While the top teams will be out to play in the Champions League, its little brother the Europa League also kick starts its knockout round with some intriguing ties. There are 3 English clubs in the running to make it to Warsaw for the final. Tottenham and Everton made it out from their respective groups while Liverpool were eliminated from the Champions League but were third in their group and hence made it to the knock out round of the Europa League.
While the teams have to do a bit of travelling, there is some incentive to win this year’s Europa League title as the winners would qualify for the Champions League for next season; here we try to predict how the English clubs will do in the round of 32.
Young Boys vs. Everton
Everton have a bit of an advantage as they play the first leg away from home in Switzerland, Young Boys have not been in the best of form as they have lost 2 out of their last 5 games. Everton themselves have not been in the best of nicks this season and this match will be a tough one to call.
If Everton click with their attacking talent, they could make it out from this tie. Everton do have the stronger side when compared to the Swiss side but it all depends to how well they travel and deal with the Premier League games in between, nevertheless, Everton should make it through.
Liverpool vs. Besiktas
Liverpool have the tough task of playing against Besiktas, who gave Arsenal a tough time in the qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. Besiktas would be playing at Anfield for the first leg and would be looking to nick a goal to give them an advantage.
Liverpool were horrible in their Champions League excursion but have really changed it all since the start of the new year with a new formation and players kicking into form. Liverpool will have their hands full when playing against a tough Turkish side, especially when Liverpool would have to travel to Turkey.
Besiktas have lost just one game in the last 10 games in the Turkish league, while Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 9 league games. Liverpool should just scrape through but just by the skin of their teeth.
Tottenham vs. Fiorentina
Tottenham have looked brilliant this season and will be looking for Harry Kane to continue his scoring run in the Europa League with the English striker having scored 5 goals this season in the competition.
Fiorentina have been in good form as well and are unbeaten in their last 6 games, they seem to be clicking at the right time which would not bode well for Tottenham but Pochettino has drilled his side well and the white of Spurs should knock out the Florence based side to make it 3 English sides in the next round.