Last week saw the draw for the last 16 of the Europa League and what a draw it was!
Of the remaining 16 teams, 3 have won European Cup / Champions League with 5 having contested finals.
With the Europa now offering a coveted place in the top competition it is more than worth winning.
Thursday’s look like they are about to provide a spectacle worthy of Europe’s 2nd competition. For too long the we have mostly ignored Coupe UEFA for a reason we actually can’t answer.
Perhaps the competition is too long? Maybe we don’t understand the 18:00 kick off times? You could argue there are too many teams we don’t know? Or are just blinded by the glamour of the Champions League?
We are looking at Liverpool v Man United for the 1st time in a non-domestic meeting. 180 minutes of packed European nights at 2 of the most iconic stadiums in world football. One of the most intense rivalries brought together on a stage we wouldn’t expect.
Throw in the bonus element of small travel time and a St Patrick’s day 2nd leg at Old Trafford, the Guinness will be flowing in the North West that’s for sure.
Add in high flying Tottenham v Borussia Dortmund, an all Spanish clash of Athletic Bilbao v Valencia and Sevilla going for a 3rd successive title…you have one hell of a competition remaining!
Realistically of the remaining sides who could honestly say they don’t want, or in some cases need, to win this trophy.
Which fan wouldn’t want to travel to a European final ?
We will be tuned into the latter stages with a keen eye on the outcomes of the afore mentioned ties.
Put aside the “Thursday – Sunday” debate and embrace it as an additional midweek game to watch.
So let’s all take a positive outlook into the remaining games, after all who knows…Mr Guardiola may just be strutting his stuff here next season if recent form continues.