Archive for the ‘ Europa League ’ Category

Basel vs Tottenham Europa League Preview: Spurs face stern test to keep European quest alive

Vilas Boas

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

BASEL

Sommer
Steinhofer, Voser, Dragovic, Schar
Salah, Cabral, F Frei, Stocker
Streller, A Frei
TOTTENHAM

Friedel
Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto
Sigurdsson, Parker, Dembele, HoltbyDempsey
Adebayor

After being punished for their complacency at White Hart Lane, Tottenham are in need of a stellar showing to seal victory on their travels for the first time in six outings.

And with William Gallas (calf), Aaron Lennon (knee) and talisman Gareth Bale (ankle) all becoming fresh additions to the Spurs treatment table after last week’s encounter, Andre Villas-Boas will be forced into a number of changes to the starting line-up.

With Jermaine Defoe aggravating an ongoing pelvic injury, Emmanuel Adebayor is expected to lead the line on Thursday, whilst Kyle Naughton is expected to make way for Kyle Walker as the bustling right-back returns from suspension.

Gylfi Sigurdsson is likely to be handed a start after his late equaliser against Everton, alongside Michael Dawson who is expected to fill in for the injured Gallas and Brad Friedel will once again come in for Hugo Lloris.

Basel were little short of a revelation in the first leg, with Marco Streller, Valentin Stocker and Mohamad Salah all asking a number of questions of the Tottenham rearguard.

The tricky trio are all expected to start Thursday’s clash and may be joined by the experienced Alexander Frei if coach Murat Yakin elects to field two strikers on home turf.

Park Joo-Ho and Marcelo Diaz are both back in contention after returning from suspension, whilst the now-fit Cabral could claim a place in the starting eleven after his second half-cameo at White Hart Lane.

Philipp Degen has also recovered from injury, but is unlikely to displace Mohamed Salah in the starting eleven after the Egyptian’s sterling performance in the first leg.

  • Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel is the oldest player left in this year’s competition and, at 41, is older than both Andre Villas-Boas and Basel coach Murat Yakin.
  • Jan Vertonghen  has appeared in all 1020 minutes of Tottenham’s Europa League campaign.
  • Spurs and Rubin Kazan are the only two survivors from the seven clubs granted automatic entry to the Europa League at the group stage.
  • Tottenham have not won a game in any competition without the injured Gareth Bale scoring since New Years Day.
  • Basel have tasted defeat just once since November, when they lost 1-0 away to Zenit St Petersburg in the last-16 of the Europa League.
  • The Swiss champions have won their last four home Europa League games without conceding a single goal.
  • Basel have picked up 23 yellow cards and three red cards in this year’s competition, more so than any other side.

Rubin Kazan vs Chelsea Europa League Preview: Visitors looking to protect two-goal aggregate lead in Moscow

Torres headed goal

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

RUBIN KAZAN

Ryzhikov
Kaleshin, Navas, Sharonov, Ansaldi
Orbaiz, Natcho,
Kasaev, Eremenko, Karadeniz
 
Rondon
CHELSEA

Cech
Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Terry, Ake
Lampard, Mikel,
Moses, Oscar
, Hazard
Torres

Vladimir Dyadyun will compete for a place up front with Salomon Rondon for the hosts, who have no injury concerns to speak of.

Cesar Navas, Ivan Marcano and Roman Sharonov will fight for two places in the centre of defence, while Oleg Kuzmin may replace Gokdeniz Karadeniz on the right-hand side of midfield.

Chelsea face a potential dilemma at left-back, with the injured Ashley Cole’s (hamstring) usual deputy Ryan Bertrand (virus) unfit to travel. Nathan Ake is the club’s only other natural left-back, while Paulo Ferreira could fill in from his preferred right-back position.

Gary Cahill is still a couple of weeks away from returning after undergoing minor arthroscopic surgery to shave the meniscus on the knee he damaged in last month’s win against West Ham.

With Demba Ba cup-tied, Fernando Torres will continue up front, having scored twice in the first leg at Stamford Bridge.

David Luiz, Ramires and Juan Mata are likely to be rested after playing three games in less than a week, so John Terry, Frank Lampard and Victor Moses should come into the starting line-up.

  • Chelsea have won all five of their previous games against Russian sides, conceding just twice in the process.
  • The Blues beat Spartak Moscow 2-0 on their last visit to the Luzhniki Stadium, in the 2010-11 Champions League group stage.
  • John Terry  will make his 100th European appearance if he plays in Moscow.
  • Rubin‘s only previous home game against English opponents resulted in a 1-0 win over Tottenham in last season’s Europa League.
  • However, the Russians’ only three defeats in their last 22 European ‘home’ games have come when hosting their matches in Moscow, as opposed to their Tsentralnyi Stadion in Kazan.
  • Having already eliminated Europa League winners Atletico Madrid in the round of 32, Rubin could complete an unlikely double of knocking out the holders of both of last season’s European trophies if they overcome Champions League holders Chelsea.

