The ink is nearly dry on Arsenal’s passport exit stamp from Europe, and Chelsea will have a hard time getting two past Napoli at home next week in order to survive another round of the Champions League, so when it’s all said and done, the only English clubs competing in Europe will be the Manchesters. And Stoke, maybe. Let’s have a look at some of these scintillating Europa League matchups:
Marcelo “Loco” Bielsa has an uphill battle against Loko Moscow if his basque boys are going to overcome a 2-1 road loss. Bilbao needs a 1-0 win to advance.
Valencia overcame the clichés and beat the Potters on a cold, rainy night in Stoke. Stoke will need to turn in a very un-Stokelike performance at the Mestalla in order to keep their Europa dreams alive. It doesn’t look good. At least a 1-0 result to force ET and PKs. Perhaps the Potters could borrow Messi for a couple hours?
In the showdown of USMNT players, Jozy Altidore’s AZ Alkmaar have a 1-0 lead on Sasha Kljestan’s Anderlecht as they take the bus down to Belgium for the second leg. I like Alkmaar’s chances to advance, here.
Diego “Cholo” Simeone’s Atlético Madrid came to Rome, they saw, and they conquered Lazio 3-1. I’ll be shocked if the Padroni di Roma are able to turn that result around at the Vicente Calderón.
Manchester United have a two goal lead against an Ajax side that was soporific at home last week. SAF won’t require the services of Carnaval Wazza to protect the lead and punch United’s ticket to the next round.
Full match schedule after the jump.
Athletic Bilbao v. Lokomotiv Moscow
Club Brugge v. Hannover 96
PAOK Salonika v. Udinese
PSV Eindhoven v. Trabzonspor
Standard Liege v. Wisla Krakow
Twente Enschede v. Steaua Bucuresti
Valencia v. Stoke City
Anderlecht v. AZ Alkmaar
Atletico Madrid v. Lazio
Besiktas v. Braga
FC Metalist Kharkiv v. SV Salzburg
Manchester United v. Ajax Amsterdam
Olympiakos v. FK Rubin Kazan
Schalke 04 v. Viktoria Plzen
Sporting Lisbon v. Legia Warsaw
2:45 p.m. Derby County v. Leicester City
5:30 p.m. Olimpia (Paraguay) v. Lanús (Argentina)
7:45 p.m. The Strongest (Bolivia) v. Juan Aurich (Peru)
7:45 p.m. Universidad Católica (Chile) v. Atlético Junior (Colombia)