Premier League Teams In The Europa League: Staff Picks

ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 25: A general view of Stadio Olimpico before the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 second leg match between Lazio and Galatasaray on February 25, 2016 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 25: A general view of Stadio Olimpico before the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 second leg match between Lazio and Galatasaray on February 25, 2016 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images) /

The Pride of London staff predict the outcomes of today’s Europa League ties involving Premier League squads.

The Europa League may not be as prestigious as the Champions League but winning it comes with its own fair share of rewards. The glory of winning a European Cup is first and foremost but there is also a financial windfall that comes from it.

An added wrinkle is that the winner of the Europa League is given a berth in next year’s Champions League, which should especially appeal to clubs currently outside the top four. Our staff here at The Pride of London have made their picks for each of the three matches. Let us know if you agree or not in the comments below!

Manchester United vs. FC Midtjylland – United lost the first leg 2-1

Eric: As much as I’d like to think that Moneyball Midtjylland can go into Old Trafford and finish the job from the first leg, I’m kind of leaning towards a very uninspiring 1-0 United victory that would get them through on away goals.

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Khaled: I think United get their collective heads out of their collective behinds and smash these upstarts to oblivion. I know they’re a boring side at the moment but these guys have their professional pride at stake and I can’t see them losing at home to Midtjylland. We all know how tricky mid-week European trips can be and I think they just underestimated these guys.

Devesh: Every time it seems that Louis Van Gaal is one game away from the sack he does just enough to avoid that fate. This Manchester United team really does not have much going for it but once again they will do just enough to bail out their manager and salvage some professional pride. 2-0 to Manchester United.

Ajitesh: United should avenge their surprise 1st leg loss by turning the Danes over. There is no doubt that they will be, ahem, ‘horny’ and with a restless Old Trafford crowd in attendance they will undoubtedly be spurred on. 3-0.

Andre: Louis Van Gaal finally makes Jose Mourinho’s phone ring with a 1-1 dud of a match. Depay will get his goal out of nothing, because that’s what he does; Van Gaal will instruct his team to loiter around the penalty box and wait for a glitch in the Matrix to hand them a goal, because that’s what he does. Without Rooney, Darmian, Fellaini, Schweinsteiger, Jones, Shaw, and Young…United is short on players with enough rebellion in them to go rogue and bail out Van Gaal.

Tottenham vs Fiorentina – First leg draw 1-1

Eric: This is a pretty interesting match.  Spurs have been playing extremely well in the league recently and I think they have  enough to get passed a tricky Fiorentina team.  I’m going with a 2-1 Tottenham victory, which would send them to the next round.

Khaled: Another home match for the Premier League teams where they will come out on top. A 1-1 result in Florence was a good way to start but this might be a bit more tricky if Harry Kane is indeed out with a nose injury.

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Spurs may also not be too bothered about Europa since they are almost assured Champions League football next season because of their place in the league. A slim 1-0 win should see them through but I would not be surprised if Fiorentina can sneak out with a victory.

Devesh: It may be a strange thing to say but I believe Spurs made a mistake playing such a strong team away to Fiorentina in the 1st leg. The consequence of that was their defeat to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup.

Spurs will finish in the top 4 so there was no real need to prioritize the Europa League over the FA Cup. That being said this Tottenham team is very strong and even without Harry Kane I expect them to go through. 2-1 win to Spurs.

Ajitesh: Spurs managed to bag a crucial away goal in the first leg‎ and as they return to White Hart Lane in the ascendency. However, Fiorentina will pose the hosts many problems with dreams of European glory pushing them on. This has extra time written all over it. 1-1 in regulation with Spurs nicking a goal in the additional 30. 2-1.

Andre: Spurs revitalized the old definition of ‘Spursy’ with a flaccid showing against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup. Those lapses this season have been few and far between, which is why they sport the highest goal differential (27) in the league and currently sit second.

Fiorentina are surprisingly third in Serie A but tend to let in quite a few goals when playing away. Neutrals should just enjoy watching Cristian Tello and Delle Ali off the ball and in possession. But for the invested, even without Lord Harry Kane, Spurs should win 2-1 and advance.

Liverpool vs. FC Augsburg – First leg draw 0-0

Eric: Even though Liverpool have the League Cup final to be concerned with at the weekend, I think the home crowd will be enough to see them through with a 1-0 win.

Khaled: European nights at Anfield always get the crowd riled up and the atmosphere rocking. Augsburg are a mediocre side this year and Liverpool should have won by one or two goals last week if Sturridge was at his best. I think the crowd gets behind them and they win 2-0 and it will not be close. The Reds also get Martin Skrtel back so they have some added steel in defense.

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Devesh: Liverpool will definitely have one eye on Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City. I expect Jurgen Klopp to play a strong team but not a full strength side. Liverpool have actually been quite poor at home, squeaking out wins. I expect the same this time around, 1-0 to Liverpool.

Ajitesh: With hopes of a top four finish all but dead, Jurgen Klopp should have his side primed for a strong Europa League push. A 0-0 result in the first leg, although disappointing, is not the end of the world and Liverpool should ride the support from the Kop End to victory. 2-0.

Andre: Liverpool already had a squad marked ‘handle with care’ and Klopp came in and tied it to the end of an AMG Mercedes and put his foot down. As a result, today’s XI will be selected by Hamstring Pull and ACL Injury. Still, most Bundesliga teams are nothing if not inconsistent and Augsberg have only scored three goals in 2016. 1-0 and a Klopp knee-slide.