The first leg of the UEFA Europa League knockout Round of 16 begins this Thursday. Here is who I think will make their way to the UEFA Europa League quarterfinals.
Eintracht Frankfurt (GER) vs Inter Milan (ITA). This match-up will be the best fixture in the knockout Round of 16. Frankfurt has the scoring trio of Haller, Jovic, and Rebic, but Inter has the scoring along with a stronger defense. Pick: Inter Milan.
Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) vs Benfica (POR). Benfica has the defense to shut Zagreb down. Pick: Benfica.
Sevilla (ESP) vs Slavia Prague (CZE). Having the first leg of this fixture helps Slavia Prague, but the advantage that Sevilla carries at home could put this matchup out of reach after Thursday’s match. Pick: Sevilla.
Arsenal (ENG) vs Rennes (FRA). When Arsenal coach Unai Emery coached in France, he used to dominate. He will remind Rennes of his dominance with a loaded Arsenal squad. Pick: Arsenal.
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Zenit (RUS) vs Villareal (ESP). Villareal has chosen to focus upon the Europa League instead of the regular season. The results have been night and day, and the good results in Europa should continue. Plus, Zenit should not have a weather advantage now in Russia. Pick: Villareal.
Chelsea (ENG) vs Dynamo Kyiv (UKR). Kyiv has a strong midfield, but they were stuck with the worst draw in this round with Chelsea. Pick: Chelsea.
Napoli (ITA) vs Red Bull Salzburg (AUT). Salzburg will make this fixture very interesting with their attack, but Napoli is very good with its counterattack. Pick: Napoli.
Valencia (ESP) vs Krasnodar (RUS). Krasnodar has a strong team, but they will not be able to handle the constant pressure from Valencia. Pick: Valencia.
Pic is from Pixabay.com.