The Europa League knockout fixtures are set to start this week and here is a look at what to expect.
Gunners to pick up from where they left
Arsenal will make a trip to the Borisov Arena for the first leg of their Europa League knock out fixture. BATE did what they had to do to advance and this was achieved courtesy of a very strong defensive organisation. Arsenal, on the other hand, went through the groups unbeaten, winning five out of six outings. The visitors have won each of their three traveling matches in the Europa League this season and they will be eager to pick up from where they left. All things considered, the Gunners are tough to oppose here and we expect nothing short of an entertaining fixture.
Goal fest as Lazio host Sevilla
Lazio have a huge task to overcome in the Europa League as they play host to Sevilla for their first knock out game. When we compare what Lazio achieved at home in the groups with Sevilla’s efforts on the road, you will agree that there are goals to be scored here. This is very likely seeing that both sides have plenty to offer going forward. The odds are evenly matched for an outright winner but this looks like a goal fest waiting to happen and Over 2.5 Goals is sure to land here.
Chelsea to bounce back
Chelsea will be seeking redemption following their 6-0 demolition away to Premier League champions Manchester City. Their next stop at Malmo in the Europa League is a must win for Maurizio Sarri, who is feeling the heat of managing a club like Chelsea. The Italian knows that making the top four might be a challenge now that they are sixth in the table and, if that were to be the case, then their only route to the Champions League will be through winning the Europa League. We should expect a strong showing from the Blues, who are desperate to show that they can cope with the pressure.
Low scoring affair as Inter Milan face Rapid Vienna
Rapid Vienna will play host to Inter Milan for the first leg of their Europa League tie. It is the Italians that head into the game as the favourites and deservedly so due to their history. We are expecting a tight and tense affair since the majority of both teams recent competitive results have seen very few goals scored at either end. The exceptions here are the 6-1 defeat for Rapid at rivals Austria Vienna and Inter’s 6-2 win over Benevento in the Coppa Italia. Four of Rapid Vienna’s last six matches have produced Under 2.5 Goals, whereas Inter have seen Under 2.5 Goals scored in five matches since that big win in the Coppa Italia.
Salzburg to extend unbeaten run
Salzburg will travel to Belgium to face Club Brugge in the knock-out stage as they look for their seventh straight win in the tournament. We are expecting another fine performance from the visitors, despite this being their first game back from the winter break. Club Brugge have played four league games this year, but their results have not been very convincing. The hosts have only managed one win since the start of the new year and, for that reason, the visitors should have enough to carry the day.