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Dortmund descend on Liverpool, Sevilla to sink Bilbao in Europa League quarters

Holly Thackeray | April 13, 2016

It’s part two of the Europa League quarter-finals with the second legs poised to be cinematic sequels to the first thrillers, which left all four fixtures finely balanced ahead of Thursday night.

There are no dead rubbers here, with the final four places still very much to play for, as Jurgen Klopp welcomes ex-club Borussia Dortmund to his new Liverpool home, while Sevilla host Athletic Bilbao, Braga travel to Shakhtar Donetsk and Villarreal visit Sparta Prague…

Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund

  • Europa League
  • Thursday, April 14th
  • Kick-off: 20:05 BST
  • Anfield, Liverpool
  • Live on BT Sport Europe

Dortmund eyeing away goal at Anfield

Before this Europa League rivalry gets underway, Dortmund fans are reportedly set to unveil a touching tribute ahead of kick-off, with a Black and Yellow 96 banner to be unfurled by the visitors at Anfield, as a mark of respect the eve before the 27th Hillsborough anniversary.

Though, the German giants will not forget they have ground to make up against the Reds and former boss Jurgen Klopp, with Dortmund still odds-on 4/5 favourites to progress in this clash of Klopp clubs.

FC Schalke 04 vs Borussia Dortmund

Thomas Tuchel’s team are 11/8 to defeat their hosts in 90 minutes, but Liverpool undoubtedly boast the Anfield advantage after sneaking an away goal and are 19/10 for victory on the night, or a superb 16/1 to win it in extra-time, in what will be an emotional atmosphere.

Punters can also back this game to go all the way, with odds of 25/1 for either side to secure safe passage to the semi-finals by winning on penalties.

Sturridge not scared of Hummels

The Bundesliga big-guns will again be looking to poacher Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (6/1 to dispatch a double or better) and wily wingman Marco Reus (6/4 to strike anytime) to make the difference after centre half Mats Hummels (8/1) headed an equaliser for his side in Germany.

Though, Dortmund’s failure to kill off Liverpool, who are unbeaten at home in the Europa League this term, before the return could prove costly.

Liverpool v Stoke City - Barclays Premier League - Anfield

The Reds certainly seem to lack fear ahead of the fray, as striker Daniel Sturridge said of facing Hummels: “I’m at his level, so I don’t look at him as anyone who’s bigger than me or better than me or I’m in awe. Not at all. He’s the same as me.”

Sturridge is 5/1 to live up to those words and strike last, while Belgian goal threat Divock Origi has hit three in his last two games, including at Dortmund and is 5/1 to bag the opener again.

Sevilla v Athletic Bilbao

  • Europa League
  • Thursday, April 14th
  • Kick-off: 20:05 BST
  • Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Seville
  • Live on BT Sport Extra 2

Bathtubs to beat Bilbao back at home

Sevilla were full of surprises in the first leg at the San Mames Stadium as they secured a rare away win, which has left the current Europa League champions at even-money to win this return in normal time and odds-on 1/8 shots to reach the semis.

All the Bathtubs needed was a break in the away and they got it, as goals from Thimothee Kolodzieczak and Vicente Iborra helped them fight back from an earlier Aritz Aduriz effort.

Athletic Bilbao v Sevilla - UEFA Europa League - Quarter Final - First Leg - San Mames Stadium

The Sevillistas have not been sunk by Basque’s Bilbao at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan since 2011, with goal machine Kevin Gameiro bagging a brace to beat them 2-0 in January La Liga action, so it seems as though the Lions had their best chance back in Bilbao.

Williams’ Bilbao blow

The guests are just 13/5 for a win on the night now that inspirational attacker Inaki Williams has been ruled out of the rumble, with all eyes on what Aduriz and Iker Muniain can do in the youngster’s absence, with the former seeking another strike against Seville.

“There are so many demanding games. We’re at a time in the season when the games pile up and the burden of the entire season is felt,” Bilbao boss Ernesto Valverde said.

France Soccer Europa League

“After the result [in Bilbao], our chances [of reaching the semis] have dropped by 50 per cent, so we must exploit [the second leg] to the full.”

Shakhtar Donetsk v Braga

  • Europa League
  • Thursday, April 14th
  • Kick-off: 20:05 BST
  • Arena Lviv, Lviv
  • Live on BT Sport Extra 3

Donetsk dangermen to finish off the job

Shakhtar (5/2 to score three or more on home soil) should feel comfortable of progressing to the final four after snatching two away strikes in Portugal, but complacency could prove a curse, as Braga (15/4 long shots for glory in 90 minutes) showed by bagging a late consolation.

The Primeira Liga outfit are not out of the running yet, but the Ukrainian club (7/10 match favourites) have won this crown before back in 2009 in it’s old UEFA Cup guise and certainly have the tools to do so again.

Portugal Soccer Europa League

Argentine attacker Facundo Ferreyra, also known as “Chucky” capped-off Shakhtar’s scoring in the first leg and will be seeking to notch another, while Brazilian forward Taison is also a dangerman on his home turf.

While, in the hope of hauling back a 2-1 deficit, Braga boast super sub Wilson Eduardo who kept his side in it with a last-gasp goal in the reverse.

Sparta Prague v Villarreal

  • Europa League
  • Thursday, April 14th
  • Kick-off: 20:05 BST
  • Generali Arena, Prague
  • Live on BT Sport Showcase/BT Sport 2

Czech underdogs to test Villarreal

Having overcome Sparta Prague, who continue to pose a tough test to teams from Europe’s most lauded footballing nations, 2-1 back in Spain, the Yellow Submarine (10/11 match favourites) must now cling on to their slim lead in the Czech Republic.

The Generali Arena is where the Czech capital club last held Lazio before ousting the Italians in Rome, so though Villarreal can afford a draw at 27/10, the surprise Spanish package will need to aim for more lest they suffer a nervy finish or late shock.

Sparta Prague v Villarreal - UEFA Europa League - Quarter Final - First Leg - El Madrigal Stadium

Iron Sparta are certainly capable at 14/5 of a victory at home, and 11/4 to qualify for the final four, with forward David Lafata in form and defender Jakub Brabec having bared his teeth for the Czech’s in the first leg.

Though, the potency of prolific Cedric Bakambu, who bagged a brace in the reverse and also struck against Getafe last time out, along with the scheming menace of Denis Suarez, should see the Spaniards through.

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Coral’s top tip: Liverpool look tasty at 16/1 to beat Dortmund in extra-time.

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