liverpool.

West Ham United vs Bayer Leverkusen

Newly crowned Bundesliga Champions, Bayer Leverkusen will hope to keep their treble hopes alive when they travel to London Stadium to face West Ham United.

Xabi Alonso’s side completely dominated the first leg tie, breaking down West Ham’s low block and recording barrages of attacks on the east London side before two late goals from Jonas Hofmann and Victor Boniface sealed a 2:0 win for Leverkusen at BayArena.

David Moyes will need to tweak a new approach to stop a rampaging Leverkusen attack that recorded 33 shots with all starting outfield players making a goal attempt.

However, the east Londoners will not only focus on the defensive aspect of the game, they also need to devise an attacking plan to upturn their 2:0 deficit and further extend the Black and Reds’ abysmal record of one win in ten away matches against English opponents in European competitions.

Team news 

West Ham are sweating over the fitness of talisman, Jarrod Bowen who is suffering from a niggling back issue which could pose a doubt to his availability on Thursday.

Lucas Paqueta and Emerson Palmieri are facing suspensions in a further blow to Moyes’ side while Kalvin Philips and goalkeeper, Alphonse Areola are out of contention with thigh and groin injuries respectively.

Alonso has a plethora of options at his disposal. The only notable absentee in his squad is Adam Hlozek who has been ruled out for the next few weeks with an ankle injury.


West Ham proved their attacking prowess in the 5:0 win over Freiburg in the round of 16.

However, in the absence of key players like Paqueta, Palmieri and possibly Bowen, repeating such a feat against a dominant Leverkusen side will be difficult.

We’re predicting a 1:1 draw.

Olympique Marseille vs Benfica

Benfica will look to reach their first European semifinals since 2014 when they travel to France to face Olympique Marseille at the Stade Vélodrome on Thursday night.

The Primeira Liga champions recorded a 2:1 win in the first leg and still hold the advantage heading into this encounter. Rafa Silva and Angel Di Maria had given Roger Schmidt’s side the lead before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang halved the deficit in the 67th minute to extend his record as the competition’s top scorer to 34 goals.

Les Olympiens are heading into this tie in dwindling form after recording five successive losses across all competitions. They gear up to face an in-form Benfica side that have lost only one of their last nine matches.

With the scoreline presenting hope of a possible turnaround, Jean-Louis Gasset will aim to salvage what has been a shambolic season that has seen the nine-time French Champions utilize three different managers so far this season.

However, the Portuguese side are also capable of inflicting more misery on Marseille having previously recorded away wins over Toulouse and Rangers in the competition.

Team news 

Marseille will be without Ismaila Sarr and Jonathan Clauss who are suffering hamstring injuries while Bamo Meite and Quentin Merlin are ruled out of this match with ankle injuries.

Valentin Rongier is another absentee with a knee injury while Jean Onana and Bilal Nadir will not make the squad on Thursday.

Benfica have a nearly fit squad with Juan Bernat being their only doubt for the trip to France.


Marseille are a poor team at the moment but playing in front of the home crowd could give a little advantage to the French side.

Despite this, Benfica are the much better side and are tipped to do the double over Marseille in this tie.

We’re predicting a 2:1 win for Benfica. 

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