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Thursday's Europa League predictions including Arsenal vs. Benfica

Sports Mole provides score predictions for all of Thursday's Europa League last 32 second legs, including Arsenal vs. Benfica.


Arsenal vs. Benfica (Thursday, 5.55pm)

Arsenal's Bukayo Saka celebrates scoring against Benfica in the Europa League on February 18, 2021© Reuters

Arsenal will be aiming to put the missed opportunities of the first leg behind them when they travel to Athens for their 'home' tie against Benfica in the last 32 of the Europa League.

The two sides played out a 1-1 stalemate in the first leg in Rome, with Bukayo Saka cancelling out Pizzi's penalty in the second half.

We say: Arsenal 1-0 Benfica


Arteta has undeniably improved Arsenal's defensive stability since taking over, and it was only a lapse of concentration from Emile Smith Rowe that prevented them from coming up trumps in the first leg. The Gunners should have scored more than the one goal in Rome, and they were able to take some positives from their defeat to City, so we expect Arteta's side to grind out a narrow win and advance to the last 16 at the expense of an underwhelming Benfica.

Our tipster partners are predicting a home win.

> Click here to read our full preview for this match

> How Arsenal could line up against Benfica

> Arsenal injury, suspension list vs. Benfica


Rangers vs. Antwerp (Thursday, 5.55pm)

Rangers' James Tavernier in action with Royal Antwerp's Felipe Avenatti in the Europa League on February 18, 2021© Reuters

After a dramatic seven-goal thriller in Belgium last week, this Thursday's Europa League second leg encounter between Rangers and Royal Antwerp has a lot to live up to, with the hosts having the edge as they look to progress to the last 16 for the second successive season.

Meanwhile Antwerp, who last travelled to Scotland in a European competition 32 years ago, are looking to cause an upset and advance to the next round for the first time since 1989.

We say: Rangers 2-1 Royal Antwerp


Royal Antwerp proved last week that they should not be underestimated heading into Thursday's match and with up to three key players back fit, the Belgians will travel to Ibrox confident that they can salvage a comeback.

However, Rangers have an impeccable home record which has seen many teams struggle to break them down this season. Even with the loss of James Tavernier and Kemar Roofe, the Gers still have enough quality and experience in their side to get the job done and progress to the last 16.

Our tipster partners are predicting a home win.

> Click here to read our full preview for this match


Villarreal vs. Salzburg (Thursday, 5.55pm)

Villarreal coach Unai Emery reacts in the Europa League on February 18, 2021© Reuters

Red Bull Salzburg will be looking to overturn a two-goal deficit on Thursday when they travel to take on Villarreal in the second leg of their Europa League round-of-32 tie.

Goals from Paco Alcacer and Fernando Nino in the first leg gave the Spanish outfit a crucial lead coming into this game, while their two away goals could also turn out to be important in deciding the tie.

We say: Villarreal 2-1 Red Bull Salzburg


This definitely has the potential to be a very unpredictable affair, as Salzburg look to attack to reduce their deficit, while Emery's side will aim to defend their lead and advance to the round of 16.

The Austrian outfit will definitely set up in an attacking system, and we see them breaking Villarreal down, but we expect the Yellow Submarine to take advantage of Salzburg committing bodies forward, and catch them on the break, coming out of this game with a narrow win and a fairly comfortable aggregate victory.

Our tipster partners are predicting a home win.

> Click here to read our full preview for this match


Hoffenheim vs. Molde (Thursday, 5.55pm)

Hoffenheim coach Sebastian Hoeness pictured on February 18, 2021© Reuters

Hoffenheim take on Molde in the second leg of their Europa League last-32 knockout match, with the tie finely poised after last week's 3-3 draw on neutral territory in Villarreal.

Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim do have home advantage on their side in the second leg, albeit without fans, which they will be hoping can help carry them through into the next round.

We say: Hoffenheim 3-1 Molde (6-4 on aggregate)


We expect Hoffenheim to have learned their lessons from the first leg and keep Molde at arm's length, especially with home advantage on their side.

Whether Kramaric starts or appears from the bench, the Croatian has the ability to make a decisive difference if it proves to be required.

Our tipster partners are predicting a home win.

> Click here to read our full preview for this match


Napoli vs. Granada (Thursday, 5.55pm)

Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso reacts in the Europa League on February 18, 2021© Reuters

Facing the onerous task of overcoming a two-goal deficit from last week's first leg, injury-hit Napoli host overachievers Granada on Thursday, in the last-32 of the Europa League.

The La Liga outfit continue to make waves in their impressive debut continental campaign and are now intent on finishing the job at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, to claim a place in Friday's last-16 draw.

We say: Napoli 2-1 Granada


The dream could be set to continue for modest Granada, as their more illustrious opponents continue to struggle with both injuries and expectations.

