Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

UEFA Europa League: Round of 16, 2nd leg Preview

Posted in European Football by peterbein on March 17, 2010
Milan Jovanović

Milan Jovanović was one of the scorers for Standard Liège in an impressive 3-1 away win at Panathinaikos

The second legs of the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 take place on Thursday night and each of the teams left in the competiton will want to be in Friday afternoon’s draw which takes place at UEFA HQ in Nyon, Switzerland. Stoppage Time looks forward to each of the second leg ties:

ANDERLECHT (Belgium) v HAMBURGER SV (Germany)

The German side have a 3-1 lead from the first leg and are favourites to go through to the next round. Goals from Joris Mathijsen, Ruud van Nistelrooy and David Jarolím have given HSV the advantage even though the Belgians pulled one back in spectacular style thanks to a Jonathan Legear free-kick. The Belgians, though, may fancy their chances of an upset as they have an away goal to take into the second leg and defeated Athletic Bilbao at home in the Round of 32 second leg so les Mauves are in good form.

FULHAM FC (England) v JUVENTUS FC (Italy)

Turin giants Juventus should have enough to go through to the next round after disposing of London club Fulham FC 3-1 in the first leg played in Italy. Nicola Legrottaglie and Jonathan Zebina gave the Bianconeri an early 2-0 lead before a very flukey deflection from a Dickson Etuhu shot gave Fulham hope on 36 minutes. However it was Hasan Salihamidžić who restored Juve’s two goal lead on the edge of half-time and there was to be no further scoring. Fulham FC coach Roy Hodgson has his work cut out if his side are to progress to the next round.

LIVERPOOL FC (England) v LILLE OSC (France)

The French side have a slender 1-0 advantage from the first leg thanks to an late Eden Hazard free-kick which evaded everybody in the Liverpool penalty box and crept in to the far post. The deficit could’ve been worse for Liverpool as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the post with a shot just minutes later but the Reds managed to hold out and may just feel that they have a chance of progression into the last eight when the teams play at Anfield on Thursday night. Lille though will not lay down for Liverpool as the French side are currently doing well domestically (they’re fourth in their domestic league) and will want to compliment this with a good run in Europe. However the UEFA Europa League represents Liverpool’s only hope of silverware this season and this great club will want to improve on its record in this competition which they have won on three occasions in its previous guise of the UEFA Cup. *** “Stoppage Time” will be at Anfield on Thursday and you can read my report of the game on Friday in the latest installment of the “Away Days” section ***

OLYMPIQUE de MARSEILLE (France) v SL BENFICA (Portugal)

This should be a thrilling contest between two former European champions who have been looking for further European success for far too long. The Portuguese side thought that they had the first leg won in Lisbon as Maxi Pereira’s 76th minute goal appeared to have won the tie for Benfica but the French side had other ideas and secured the draw in stoppage time thanks to Hatem Ben Arfa’s headed equalizer. The Stade Vélodrome in Marseille is one of European football’s most intimidating arenas and the Eagles from Lison will want to engineer a classic counter-attacking away tie in order to qualify for the next leg. One thing is for sure though and that’s that this game will be amongst the more exciting in the Round of 16.

SPORTING (Portugal) v ATLETICO de MADRID (Spain)

This Iberian derby finished 0-0 in the first leg at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid and is difficult to predict. Atleti have a good record in cup competitions this season (that’s if you don’t include their Champions League campaign) and have many potential matchwinners in the form of Sergio “Kun” Agüero, Diego Forlán and José Antonio Reyes. However the Portuguese side were clinical when finishing off Everton FC in the last round and will hope that home advantage will spur them on again and have many potential matchwinners of their own with Liedson, João Moutinho and Miguel Veloso prominent in the side. A blow to the Lions is that they will be without Tonel and Leandro Grimi in the second leg after both picked up red cards in Madrid.

STANDARD LIEGE (Belgium) v PANATHINAIKOS (Greece)

The Belgian champions stunned Greek side Panathinaikos in the first leg by taking an early 2-0 goal lead in Athens thanks to goals from Axel Witsel and Milan Jovanović. Panathinaikos pulled one back early in the second half thanks to a header from a Dimitris Salpingidis free-kick but Les Rouches enhanced their lead further thanks to a goal from Igor de Camargo to give the Belgians a 3-1 first leg lead. After the Greek league leaders had disposed Italian side AS Roma in the previous round hopes were high that Pana could go far in this competition but, on the evidence of this first leg, the Belgians look the safer bet to go through especially as their home record in recent years is very good.

WERDER BREMEN (Germany) v VALENCIA CF (Spain)

In what was an eventful game in Valencia the German side will be as happy to have a 1-1 draw as Valencia but for different reasons. Werder took the lead in the first half through a Thorsten Frings penalty but were pegged back by Valencia thanks to a close range effort Juan Mata from a rejuvenated side who had lost Éver Banega to a red card only moments earlier for something which was unclear to everybody in the stadium other than the referee, Englishman Martin Atkinson. Once Valencia were down to ten men they began to take the game to the German visitors and in the end Bremen were relieved to be going into the second leg with the game level after their goalkeeper Tim Wiese made a string of saves to keep them alive in this tie.

VfL WOLFSBURG (Germany) v RUBIN KAZAN (Russia)

This clash between the champions of Germany and Russia ended in a 1-1 draw which keeps things interesting for the second leg in Germany on Thursday. Rubin struck first in the first leg thanks to Christian Noboa’s headed goal in the 29th minute on a pitch on which it was impossible to play neat, passing football as there were so many holes and bumps after the adverse winter conditions that have afflicted Russia in recent months. Zvjezdan Misimović equalized for Wolfsburg in fine style shooting a goal from distance and from which he gave the Rubin keeper Sergei Ryzhikov no chance. This game of champions could have the potential to be one of the classic matches in the UEFA Europa League this season especially with both teams having strong attacking players.

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  1. Football Tips by Wayne said, on March 18, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Torres should has gained back his sense of goal after scored 2 on Monday night. He will keep scores tonight and brings Liverpool to Europe League quarter final.

    Visitor Lilie are a tough team and greatly perform in this season. However, they are still a level lower compare to Liverpool. In a must win critical situation, I am backing the Reds to win in style.


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