Preview: 2014/15 UEFA Europa League – Round of 32
BSC YOUNG BOYS – EVERTON FC 25%-75%
Everton looks too strong: this could be one of the closest ties.
TORINO FC - ATHLETIC CLUB (BILBAO) 30%-70%
Another tie that could be quite close.
Torino’s luck in the draws has ended: they did their job reaching the Ro32, now it should be over for them, but they should go out quite satisfied.
Torino hasn’t a strong squad, they could have few chances only if were quite safe in Serie A and could field their best players.
FC SEVILLA – BORUSSIA VFL 1900 MONCHENGLADBACH 55%-45%
This should be a very open and balanced tie, anything can happen.
Sevilla is the Title Holder and must be respected, but probably it doen’t look best team in the competition.
In the Group Stage Borussia M. got two draws with Villarreal CF, that should be quite comparable with Sevilla: another proof that there isn’t a clear favorite.
VFL WOLFSBURG – SPORTING CP 60%-40%
This is one of the strongest tie, I’d give the Germans a bit more chances, but often Portuguese teams are almost able to boss this Competition, but this Sporting CP looks a bit weaker than Porto and Benfica.
AFC AJAX – LEGIA WARSZAWA 55%-45%
One of the weakest ties: Ajax should be a little bit favorite, but Legia had a wonderful Group Stage, so it should be quite balanced and open: athletic condition in February could make the difference.
AAB FODBOLD – CLUB BRUGGE KV 35%-65%
Probably this is the weakest tie: CB probably got the weakest unseeded team and it could have been much worse for AaB as well.
RSC ANDERLECHT – FC DYNAMO MOSKVA 40%-60%
Anderlecht performed quite well in a quite hard Group in CL, while Dynamo won all the matches of one of the weakest Groups in EL.
The Russians probably have a stronger squad, but the aftermaths of the long Winter break in Russian season are Always difficult to predict, so the tie could be quite balanced.
FC DNIPRO DNIPROPETROVSK – OLYMPIACOS FC 45%-55%
A quite balanced tie, Olympiakos is quite strong, but sometimes not very regular, while Dnipro didn’t impress in GS and moreover can’t be helped by its fans and the winter break could affected them.
TRABZONSPOR – SSC NAPOLI 35%-65%
Napoli is stronger, Rafa Benitez takes the Competition quite seriously, but isn’t very solid and can be beated by weaker teams.
Trabzonspor got another Italian opponent in few years after Inter and Juventus: they were an average option among the unseeded teams.
EA GUINGAMP – DYNAMO KYIV 30%-70%
Dynamo Kyiv is (much) stronger, but sometimes in EL is a negative surprise and the winter break probably won’t help them.
It won’t be a too easy for the Ukrainians, but they should be able to advance.
VILLARREAL CF - FC (RED BULL) SALZBURG 50%-50%
As usual, FC Salzburg is very unpredictable, they can beat (much) stronger opponents and be defeated by (much) weaker ones, so I don’t dare to choose a favorite.
AS ROMA – FEYENOORD ROTTERDAM 70%-30%
AS Roma is stronger, but their position in Serie A table in February could make the difference: if they were still close to Juventus, they could field several replacements (the h2h is just after one leg) and Feyenoord could have few chances.
Both teams are well supported, and I presume that there could be troubles between the fans.
PSV – FC ZENIT 40%-60%
Zenit is stronger but is often unpredictable in European Competiotions, and the long Winter break should make them even more unpredictable, so it’s not unthinkable for PSV to advance.
LIVERPOOL FC - BESIKTAS JK 55%-45%
Another English team for Besiktas in this Season (after Arsenal and Tottenham), and the Turkish team has Always performed more than decently against them.
I think that last Season Liverpool overperformed, but this year there isn’t Suarez anymore and they’re not having a good period.
The Reds are maybe just a little bit favorite, but if Besiktas fielded its best team and Liverpool not, the Turkish side would be the team to beat.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR FC – ACF FIORENTINA 60%-40%
Tottenham was probably the worst option for Fiorentina among the unseeded teams, but Fiorentina was probably the most Dangerous one among the seeded Italians, because they usually take EL quite seriously, they have a quite long cover (currently not on the front) and play a more European football.
The English side is a bit favorite, but I’d not consider Fiorentina already out.
CELTIC FC- FC INTERNAZIONALE MILANO 35%-65%
An historical draw: a good one for Inter, but it probably could have been worse for Celtic as well.
Inter has a decent squad, but not a great one, and Mancini, who is a very overrated Manager to me, is not used to manage these kind of teams.
Inter could change during the Winter market, but they could have Financial Fair Play issues and Celtic looks quite lucky this Season, so the Italian team is favorite, but they must be very careful.