Lazio vs Fenerbahce Europa League Preview: Biancocelesti have mountain to climb

Fenerbache player

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

LAZIO

Marchetti
Gonazalez, Biava, Cana, Radu
Ledesma
Candreva, Mauri, Hernanes, Lulic
Klose
FENERBAHCE

Demirel
Gonul, Yobo, Korkmaz, Ziegler
Kuyt, Topal, Meireles, Topuz
Baroni,
Webo

Goals from Pierre Webo and Dirk Kuyt last Thursday mean Fenerbahce are firmly in the driving seat ahead of the second-leg of this Europa League quarter-final.

Lazio will need all of the cutting edge they can muster in their quest to produce a comeback and progress to the semi-finals of the competition.

Their cause was dented somewhat in the first leg by the sending off of midfielder Ogenyi Onazi, meaning the Biancocelesti will be without his services at the Stadio Olimpico.

The game will also be played behind doors as part of Lazio’s punishment for repeated episodes of racist behaviour from supporters – the latest incident coming in February’s last-32 clash with Borussia Monchengladbach.

Fenerbahce will be without the injured Emre and Moussa Sow, while defender Bekir Irtegun is suspended.

DID YOU KNOW?
  • Lazio have won six, drawn one and lost two of their clashes with Turkish opposition.
  • The Biancocelesti last reached the quarter-finals of a Uefa competition back in 2002-2003 when they beat Besiktas in the last eight of the Uefa Cup.
  • Lazio striker Libor Kozak is the top goalscorer in this season’s Europa League, with eight goals in nine appearances.
  • Fenerbahce are unbeaten in five Europa League away games and have not conceded in their last four matches on the road in Europe.
  • Fener have now reached the quarter-finals of all three major Uefa club competitions – Champions League (2007/2008), European Cup Winners’ Cup (1963/1964) and this season’s Europa League.
  • Only two clubs have overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit in the knock-out phase of the Europa League.

Newcastle vs Benfica Europa League Preview: Hosts’ Europa League hopes hang in the balance

Cisse

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

NEWCASTLE

Krul
Simpson, Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Gutierrez

Cabaye, Anita
Marveaux, Sissoko, Gouffran
Cisse
BENFICA
 
Arthur
Pereira, Luisao, Garay, Melgarejo

Matic, Martins
John, Lima, Gaitan
Cardozo

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew faces a lengthy absentee list ahead of Thursday’s crunch Europa League clash, with Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring), Mathier Debuchy (cup-tied), Davide Santon (hip), Cheikh Tiote (hamstring) and Haris Vuckic (knee) all set to miss the game.

Elsewhere, long-term absentee Ryan Taylor is targeting a return in time for the derby game against Sunderland on Sunday, but Fabricio Coloccini and Massadio Haidara are for a place on the bench against the Portuguese outfit after suffering from back and knee strains respectively.

Benfica boss Jorge Jesus faces very few injury worries ahead of the return leg, with Eduardo Salvio remaining a doubt after picking up a knee problem shortly prior to the first leg between the two sides.

  • Newcastle have beaten Metalist Kharkiv and Anzhi Makhachkala in the knockout stages so far, both by a solitary 1-0 aggregate scoreline.
  • Papiss Cisse has now scored four goals in the 90th minute this season after his last-gasp winner against Fulham.
  • The Senegal striker, along with Shola Ameobi, is the Magpies’ top scorer in the Europa League with three goals each.
  • Alan Pardew’s side have conceded just once at home in six games in the competition this term – that goal coming during the 1-1 draw with Maritimo in November.
  • Oscar Cardozo  is Benfica‘s top goalscorer this year with 28 goals, six of which have come in Europe.
  • The Portuguese outfit have scored 107 goals so far this season in all competitons.
  • They currently sit four points clear ahead of Porto at the top of the domestic league and are unbeaten in 25 games since the start of the season.
  • Jorge Jesus’ side have won their last eight games in a row going into the clash.
  • Benfica’s last five quarter-finals against English opposition have all resulted in elimination.

Benfica vs Newcastle 1st Leg Europa League Preview: Eagles hoping to end run of five quarter-final eliminations to English teams

Nicolas Gaitan

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

BENFICA
Porto
Artur
Pereira, Garay, Luisao, Melgarejo
Matic, Martins
John, Lima, Gaitan
Cardozo
NEWCASTLE UNITED

Krul
Simpson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Taylor, Santon
Cabaye, Anita
Marveaux, Sissoko, Jonas
Cisse

Benfica coach Jorge Jesus has very few injury problems to contend with ahead of the visit of Newcastle United in the Europa League on Thursday.

Argentina international attacker Eduardo Salvio (knee) is expected to miss out, while wholesale changes are not predicted following the side’s impressive 6-1 win over Rio Ave at the weekend.

Brazilian striker Lima would have been a likely candidate to make way for former Real Madrid and Bolton man Rodrigo, but he may well retain his place after scoring a hat-trick on Saturday.

Alan Pardew has a considerable number of fitness worries, but the returns of Davide Santon and Tim Krul will be boosts.

