The 2019-20 Europa League Restart: The Road to the Final

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Five months have elapsed after the last contest, as the UEFA Europa League resumed with the round-of-16 on 6th of August.

Manchester United played LASK this Thursday, beating the Austrian side 2-1 – qualifying for the quarter finals 7-1 on aggregate. While Inter scored 2 against Getafe to seal their place in the last 8 for the European Continental Cup.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Rangers were also amongst the sides playing their second league since the suspension of the league due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Leverkusen reached quarter finals after taking a 1-0 win at home after a 3-1 emphatic win over Rangers in the last-16 clash.

Isatanbul Basaksehir were the stronger side when they met Copenhagen FC, going 1-0 up for the second leg. However, Copenhagen came back stronger in the second leg with a 3-0 win finding themselves moving further in the competition.

Wolfsburg surrendered to Shakhtar Donestsk after the Turkish side scored 3, keeping a clean sheet to secure their spot in the quarter finals. While Basel won both the away and their home game against Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt to proceed to the last 8.

Wolves and the 5-time Europa League Champions Sevilla also bid themselves further on the road to the glory after claiming victory over Olympiacos and Roma respectively.

The change in the format of the 2019-20 Europa League Knock-Out stages due to COVID-19:

The knockout phase involves 32 teams: the 24 teams which qualified as winners and runners-up of each of the 12 groups in the group stage, and the eight third-placed teams from the Champions’ League group stage.

Following the competition restart in August 2020, a maximum of five substitutions will be allowed, with a sixth allowed in extra time.

In June of 2020, UEFA announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, the final stages of the competition would feature a format change.

The quarter-finals, semi-finals and final would be played in a single-leg format from 10 to 21 August 2020 in the German cities of Cologne, Düsseldorf, Duisburg and Gelsenkirchen. The matches will tentatively be played behind closed doors.

The 2019-20 UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final Draw:

  • Quarter Final 1: Manchester United (ENG) vs Copenhagen (DEN) [11th of August, 12:30AM IST] at Stadion Koln
  • Quarter Final 2: Inter Milan (ITA) vs Bayer Leverkusen (GER) [11th of August, 12:30AM IST] at Dusseldorf Arena
  • Quarter Final 3: Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) vs Basel (SUI) [12th of August, 12:30AM IST] at Arena AufSchalke
  • Quarter Final 4: Wolves (ENG) vs Sevilla (ESP) [12th of August, 12:30AM IST) at MSV Arena

The 2019-20 UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Draw:

  • Semi Final 1: Wolves (ENG) / Sevilla (ESP) vs Manchester United (ENG) / Copenhagen (DEN) [17th of August, 12:30AM IST] at Stadion Köln
  • Semi Final 2: Inter Milan (ITA) / Leverkusen (GER) vs Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) / Basel (SUI) [18th of August, 12:30AM IST] at Dusseldorf Arena

The 2019-20 UEFA Europa League FINAL:

The winner of the first semi-final vs winner of the second semi-final will clash in for the 49th edition of the Europa League.

The final was originally scheduled to be played on 27th of May 2020 at the Stadion Energa Gdańsk in Gdańsk, Poland. However, UEFA announced on 23 March 2020 that the final was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe.

  • In June 2020, the UEFA chose to relocate the venue. The final of the UEFA Europa League will be played on 22nd August, Friday at 12:30AM IST at Stadion Köln, Cologne.

Also read: The 2019-20 Premier League Team of the Season

Quarter Final 1: Manchester United (ENG) vs Copenhagen (DEN)

Manchester United are three games away from Europa League glory as they head to Germany for UEFA’s finals tournament. United can win their second Europa League title after winning 2016–17 UEFA Europa League against Ajax in the finals.

The Danish side shocked Turkish champions Istanbul Basaksehir in the last round to earn a spot in the last eight. But it will be tough going against United who eased past LASK Linz 7-1 on aggregate.

Quarter Final 2: Inter Milan (ITA) vs Bayer Leverkusen (GER)

Inter Milan are amongst the favourites to lift the 2019-20 UEFA Europa League title. Antonio Conte’s side saw Getafe 2-0 in Milan booking their trip to Germany, while Leverkusen beat Rangers 4-1 on aggregate.

Both Leverkusen and Inter have already qualified for the Champions League so it will be a match played with certain independence.

Quarter Final 3: Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) vs Basel (SUI)

The 2009 Europa League winners Shakhtar Donetsk face Basel for a place in the semi-final. The Europa League quarter-final will be hosted by Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, between Shakhtar Donetsk and Basel.

Shakhtar would generally stick to their offensive style of play. In the last 16, the Ukrainians rolled past Wolfsburg 5-1 on aggregate. So it will come as no shock that they are listed as favourites to come out stronger in the tie.

Quarter Final 4: Wolves (ENG) vs Sevilla (ESP)

Seville seemed like a really competent team as they kicked Roma out of the Europa League. The Spanish side enjoyed as they play in quarter-finals to see off Wolves.

Wolverhampton are another well-drilled squad that operates with lots of heart. However, Wolves in overall consistency are only a little behind the most successful team in the competition. Julen Lopetegui side who won it for record 5 times.

Also read: The return of the UEFA Champions League

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