Napoli's only hope of overturning their deficit will be if they can somehow summon the spirit and cohesion shown against Juventus earlier this month. Expect the Partenopei to hit the net at least once, due to the opposition's obvious defensive deficiencies, but their makeshift side may come up just short without 12th-man support from the Stadio Maradona faithful.

Our tipster partners are predicting a home win.

> Click here to read our full preview for this match


Shakhtar vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv (Thursday, 5.55pm)

Shakhtar Donetsk coach Luis Castro in the Europa League on February 18, 2021© Reuters

Maccabi Tel Aviv travel to Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday evening looking to overturn a 2-0 deficit in their Europa League last-32 tie.

Away goals from Alan Patrick and Tete during last week's fixture in Israel have given the Ukrainian side full control ahead of the reverse leg.

We say: Shakhtar Donetsk 3-1 Maccabi Tel Aviv


With little option but to go in search of away goals, we expect Maccabi to come out firing on all cylinders. However, a bold approach in Shakhtar's own backyard is a risky strategy, and it would be a surprise if the home side do not cruise through to the last 16.

Our tipster partners are predicting a home win.

> Click here to read our full preview for this match


Ajax vs. Lille (Thursday, 5.55pm)

Yusuf Yazici celebrates with Lille teammates after scoring against AC Milan on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Ajax and Lille gear up for an intense battle at the Johan Cruijff ArenA on Thursday evening as both teams aim to advance to the last 16 of the Europa League.

Lille appeared to be heading for a first-leg triumph last Thursday, but the Eredivisie champions marched to a 2-1 win thanks to late goals from Dusan Tadic and Brian Brobbey.

We say: Ajax 2-2 Lille


Lille's away form has been nothing short of sensational since the turn of the year, but Ajax's record in all competitions also makes for pleasant reading for Ten Hag and co. The Eredivisie leaders dominated the first leg and deservedly came up trumps, so in spite of the fact that Les Dogues will prove a force to be reckoned with on the attacking front, we expect an enthralling second leg to end all square and Ajax to progress to the last 16.

Our tipster partners are predicting a home win.

> Click here to read our full preview for this match


Brugge vs. Dynamo Kiev (Thursday, 8.00pm)

Club Brugge head coach Philippe Clement pictured on November 4, 2020© Reuters

It is all to play for between Club Brugge and Dynamo Kiev as the sides are locked at 1-1 heading into Thursday's Europa League last-32 second-leg tie.

Brandon Mechele struck to cancel out Vitaliy Buyalskiy's opener in Kiev, with that away goal giving Brugge a slim advantage heading into the reverse fixture at Jan Breydel Stadium.

We say: Club Brugge 2-1 Dynamo Kiev (3-2 on aggregate)


Draw specialists Kiev will know that they do not necessarily have to win this game to advance, as long as it does not finish 0-0.

However, Brugge have a good home record in Europe and have won 11 of their last 12 matches in all competitions, so we can see the home team progressing in normal time.

Our tipster partners are predicting a home win.

> Click here to read our full preview for this match


Man Utd vs. Real Sociedad (Thursday, 8.00pm)

Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring for Manchester United against Newcastle United in the Premier League on February 21, 2021© Reuters

Barring a complete catastrophe, Manchester United will aim to ease into the last 16 of the Europa League when they welcome Real Sociedad to Old Trafford for the second leg of their last-32 battle.

The Red Devils are 4-0 up from last week's first leg and are expected to advance to the next round with minimal difficulty, even with a much-changed team.

We say: Manchester United 2-1 Real Sociedad


It would be foolish to expect another 4-0 drubbing in the second leg given the numerous changes expected on the hosts' end, and United need not go all out for a victory here, especially with Chelsea to come at the weekend. Sociedad have lost two more defenders ahead of this match to add to their growing list of absentees, and while this game should be a much tighter affair, Solskjaer's men should have no trouble advancing to the last 16.

Our tipster partners are predicting a home win.

> Click here to read our full preview for this match

> How Man United could line up against Real Sociedad

> Man United injury, suspension list vs. Real Sociedad


AC Milan vs. Red Star (Thursday, 8.00pm)

AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic pictured on February 13, 2021© Reuters

Two former European champions are set to thrash out qualification to the Europa League last-16 on Thursday evening, as AC Milan resume hostilities with Red Star Belgrade at San Siro.

With the destiny of the tie remaining in the balance after an eventful 2-2 draw in the first leg, two of Europe's grandest names go into the decider in wildly contrasting domestic form.

We say: AC Milan 1-0 Red Star Belgrade


A potentially tense duel for a last-16 spot will see Milan make the most of their away goals advantage and keep the in-form Serbian champions in check.

Breathing new life into a stuttering season may be too much to ask from Thursday's appointment at San Siro, but the Rossoneri can at least return to winning ways and stay on track for a least one trophy from what has - until recently - been a stellar campaign.

