Sevilla- Zenit St. Petersburg
Sevilla managed to eliminate their compatriots Villareal and drew recently against Barcelona, so their morale will be high before this match. Zenit had some problems against Italian side Torino but qualified for the 1/4 finals after a tough game in Italy. Their squad will be significantly weakened before this clash – Danny, Igor Smolnikov, Domenico Criscito and Hulk are suspended while Viktor Fayzulin will miss out because of an injury. The hosts have to worry only about the fitness of their goalkeeper Beto. Zenit are missing key players and Sevilla would like to have an advantage before the second leg in Russia, so this is a victory for the hosts for me.
Tip: 1 @ 1.67
Club Bruges – Dnipro
Both teams caused upsets in the previous round of the competition but now will have to face each other to decide who will go through to the 1/2 finals. Bruges defeated Besiktas while Dnipro eliminated the Dutch side Ajax. The hosts are undefeated so far in the competition and won their last five games in it. Dnipro’s form hasn’t been so impressive and they won just once from their six games away from home. Thomas Meunier is suspended for the Belgium side, which means Ruud Vormer or Davy de Fauw will replace him at right back. The visitors have three players coming back from suspensions, but Evgeniy Shakhov will miss out for the same reason. Bruges’ form has been very good and given their home advantage they’re the more likely team to come out with the win from this clash.
Tip: 1 @ 1.91
Dynamo Kyiv – Fiorentina
Dinamo made an amazing comeback against Everton and are now deservedly in the 1/4 finals of the Europa League. They lost only one of their last 11 games in all competitions and are looking confident before facing the Italian team. Fiorentina’s recent form has dropped and the Viola lost their last two fixtures, conceding six goals in the process. Despite Dynamo’s great home form, the Italians couldn’t win only one from their five away matches in the competition. Evgeniy Makarenko won’t be able to participate in the match because of an injury while Miguel Veloso is a doubt. The good news for them is the return of Younes Belhanda to the side. The visitors will be without the suspended Jose Basanta and the injured Giuseppe Rossi. Dynamo’s last four Europa League matches ended with more than 2.5 goals in them and considering Fiorentina’s leaky defense recently, this looks like a likely outcome.
Tip: Over 2.5 goals @ 2.20
Wolfsburg – Napoli
Probably the most interesting and evenly-matched clash from the four on Thursday will be the game between Wolfsburg and Napoli. Both teams had amazing Europa League campaigns so far and deservedly will play in the 1/4 finals. The hosts haven’t lost in their last five games in the tournament and are in great form overall. Napoli ended a bad streak thanks to their win against Fiorentina but in the tournament they’ve also been impeccable, avoiding defeat in their last seven fixtures. The German side’s only absence is Aaron Hunt who is injured while Rafa Benitez will have to deal without Walter Gargano and Michu. Wolfsburg’s home form has been impressive with them winning their last nine games at Volkswagen Arena. I just don’t see a way for Napoli to stop them extending this streak to 10.
Tip: 1 @ 1.83