Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Premier League in Europe

Manchester City host RB Leipzig Tuesday hoping to advance to the Champions League quarterfinals. RB Leipzig proved a determined opponent at Red bull Arena in the first leg when a 70th minute Josko Gvardiol header drew the Bundesliga side level in a 1-1 draw. Pep Guardiola has failed to win Europe’s biggest trophy since taking over at Manchester City, staining an otherwise sterling resume in England. The Citizens, however, have never lost a Champions League home match.

Liverpool’s chances to advance aren’t looking good as they travel to Spain for their second leg with Real Madrid on Wednesday. The Reds collapsed in a 5-2 first leg loss at Anfield after taking an early two goal lead. A 1-0 loss at Bournemouth in the Premier League Saturday doesn’t raise hopes for manager Jurgen Klopp and his men to be able to overcome their three-goal deficit against the Madridistas.

Arsenal benefitted from a Sporting Lisbon own goal to equalize matters in a 2-2 first leg Europa League draw in Portugal. Mikel Arteta understandably rotated a number of players in that match as he balances the Premier League race with European competition. With tournament advancement now on the line at home Thursday, expect Arteta to play a strong squad and for the Portuguese to have a difficult time.

Manchester United will be on the road Thursday to face Real Betis in the second leg of their Europa League tie. The Red Devils have a three-goal cushion after walloping the La Liga side 4-1 last week at Old Trafford. Europa Conference League action will see West Ham hosting Cypriot squad AEK Larnaca Thursday at London Stadium. The Hammers took the first leg in Cyprus 2-0. 

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