Our tipster partners are predicting a home win.

> Click here to read our full preview for this match


Leicester vs. Slavia Prague (Thursday, 8.00pm)

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers pictured in February 2021© Reuters

Leicester City play host to Slavia Prague on Thursday evening with the two teams locked at 0-0 after the first leg of their Europa League last 32.

Each team will be relatively satisfied with the outcome of the game in the Czech Republic, keeping the tie in the balance ahead of the fixture at the King Power Stadium.

We say: Leicester City 2-1 Slavia Prague


Failing to score an away goal last week is not ideal for Leicester, who will fear that Slavia can take full advantage in the East Midlands. However, Leicester may benefit from having to push for victory, something that they have made a habit of this season.

Our tipster partners are predicting a home win.

> Click here to read our full preview for this match


Roma vs. Braga (Thursday, 8.00pm)

Roma's Lorenzo Pellegrini celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates against Inter Milan on January 10, 2021© Reuters

Well placed to reach the last-16 of the Europa League for the second season in succession, Roma host underdogs Braga at Stadio Olimpico on Thursday evening, holding a 2-0 lead from the first leg in Portugal.

Faced with ten men for most of the second half last week, the Serie A side established a comfortable advantage and will be strong favourites to see off the talented Iberian outfit on home turf.

We say: Roma 2-2 Braga


Roma's much-changed XI could encounter a number of difficulties at the Olimpico, as Braga will not exit Europe lightly and could potentially punish their hosts' makeshift back line at least once.

However, the Giallorossi possess the final-third nous and individual quality required to get the job done and give them a shot in the arm ahead of a major Serie A clash with reeling Milan on Sunday.

Our tipster partners are predicting a home win.

> Click here to read our full preview for this match


Dinamo Zagreb vs. Krasnodar (Thursday, 8.00pm)

Dinamo Zagreb's Iyayi Atiemwen celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates in the Europa League on February 18, 2021© Reuters

Dinamo Zagreb hold a slim advantage heading into the second leg of their Europa League last-32 second leg with FC Krasnodar on Thursday evening.

The Croatian champions prevailed 3-2 in last week's reverse fixture in Russia and will be looking to see the job through at Stadion Maksimir.

We say: Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 FC Krasnodar (4-2 on aggregate)


Zagreb did the hard work by grinding out a narrow victory in the away leg and now have to see things through on home soil.

The Blues have performed well in Europe this campaign and we can see them stretching their winning streak on the continent to a sixth game with victory here.

Our tipster partners are predicting a home win.

> Click here to read our full preview for this match


B. Leverkusen vs. Young Boys (Thursday, 8.00pm)

Bayer Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz pictured on February 21, 2021© Reuters

Bayer Leverkusen take on Young Boys in the second leg of their last-32 Europa League knockout tie, with the Germans looking to overturn the 4-3 deficit from last week.

Young Boys led 3-0 at half time in a topsy-turvy encounter, with Leverkusen's second half fightback making them the marginal favourites to progress on Thursday.

We say: Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 Young Boys

(6-5 on aggregate)
We can envisage another highly entertaining affair on Thursday, with both sides more at ease attacking than they are defending.

Leverkusen's three away goals could ultimately prove pivotal, as Young Boys will have to open up should they fall behind.

Our tipster partners are predicting a home win.

> Click here to read our full preview for this match


PSV vs. Olympiacos (Thursday, 8.00pm)

PSV Eindhoven coach Roger Schmidt in the Europa League on February 18, 2021© Reuters

PSV Eindhoven head into the second leg of their Europa League last 32 tie with Olympiacos on Thursday evening trailing 4-2 on aggregate.

Despite the bonus of scoring two away goals in the first half, a late fourth for the Greek outfit has given the visitors an advantage ahead of the reverse fixture.

We say: PSV Eindhoven 3-1 Olympiacos


There have been goals aplenty in PSV's recent matches, something which we expect to continue on Thursday night. While we do not anticipate the Dutch outfit keeping a clean sheet, Schmidt's side have the firepower to make the difference at the other end of the pitch, potentially helping the club through to the next stage by the closest of margins.

Our tipster partners are predicting a home win.

> Click here to read our full preview for this match

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pictured in February 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City33245469244577
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd32199464352966
3Leicester CityLeicester32185958372159
4Chelsea321510750311955
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham32167953421155
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs331581056381853
7Liverpool32158954381653
8Everton31147104340349
9Arsenal32137124436846
10Leeds UnitedLeeds32144145050046
11Aston Villa31135134435944
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves32118133241-941
13Crystal Palace31108133352-1938
14Southampton32106164058-1836
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3298153553-1835
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton32713123338-534
17Burnley3289152645-1933
18Fulham33512162543-1827
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom3259182862-3424
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3242261756-3914

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