Even with the coronavirus scare, the Europa League tournament is still ongoing with 16 teams vying for the much coveted trophy.
The Round of 16 includes mouthwatering matchups to look out for with several European powerhouses taking center stage.
La Liga’s third best team in Sevilla will get to face Serie A’s AS Roma in what should be an interesting affair while Olympiacos get to face the Wolves after upsetting Arsenal in their Round of 32 matchup.
Elsewhere, Manchester United lock horns with an Austrian powerhouse in LASK while Inter Milan aim to improve their overall form especially with the Serie A season postponed indefinitely.
Today, SBOTOP gives you a quick roundup on some of the noteworthy news around these various Europa League participants.
Olympiacos deal Arsenal heartbreak
Olympiacos made good on their promise when they eliminated Arsenal in the competition despite not being favoured in Europa League last season.
It can be remembered that team manager Pedro Martins fired a warning despite being down 1-0 saying that the Greek side will never change their identity and that they can win against their Premier League counterparts.
And win over them they did as they scored a 2-1 victory over at the Emirates, thanks to a couple of goals coming from Pape Abou Cisse and Youssef Al-Arabi.
Olympiacos took advantage of Arsenal’s vulnerability in set pieces when Pape Abou Cisse scored off of a wonderful header after a corner kick at the 53rd minute.
With Arsenal looking to draw level, they leaned on to their star striker in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang towards the latter stages of the match. The Gabon, French native scored the Gunners’ first and only goal via a brilliant bicycle kick after a volley inside the pitch by his teammate.
However, Olympiacos would put the nail in the coffin when Youssef Al-Arabi scored off of a sublime slide kick six minutes later.
With the win, Olympiacos are slated to face off the Wolves in their next matchup. However, there had been murmurs that their fixture might be postponed due to the coronavirus scare.
The Wolves have reportedly made a request to the UEFA board to postpone their game especially since Olympiacos team owner Evangelos Marinakis was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus a few days ago.
Inter-Getafe CF matchup in jeopardy
According to our Europa League 2020 news, the match between Inter Milan and Getafe CF are likely to be postponed since it is set to be played in Italy, who has been hit severely with the coronavirus over these past weeks.
Getafe CF president Angel Torres implored the UEFA committee to find another venue for the games since they aren’t willing to travel to Milan and compromise their safety.
“We have asked the UEFA to look for an alternative venue for the Milan gane. We don’t want to go into the middle of the coronavirus, we don’t need to. We have asked for help too from the Spanish federation to demand that the game be suspended,” said Torres.
“Unless it changes a lot before the morning, Getafe will not travel to Milan. If we lose the tie, then we lose the tie. We were really hopeful about this game but if it has to be like this, then that’s the way it is,” he reiterated.
All sporting events have been cancelled in Italy in an effort to stop the transmission of the disease, which includes the Serie A.
In fact, the Serie A committee has already thought about stopping this season altogether but it remains to be seen on how they will determine the champions should they cancel it for good.
Paul Pogba back?
Manchester United have been hitting their stride lately ever since the arrival of Bruno Fernandes last January.
The Portuguese star has lit up Old Trafford as he continues to serve as their source of creativity in the middle, and that was in full display during their most recent win in the Manchester Derby.
Fernandes continues to do much of the yeoman’s work especially with Marcus Rashford out for the meantime, but several sources indicate that he might get some help soon.
Paul Pogba, who has yet to cement his place with the team since his record deal in 2016, has been reportedly open to signing a new contract with Manchester United. And he also mentioned that he would like to form a great partnership with Bruno Fernandes.
The French striker had a falling out with the team because of his unwillingness to play before plus his injuries didn’t help either.
Which is why him being interested going back to Old Trafford is quite shocking to say the least. Pogba though has already resumed first team training but it remains to be seen on whether he can get back to full fitness any time soon.
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