The first legs of the Europa League quarterfinals take centre stage tomorrow, with Manchester United and Arsenal both favourites to advance.
United are riding high in the Premier League, in second place behind their all-conquering neighbours Manchester City and play overachieving Spanish side Granada.
Arsenal, on the other hand, are struggling in 10th place in the league and coming off a beatdown at the hands of Liverpool. Despite being favoured, they’ll have their hands full with Czech side Slavia Prague.
The other two quarterfinal matches are Dinamo Zagreb against Villarreal and Ajax up against Roma.
Europa League, 1st Leg
While not exactly surprise quarterfinalists, Granada are hardly an expected quantity at the pointy end of a European competition. But they got past Napoli in the Round of 32 and are very strong defensively, something they’ll need against heavily favoured United. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have also been strong in defence during their Europa League run, conceding only once in four matches against Real Sociedad and A.C. Milan.
Arsenal face a formidable task against a solid Slavia Prague team that saw off Leicester in the Round of 32 and Rangers in the Round of 16. Slavia are unbeaten domestically, have only given up just 15 goals in 25 games and have kept five clean sheets in the Europa League. The Gunners, meanwhile, are struggling in the Premier League but seem to save their best for this competition. They battled past Benfica and Olympiakos and this tie should be just as difficult.