Europa League: Fixtures, Favourites and Final – What you need to know

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Liverpool return to European action, albeit the competition we didn’t want to be in, with the Europa League round of 32 this week. Here’s all the info on the competition.

05.12.2012, Stadio Friuli, Udine, ITA, UEFA EL, Udinese Calcio vs FC Liverpool, Gruppe A, Training, FC Liverpool, im Bild Schriftzug "UEFA Europa League", steht die zweithoechste Spielklasse der UEFa vor dem aus? // Banner "UEFA Europa League", is the second highest division of UEFA out before? during Training of Liverpool FC before the UEFA Europa League group A match between Udinese Calcio and Liverpool FC at the Stadio Friuli, Udinese, Italy on 2012/12/05. EXPA Pictures © 2012, PhotoCredit: EXPA/ Juergen Feichter

Liverpool enter in the round of 32, meaning they are still eight games away from reaching the final – and therefore nine games away from winning the competition and subsequently achieving qualification for next season’s Champions League.

 

Besiktas

Liverpool’s opponents in the round of 32 are Turkish side Besiktas, who are managed by Slaven Bilic and currently sit top of the Super Lig table, one point ahead of Fenerbache.

They finished top of Europa League Group C, ahead of Tottenham who they drew 1-1 with at White Hart Lane and beat 1-0 in the final group game.

With their new 41,000 seater stadium currently under construction, the Ataturk Olympic Stadium is their temporary home – the scene of course for Liverpool’s 2005 Champions League final success.

Demba Ba is their star forward, he scored five goals so far in the competition this season.

 

Round dates

Should Liverpool progress past Besiktas they’d be in the last 16, which takes place in March. All the dates are below:

Round of 32 – 19 February 2015 – 26 February 2015
Round of 16 – 12 March 2015 – 19 March 2015
Quarter-finals – 16 April 2015 – 23 April 2015
Semi-finals – 7 May 2015 – 14 May 2015

 

Favourites

Liverpool are currently joint second favourites to win the Europa League, alongside Wolfsburg. Roma and Napoli are joint favourites, with Villareal slight outsiders.

Inter Milan, Everton, Tottenham, Ajax, Celtic, Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven are among the 32 sides in the competition.

Full fixtures for round of 32:

Aalborg BK v Club Brugge
BSC Young Boys v Everton
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk v Olympiakos
PSV v Zenit St Petersburg
Roma v Feyenoord
Torino v Athletic Bilbao
Trabzonspor v Napoli
VfL Wolfsburg v Sporting
Ajax v Legia Warsaw
Celtic v Inter Milan
Guingamp v Dynamo Kiev
Liverpool v Besiktas
Anderlecht v Dinamo Moscow
Sevilla v Borussia Mönchengladbach
Tottenham v Fiorentina
Villarreal v FC Red Bull Salzburg

 

The Final

The final of the competition takes place in Poland at the 56,000 easter Stadion Narodowy in Warsaw, on 27th May – three days before the FA Cup final and three days after the final day of the Premier League season, where Liverpool play at Stoke City.

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