Massadio Haidara, Cheikh Tiote and Fabricio Coloccini could potentially be in contention for at least a place on the bench, but they remain doubts.

Ryan Taylor (knee) has joined up with the squad in Lisbon to train, but will definitely not be involved, while Haris Vuckic (knee), Mathieu Debuchy (hamstring) and Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring) will also be unavailable.

  • So far this season, Benfica have scored 102 goals in all competitions.
  • The Eagles have not lost at home in the Europa League since December 2008 when they were defeated by Metalist.
  • Jesus’ team are on a run of four consecutive wins in the competition.
  • Benfica’s last five quarter-finals with English opposition have resulted in elimination.
  • Newcastle have beaten Metalist Kharkiv and Anzhi Makhachkala in the knockout stages so far.
  • Pardew’s side have kept a clean sheet in each of their last four matches in this competition.
  • However, the Magpies have only managed two away wins all season.
  • Shola Ameobi is Newcastle’s top scorer in the Europa League with three goals in eight matches.

Chelsea vs Rubin Kazan 1st Leg Europa League Preview: Blues remain in the hunt for a cup double

Terry and Hazard

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

CHELSEA
Porto
Cech
Azpilicueta, Terry, Luiz, Bertrand
Mikel, Ramires
Oscar, Mata, Moses
Torres
RUBIN KAZAN

Ryzhikov
Navas, Kuzmin, Kaleshin, Ansaldi 
Sharonov, Orbaiz, Eremenko, Karadeniz
Natkho,
Dyadyun

Rafa Benitez is set to make a number of changes to the side which knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup on Monday.

Defender Ashley Cole (hamstring) was forced off in the first half of that match and will be out for at least two weeks, so Ryan Bertrand is set to replace him again. Gary Cahill (knee) is a doubt so John Terry is likely to return in defence alongside Luiz.

Fernando Torres should return in attack with Demba Ba cup-tied in the Europa League. The attacking trio of Oscar, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard could be rotated.

Rubin Kazan boss Kurban Berdyev has a full squad to choose from. The Russian is likely to recall Bribas Natkho back to the starting line-up after the Israel international impressed for his nation last week.

  • The sides are meeting for the first time in Uefa club competition.
  • Chelsea have won all four of their previous games against Russian sides, conceding just one goal.
  • The Blues are unbeaten in 11 European games at Stamford Bridge
  • Chelsea could become the first side to win Uefa’s two top club competitions in reverse order in successive seasons.
  • Making their debut in the quarter-finals of a European tournament, Rubin Kazan are visiting London for a second time, having lost 1-0 at Tottenham in the 2011-12 Europa League group stage.
  • Jose Rondon  is the second highest scorer left in the competition with five goals since the start of the group stage.
  • Rafa Benitez and Andre Villas-Boas are the only coaches left in the competition who have won the trophy previously.
  • Rubin have not lost in five European away games this season.
  • Rubin winger Gokhan Tore was at Chelsea (2009–11). He helped the club’s reserve team to win the English title, but never made a senior competitive appearance.

Tottenham vs FC Basel 1st Leg Europa League Preview: Spurs continue Europa League hunt

Bale, Lennon, Vertonghen

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Friedel
Walker, Dawson, Gallas, Vertonghen
Livermore, Parker
Lennon, Dembele, Bale
Defoe
FC BASEL

Sommer
Park, Degen, Dragovic, Schar
Die, Stocker, Frei, Diaz
Streller, Gharbiyya

With the exception of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, Tottenham have a fully-fit squad at their disposal for the Europa League quarter-final first-leg clash with FC Basel at White Hart Lane.

The France international is still recovering from a knee injury he picked up on international duty last week, with Brad Friedel set to continue between the posts for Andre Villas-Boas’ side.

Both Michael Dawson and Aaron Lennon returned from injury for Saturday’s 2-1 win at Swansea and the duo are expected to start on Thursday, while William Gallas and Jake Livermore should be recalled.

Jermain Defoe has scored four goals in the Europa League this season and is likely to replace Emmanuel Adebayor as Spurs’ lone striker, but Sandro and Younes Kaboul remain long-term absentees.

Basel, meanwhile, have no new injury concerns ahead of their visit to north London, with Marco Streller, Fabian Frei and former Liverpool defender Philipp Degen all expected to line-out for the Swiss side.

  • The sides are meeting for the first time in Uefa competition.
  • A 4-1 loss at Inter in their round of 16 second leg ended Tottenham’s 10-game unbeaten run in Europe, which stretched back to last season’s Europa League group stage.
  • Defenders Kyle Walker and Jan Vertonghen have appeared in all 930 minutes of Tottenham’s Europa League campaign.
  • FC Basel are the sole reigning domestic champions still in the draw. They have also played more European matches this term than any other surviving team (16), having begun their continental campaign in the second qualifying round of the Champions League.
  • FC Basel have picked up 23 yellow cards and three red cards in this season’s Europa League, the most in the competition.
  • Alexander Frei – who will hang up his boots in the summer – has scored the most European club competition goals of any of the players left in the competition: 32 in 59 games.