Europa League quarters Preview - Quarterfinals 2nd Leg
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Europa League quarters Preview - Quarterfinals 2nd Leg

Europa League quarterfinal 2nd leg action takes place on Thursday night and we have you covered with our preview to all the games featuring Atalanta who take on Leipzig, West Ham and Frankfurt who travel to Lyon and Barcelona respectively and Rangers that welcome Braga. Check out our preview and predictions for Thursday night, and if playing online casino is your entertainment of choice, head over to Genting Casino and enjoy over 3000 of your favourite online slots and premium live casino tables.


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Atalanta v Leipzig

These two sides played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg to leave the tie firmly in the balance, though there could easily have been more goals with both sides hitting the woodwork twice, while Leipzig also missed a penalty. Atalanta will perhaps be the slightly happier of the two teams, forcing a draw on the road, though they’ve lost their last two league games either side of that result against Napoli (3-1) and Sassuolo (2-1).

Atalanta have struggled this term, currently languishing down in eighth place domestically after third-placed finishes in each of the past three campaigns. By contrast, Leipzig are enjoying an excellent 2022 so far as they’re W12-D4-L1, with the sole defeat inflicted away to Bayern.

Away from home, Leipzig have won each of their past six, racking up 24 goals in the process, including impressive victories over Hertha Berlin (6-1), Real Sociedad (3-1), Hannover (4-0), Greuther Furth (6-1) and Borussia Dortmund (4-1). There can be no doubts over their attacking prowess then, and they’ll expect to find the net against an Atalanta side that have consistently been involved in high-scoring affairs ever since Gian Piero Gasperini took over the reins back in 2016.

Atalanta have only failed to score in three of their past 15 matches, and just two of their past 21 at home, so both sides have the firepower to make an impression. The first leg may only have provided a goal apiece, but both sides had chances to add to that tally and we’d expect the same again here.

BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE

David James Exclusive: Hammers Can Win Europa League

David James Exclusive: Hammers Can Win Europa League

Lyon v West Ham

Lyon can’t stop drawing games at the moment, backing up the 1-1 stalemate in the first leg with another one by the same scoreline away to Strasbourg at the weekend. That leaves them with four draws from their past five outings, with the exception seeing them find a winner 10 minutes from time at home to Angers.

The same can’t be said for West Ham, with that first-leg draw their only stalemate from their past 10 outings. Their away form has to be a major concern, losing all five road trips in this time, and in fact they’re just W2-D3-L9 over 90 minutes on their travels since late November. Admittedly, seven of those defeats came against Man City, Arsenal, Tottenham (twice), Man Utd, Liverpool and Sevilla, though consistently losing games away to the top sides has to give cause for alarm ahead of this fixture.

David Moyes also has a potential problem at centre-back, with Angelo Ogbonna a long-term absentee, while both Kurt Zouma and Craig Dawson are doubts, though the latter is expected to line-up alongside Issa Diop at the back. Aaron Cresswell will also make way for Arthur Masuaku following his red card in the first leg, though Lyon also have their fair share of absentees.

Although the hosts were able to rest their entire defence at the weekend, goalkeeper Anthony Lopes and midfielders Tanguy Ndombele and Houssem Aouar all limped off with injuries. The latter two may recover in time, but Lyon were already without Maxence Caqueret, Rayan Cherki and Sinaly Diomande as it was.

15 of Lyon’s past 19 games have seen under 2.5 goals and it would be no surprise if the second leg followed suit. 10 of West Ham’s past 15 games have also seen fewer than three goals over 90 minutes, as have each of their past five in this competition, and neither side are likely to be too gung-ho here.

UNDER 2.5 GOALS



Barcelona v Frankfurt

Barcelona are motoring along under Xavi and are now unbeaten over 90 minutes in 23 matches, as only Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao have beaten them in extra time back in January. They’ve won nine of their last 11, including impressive victories over Valencia (4-1), Napoli (4-2), Bilbao (4-0) and Real Madrid (4-0), so it was somewhat surprising that they couldn’t wrestle a first-leg advantage in this tie.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Catalan’s form is how they’ve coped with a number of injuries. Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti and Ansu Fati remain sidelined, Dani Alves wasn’t registered in Barcelona’s European squad, while veteran Gerard Pique is also a doubt. In better news for Xavi, Sergino Dest and Memphis Depay could both be in line to return for this fixture.

Frankfurt have their own problems with centre-back Tuta suspended following his sending off in the first leg, while left-back Christopher Lenz and defensive midfielder Djibril Sow are both doubts. The visitors are now without a win in five, drawing four on the trot before a weekend defeat to Freiburg. They have however suffered just three defeats on their travels in 17 appearances, so shouldn’t be entirely discounted from a shock win.

Although Barcelona have been achieving good results, it’s worth noting that they can take a while to get going, leading at half time in just two of their past eight matches. Frankfurt have been level at the break in four of their last five, and have only trailed at half time in one of their past 12 on the road as they drew the opening 45 minutes on eight occasions.

DRAW/BARCELONA HT/FT



Rangers v Braga

Rangers picked up a much-needed win at the weekend as they thumped St. Mirren 4-0, with Kemar Roofe notching up a hat-trick to bolster his confidence. That’s just as well, with star striker Alfredo Morelos still on the sidelines, though aside from the Colombian, Ianis Hagi is Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s only other absentee.

Nuno Sequeira is a long-term absentee at left-back for the visitors, while 16-year-old winger Roger Fernandes is the only other player out injured. With that in mind, both sides are nearly at full strength, but Braga will be happier with their form ahead of this clash. The Portuguese outfit have lost just once since late February (W7-D3-L1), winning each of the past four which includes victories over Benfica and of course Rangers themselves.

Rangers have lost three of their last five outings as aside from the first leg, they suffered defeats to Celtic and in the previous round of this competition away to Crvena Zvezda. Home form should however prove key for the Gers, who are W11-D2-L1 at Ibrox under van Bronckhorst to date, as they registered clean sheets in all 11 of those victories. In fact, of the three occasions where they failed to shut out their opponents, two of them were in tough encounters against Borussia Dortmund and Celtic.

Although Braga are in good form, like Rangers, their most impressive results have typically come on home turf. On the road, they’re W5-D2-L7 since the start of November, as all but one of those five victories came over bottom-half sides domestically. In Europe alone, they’ve lost four of their last six on their travels, earning just the single win over Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets. With that in mind, home form should help Rangers take the win and they’ll be hugely disappointed if they can’t at least force the tie into extra time.

RANGERS TO WIN

 

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