Final Eight Battle for Remaining Europa Spots

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The last-16 stage of the Europa League plays to a conclusion on Thursday night with two British sides hoping to join Man United in the quarter-finals.

Wolves players celebrate a goal

The Europa League action continues on Thursday evening and there are four massive last-16 ties taking place, including the clash between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Olympiacos at Molineux.

Gers to Bow Out in Germany

At 17:55, Bayer Leverkusen welcome Rangers to the BayArena and it will be a difficult challenge for the Scottish outfit to qualify, given the fact they trail 3-1 from the first leg back in March.

Since that contest at Ibrox, Leverkusen finished fifth in the Bundesliga, meaning winning the Europa League is their only route into the Champions League, while the Gers’ 2019/20 campaign was curtailed early and they have already started the 2020/21 season.

Rangers defeated Aberdeen 1-0 last time out, a solid yet unspectacular start to proceedings, but their away record in Europe is a concern, with just four victories recorded from the last 20 attempts.

Leverkusen are on a seven-game unbeaten run at home in the Europa League – winning four and drawing three – and they look good value at 20/33 to pick up the win on Thursday.

Tight Affair Expected in Duisburg

Also at 17:55, Sevilla go up against Roma in a single-leg last-16 tie at the Schauinsland-Reisen-Arena in Germany and it is difficult to pick out a winner between two in-form teams.

The Spanish side are on a 17-game unbeaten run in all competitions, which helped them finish fourth in La Liga, while Roma have won seven matches in an eight-game unbeaten streak as they ended their Serie A campaign in fifth.

Sevilla have been built on a strong defence, having kept four clean sheets from their last five outings, while their Italian opponents’ focus has been at the other end of the pitch, scoring 23 goals during this purple patch of form.

Looking at the prices in the match winner market, Roma definitely look appealing at 49/20 and they get the nod over 11/10 Sevilla.

Frankfurt to Gain Consolation Win

Eintracht Frankfurt make the trip to Switzerland to take on Basel at 20:00 and although qualifying for the quarter-finals looks a difficult challenge, the German outfit should still be able to win Thursday’s encounter.

Adi Hutter’s men were bang out of form when they met in the first leg, going down 3-0 that day, but they have turned things around since then and are on a five-game unbeaten run.

Basel are also on an impressive run, having not lost in seven, although four of those have been draws and they haven’t scored in their last two outings, both which ended in 0-0 draws.

Eintracht will need to give it a go on Thursday and although they are expected to fall short in qualifying for the next round, backing them to win the second leg at 20/21 looks good value.

Wolves to Edge Past Greek Opposition

The final game of the night, also kicking off at 20:00, comes from Molineux as Wolverhampton Wanderers look to successfully negotiate the second leg of their last-16 tie against Olympiacos.

It was 1-1 when these two teams met back in March although Wolves will feel they should have come away with a lead, given the fact Ruben Semedo was sent off for the hosts 28 minutes into the game.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s men know winning this competition is their only way of securing European football for next season and they will be confident of getting the job done at Molineux, where they have won six of their last seven Europa League matches.

However, Olympiacos will be no pushovers and they have already knocked out Arsenal in the last round, while they won a record 45th Greek title this season and have won their last two games.

It will be a tight affair in the West Midlands but Wolves get the nod to win at odds of 10/13, while the 1-0 scoreline for the hosts also appeals at 21/4.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

A single-handicapper, James always offers an interesting insight to the world of golf, with extensive knowledge of both the US and European Tours. James also has a wealth of information about the domestic and international football scene.
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