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    Europa League: Last 16 first leg predictions

    The Europa League has reached the last 16 stage and the first legs will all be played on Thursday, 12 March. Here are predictions for each of the first legs, with three of them looked at in depth. 

     

    Rangers vs Bayer Leverkusen Thu 12 Mar 2020, 8.00pm (UK)

    One of the most intriguing ties sees Rangers go up against Bayer Leverkusen. Since Steven Gerrard took over in Glasgow in the summer of 2018, his greatest successes have come in continental competition and recent domestic results mean that the Europa League is now the main competition Rangers still have to fight for. 

    But those recent poor domestic results cannot be ignored. Since knocking out Braga, Rangers have lost 1-0 twice and have done so against the bottom two clubs in the Scottish league, going out at bottom-placed Hearts in the Scottish Cup and then falling at home to second-bottom Hamilton in the league. Meanwhile, Bayer Leverkusen have won nine of their 11 games since the winter break and Kai Havertz is in great form. 

    Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen win

    NFL Betting

     

    LASK vs Manchester United Thu 12 Mar 2020, 5.55pm (UK)

    LASK reached the Europa League group stages for the first ever time this season and have had a good run so far, knocking out AZ Alkmaar in the last round. Now, though, they face a huge test as they’ll be taking on Manchester United

    This already-difficult task is made even tougher for the Austrian side as Philipp Wiesinger and Petar Filipovic are both suspended for the first leg. LASK play with a back three and these two centre-backs have usually occupied two of those spots. To have them missing for this crunch fixture could be very costly and their European journey might be ending in this round. 

    Prediction: Manchester United win

     

    Inter vs Getafe Thu 12 Mar 2020, 8.00pm (UK)

    Getafe coach José Bordalás lamented this draw, saying that his side have had two of toughest draws possible already in this competition. He’s not wrong, but he should take inspiration from the way his Getafe side made Ajax sweat so much as they defeated the Dutch team 3-1 on aggregate in the last round. 

    Now they take on an Inter side that have their focus on the league and they will do so at an empty San Siro for the first leg, as this is one of the games to be played behind closed doors due to the Coronavirus. With Getafe one of the most unique sides in all of Europe and so tough to play against, they could get a result in this first leg.

    Prediction: Draw 

     

    Other predictions: 

    Roma vs Sevilla: Draw

    Eintracht Frankfurt vs Basel: Eintracht Frankfurt win

    Olympiacos vs Wolves: Draw 

    Wolfsburg vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Wolfsburg win 

    Istanbul Basaksehir vs Copenhagen: Copenhagen win 

     

     

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