Euro 2020 Special
 

Europa League Quarter-final Draw: Manchester United And Arsenal Likely To Meet In The Final

The route to finals for UEFA Champions League and Europa League have been cleared for the teams as the draws for both the leagues have been unveiled on Saturday. 

Manchester United will face La Liga side Granada while Arsenal will take on Czech side Slavia Prague FC in the quarterfinals. AS Roma play Ajax Dinamo Zagreb have been drawn against Villarreal. 

Here are our early preview of the upcoming quarterfinal fixtures of the Europa League:

MANCHESTER UNITED VS GRANADA FC

Manchester United are the favourites to win the Europa League as the Red Devils are in phenomenal form in the Premier League this year. 

They are certainly the strongest team among the sides remaining in the fray. Ole Gunnar Solskjær would be eager to claim a title for his side, with the Premier League title race almost decided in favour of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

Granada are debutants in the Europa League, who have had a dream run of sorts to reach the quarterfinals stage starting in the second qualifying round. 

The Spanish club is currently eighth in Serie A, and manager Diego Martinez will be planning to create another upset in the League. 

Prediction: Granada’s rise has been spectacular lately, but Manchester United are miles ahead of the Spanish side. The likes of Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, and Bruno Fernandes will make it an easy victory for the Red Devils.

ARSENAL VS SLAVIA PRAGUE 

The Gunners will be facing Slavia Prague starting their tie at home. It can be noted that Arsenal have defeated the Czech side in the group stages of the Champions League in 2007, with a thumping 7-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium. 

But the current Slavia Prague is very much a different side as Jindřich Tripišovský’s men have defeated both Leicester City and Rangers to reach the quarterfinals. 

Arsenal had a 3-1 lead going into their second leg against Olympiakos, which saw them through to the next stage despite losing 1-0 last night. 

If the Gunners beat their Czech opponents, they could have a reunion with their old boss Unai Emery in the semifinals. Emery was sacked by Arsenal and is currently managing Villarreal. 

The good news for both the English sides is that they are likely to face off each other only in the finals – with both of the teams are favourites to win the title. 

Prediction: The Gunners are the stronger side and would advance to the semifinals with ease.

AFC AJAX vs AS ROMA

Ajax would be hoping to avenge their 2017 final defeat against Manchester United. But first, they have to negotiate past Roma, who is the only Italian side remaining in the fray. The Dutch side are currently at the top of the table in Eredivisie, the top-tier of Dutch football.

While the English clubs are still the favourites to lift the title, Roma have reached the quarterfinals after thoroughly dominating their opponents with a 23-7 scoreline. 

The two teams haven’t faced each other since Roma succumbed to a 3-2 defeat against Ajax in the Champions League back in 2002. 

Prediction: This is most likely the tightest contest among the quarterfinals with two evenly matched sides going head-to-head. Ajax will likely sail through to the semifinals in the end, but don’t rule out Roma either. 

DINAMO ZAGREB VS VILLARREAL

The other Spanish side left in the contest in Villarreal will be taking on Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb in the quarterfinals of the Europa League. 

The Croatian side reached the last eight stage on the back of a stunning victory against Tottenham in the round of 16. 

Tottenham entered the second leg with a 2-0 lead over Dinamo, but the Croatians made a stunning comeback to win 3-0 in additional extra time to knock out the English side.

Prediction: Villarreal are undoubtedly the better of the two sides and Dinamo Zagreb would have to deliver another miracle performance like the one against Tottenham if they want to defeat the Spanish side.

ROUTE TO FINALS

The winners of Manchester United vs Granada fixture will meet one of Roma or Ajax in the first semifinal. The second semifinal will be held between the winners of Arsenal/Slavia Prague and Villarreal/Dinamo Zagreb. 

Both of the English sides will likely meet in the finals as they are the strongest teams left in the knockout rounds and are favourites to lift the title.

When: The first leg of the quarter-finals will be held on April 8, while the second leg will be held on April 16.Where to watch: Sony is the official broadcaster of the UEFA Europa League in India. The matches will be telecast live on Sony TEN 2, Sony TEN 2 HD, Sony SIX and Sony SIX HD TV channels. All games will be streamed live on SonyLiv.

 

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