The Europa League quarter-finals will be concluded with a round of second-leg matches on Thursday as four teams advance to the penultimate stage of this season’s tournament. Manchester United are closest to securing their semi-final spot after easing to a 2-0 first-leg win at Granada, but English peers Arsenal are far from as certain after drawing 1-1 at home to Slavia Prague.
Villarreal also have one foot in the next phase after clinching a slim away win over Dinamo Zagreb last week, a feat AS Roma replicated as they lead Ajax 2-1 returning to Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.
What TV Channel are the Europa League Quarter-Finals On?
Half of the remaining Europa League runners will fall before they reach the final four. Thursday’s second-leg fixtures can be viewed via Unimás, TUDN or Univision. You can live stream Europa League matches on fuboTV.
UEL Quarter-Final Schedule (2nd Leg)
Thursday, April 15
Manchester United vs. Granada (2-0), 3 p.m. ET - UniMás
Slavia Prague vs. Arsenal (1-1), 3 p.m. ET - TBD Univision Network
AS Roma vs. Ajax (2-1), 3 p.m. ET - TUDN
Villarreal vs. Dinamo Zagreb (1-0), 3 p.m. ET - TUDNxtra1
Manchester United vs. Granada
It was all smooth sailing for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s motley crew in Granada last Thursday, when Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes scored in either half to collect a fairly routine win. The Red Devils did accrue five yellow cards in Spain, however, which has taken a toll on the home side’s options for the second leg. Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay will sit out the reverse fixture through suspension, while Eric Bailly is out due to COVID-19 measures and Rashford’s foot complaint could see him rested.
Bailly’s unavailability has left Victor Lindelof and academy product Axel Tuanzebe as United’s only fit central defenders, but Solskjaer spoke highly of the latter as he eyes what would be his fifth senior start this season:
“Axel has always been a very positive boy and hardworking. Victor and Harry have played, they've formed a very good partnership. Eric's come in and played really well when he's played so his [Axel's] chances have been limited, but he's been training well and he's ready for this opportunity.”
Granada would have to beat their Old Trafford hosts by at least two goals to stand any chance of continuing in the competition, but United are now unbeaten in eight games at home. Midfield talisman Paul Pogba is among those who would miss any semi-final first leg with another caution, but Solskjaer said his players will only consider the fixture in front of them:
Diego Martinez is without a crop of his own key men because of suspensions, which is why neither of Domingos Duarte or Yan Eteki will feature. Neydor Lozano, Luis Milla and Quini are also ruled out due to injuries, but Roberto Soldado can come back into the lineup following a domestic suspension. Granada beat Real Valladolid 2-1 on Sunday to end a spree of four straight defeats and secure their first away win in any form since January 28.
Slavia Prague vs. Arsenal
What might have been a low-stress jaunt to Prague is suddenly a much tenser affair after Arsenal conceded a last-minute equaliser to Slavia last time they featured in Europe.
Tomas Holes’ levelling header means Slavia are in fact now the power players in this matchup, happy to relax (to some extent) in the knowledge that they’ll go through if the scores remain the same:
It’s an awkward spot for Mikel Arteta to find himself in as the Gunners find themselves staring down the possibility of entering their first season since 1995-96 without any European soccer. Arsenal have qualified for some form of continental competition in every portion the past quarter-century, but that run is now set to end unless they can win the Europa League.
The anxiety for Arsenal—who only led through an 86th-minute Nicolas Pepe goal at the Emirates—is that Slavia Prague are renowned as tough customers to topple on their own patch. The Czech contenders are unbeaten in 23 home matches across all competitions (18W, 5D) and haven’t lost a competitive match on their own soil since November 2019. James Benge of CBS Sports underlined the high level of competition it’s taken to beat Jindrich Tripisovsky’s side of late:
Slavia will boast an almost clean bill of health for the second leg, but David Luiz and Kieran Tierney remain missing at the back for Arsenal, while question marks remain over the involvement of captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
AS Roma vs. Ajax
Roma will have earned new plaudits as Europa League contenders by beating Ajax away from home last week, with the winner of this tie advancing to meet Solskjaer’s United in the semis. Roger Ibanez showed off a calm pair of feet (and chest) at a corner to secure the spoils in Amsterdam, inflicting upon their Dutch hosts a first defeat in 24 matches:
The Giallorossi are the last Italian team remaining in either of Europe’s major tournaments this season, and Paulo Fonseca will be as aware as any that his foes are down but far from out. Bruno Peres will replace Rick Karsdorp on the suspension list for the second leg, while Riccardo Calafiori should deputise for Leonardo Spinazzola at left wing-back. Fonseca could call upon Henrikh Mkhitaryan after the Armenian returned from a month’s absence in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Bologna.
Visiting Ajax are without either of their starting goalkeepers—Andre Onana or Maarten Stekelenburg—who join Daley Blind, Perr Schuurs and Noussair Mazraoui on the treatment table. The Godenzonen scored first to apply the earlier pressure in the opening leg, but Roma have hardly been unbeatable at the Stadio Olimpico, losing there three times already in 2021. Roma beat Shakhtar Donetsk out of the Europa League’s last 16 and are close to adding another notch ahead of their second European semi-final in four seasons.
Villarreal vs. Dinamo Zagreb
The stage is set for Villarreal to book their berth in the Europa League semi-finals ahead of Dinamo Zagreb. The Spanish club is ahead with an away goal and has a stern reputation at home, which is why it feels ominous that they’ve won only three of their last eight games at the Estadio de la Ceramica.
The Yellow Submarine was sunk 2-1 at home to La Liga strugglers Osasuna on Sunday, ending a run of six straight wins across all competitions:
It’s a good thing for Unai Emery, in that case, that Villarreal don’t need to beat Dinamo again to advance through to the semi-finals. Gerard Moreno’s penalty winner in Zagreb means even a draw would suffice, while a goal for Thursday’s hosts would guarantee Dinamo must score at least two to have a chance of progressing.
Emery will also consider the fact he rested many of his usual starters for this weekend’s slip against Osasuna, with a lot of changes to come when the Europa League melee resumes. Dinamo have an attacking conundrum to solve with regular frontman Bruno Petkovic still likely to be sidelined, with the Croats desperate to score in their Spanish expedition.