Europa League, Round of 32 – Predictions
Here we give our long-term predictions and analysis for some of the games in Round of 32 in Europa League. Sevilla looks to a new European triumph and the first opponent is Lazio. Dinamo Zagreb face Victoria Plzen and Eintracht will try to continue their great performance against Shakhtar. Sporting Lisbon have a heavy task against Villarreal.
LAZIO - SEVILLA
Prediction : Sevilla to qualify at 1.50
Lazio failed to go far last season in Europa League. The situation of the eagles is similar now. They continue to have strong battles for the top 4 in the league, but now the competition is bigger. Everyone knows what success Sevilla have achieved in recent years in the Europa League. They are also the classiest team here and although they are also currently involved in an important fight for top 4 in the league, they are the better team. Besides, they are also hosts in the second match, so it’s no coincidence that bookies have identified them as favorites. The Spanish teams are one of the most persistent in recent years. Lazio does not have the routine of Sevilla at the moment, and priorities and attitudes are also of paramount importance.
SHAKHTAR DONETSK - EINTRACHT FRANKFURT
Prediction : Eintracht to qualify at 1.65
At paper, it is certainly an overwhelming statement to say that Eintracht is better team than Shakhtar. Still, the Ukrainians have a champion mentality and each year they play in the Champions League groups. Last time they succeeded in a group with Napoli and Man City. However, this year they are not that good. The reasons for believing Eintracht to qualify are two. Firstly, Eintracht played extremely motivated in this tournament and proved it with six wins in groups, where teams such as Marseille and Lazio took part. They have no big chances to be in the top 4 in the Bundesliga, so EL is priority. Secondly, Shakhtar is a different team, when playing in the UCL and Europa League. Their attitude here is not the same. Last year they were eliminated from Celta. Once again, the home factor can be crucial with these two even teams.
VIKTORIA PLZEN - DINAMO ZAGREB
Prediction : Zagreb to qualify at 1.55
Zagreb are big leader in their championship. They lead with a lot of points in front of the second and will try to make their lead even more impressive, when the matches with Plzen come. So they will be able to let players rest in the league for better preparation for European battles. At the same time Plzen is fighting for the title in the Czech Republic, so their priority is definitely there. There is no way Viktoria to win the Europa League and Zagreb have more quality. The Croats will host the second match, which is also an advantage, so it is logical for them to continue in this fixture. Still, Dinamo did not lose in 11 consecutive Europa League matches and qualified in a strong group this season, while Plzen made it to this stage and after a great deal of luck in UCL.
SPORTING LISBON - VILLARREAL
Risky prediction : Sporting to qualify at 2.30
Judging by the instant form, Sporting has a huge chance of going through. Still, this team is very classy and despite the sale of top players in the summer and the scandal related to the fans and the club, they remain one of the best teams in Portugal, and a regular participant is the European tournaments, which is always a factor. Since Keizer is ahead, Sporting has had only an expressive wins. Villarreal this season is mildly terrifying. There are currently no good signs for improvement and the truth is that the yellow submarine is in relegation zone. In this situation, obviously, they will fight for survival this campaign, which becomes the number one priority. Villarreal are favorites, because in the European competitions they perform well, but Sporting seems more capable and more concentrated at the moment and probably will in February, too.