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The Europa League Round of 32 second legs keep coming on Thursday.
[ LIVE: Europa League scores ]
After Manchester United, Schalke and Krasnodar all booked their spots in the last 16 on Wednesday, the 13 remaining clashes take place across Europe on Thursday.
Tottenham Hotspur host Belgian outfit Gent at a sold-out Wembley Stadium as close to 90,000 fans will roar on Mauricio Pochettino‘s men. Harry Kane and Co. will need all the help they can get too as Tottenham trail 1-0 from the first leg in Belgium last week.
Elsewhere, APOEL Nicosia, Borussia Monchengladbach and Shakhtar Donetsk will all look to overturn narrow deficits, while Ajax, Osmanlispor and Genk will be hoping to make home advantage count with their ties locked in a stalemate.
It’s an uphill battle for Villarreal, Sparta Prague and AZ Alkmaar, but strange things happen in this tournament (See: Liverpool’s stunning comeback against Borussia Dortmund).
The draw for the last 16 of the Europa League will take place on Friday and it could get quite tasty as there are no seedings and no protection against being drawn against teams from your own association and from your group stage.
So: Manchester United vs. Tottenham?
Click on the link above for live scores, updates and stats from the three games on Thursday, while we will have updates and analysis on all the action right here at Pro Soccer Talk.
Here’s the Europa League schedule below, with the score from the first leg in parenthesis.
Thursday’s Europa League Round of 32, second legs
Full Thursday schedule
11 a.m. ET
Osmanlispor vs. Olympiacos (0-0)
1 p.m. ET
APOEL Nicosia vs. Athletic Bilbao (Bilbao leads 3-2)
Besiktas vs. Hapoel Be’er Sheva (Besiktas leads 3-1)
Ajax vs. Legia Warsaw (0-0)
Roma vs. Villarreal (Roma leads 4-0)
Zenit Saint Petersburg vs. Anderlecht (Zenit trails 2-0)
Fiorentina vs. Borussia Monchengladbach (Gladbach trails 1-0)
3:05 p.m. ET
Lyon vs. AZ Alkmaar (Lyon leads 4-1)
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Celta Vigo (Shakhtar trails 1-0)
Sparta Prague vs. Rostov (Rostov leads 4-0)
Genk vs. Astra Giurgiu (2-2)
Copenhagen vs. Ludogorets (Copenhagen leads 2-1)
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Gent (Spurs trail 1-0)
Wayne Rooney has issued a statement saying he will remain at Manchester United.
[ MORE: What is Rooney’s best option? ]
Rooney, 31, has been heavily linked with a move to the Chinese Super League and after his agent flew to China to meet with interested clubs those reports intensified.
However, the all-time leading scorer for Manchester United and England has issued the following statement on his decision to stay at United.
Over to you, Wayne.
“Despite the interest which has been show from other clubs, for which I’m grateful, I want to end recent speculation and say I am staying at Man United. I hope I’ll play a full part in leading the team in its fight for success on four fronts. It’s an exciting time at the club and I want to remain part of it.”
Rooney is contracted to United until 2019 and although he has become a bit-part player at United this season he still has a big part to play.
With the emergence of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, not to mention Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Zlatan Ibrahimovic around, Rooney is no longer the first name on the teamsheet in the attacking area.
That’s something he will have to accept under new manager Jose Mourinho and, after a little bit of soul-searching while on the sidelines injured for the past three weeks, it’s obviously something Rooney has begrudgingly come to terms with.
He will still contribute at key moments for United and get plenty of minutes between now and the end of the season as United are in the last eight of the FA Cup, the last 16 of the Europa League and face Southampton in the EFL Cup final this weekend as well as continuing their top four hunt in the Premier League.
Still, Rooney will want to play regularly and after 13 years at Old Trafford the chance of that happening seems very unlikely as long as Mourinho is in charge. That could impact his chances of being called up by England boss Gareth Southgate which will be especially damaging ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia (Rooney has already said that will be his final major tournament) next summer.
It’s likely Rooney will reassess the situation this summer and could still head to the Chinese Super League, or even Major League Soccer. The other option is to go back to boyhood club Everton to see out his playing days, if (and it’s a big if) the Toffees can afford his wages.
Right now, though, it seems like Rooney is set to become the next Paul Scholes or Ryan Giggs as he prolongs his career with the Red Devils. He may not stick around as Giggs and Scholes, but given all he has achieved for United he deserves to leave or remain on his own terms.
The Premier League action is back after the FA Cup and European action took center stage. Hug someone. This is awesome.
[ MORE: Power Rankings archive ]
With that in mind, there are a handful of new faces in our Power Rankings, with Chelsea and Man City continuing to dominate.
Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League.
Let us know in the comments section below if you agree with the selections of the top 20 players in the PL right now.
- Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) – Even
- Harry Kane (Tottenham) New entry
- N’Golo Kante (Chelsea) – Down 1
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man United) – New entry
- Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – Down 1
- Raheem Sterling (Man City) – Even
- Paul Pogba (Man United) – New entry
- Sergio Aguero (Man City) – New entry
- David Luiz (Chelsea) – Down 4
- Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton) – Down 4
- Diego Costa (Chelsea) – Up 7
- Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea) – Down 5
- Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Man United) – Down 4
- Christian Eriksen (Tottenham) – New entry
- Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) – Down 4
- Juan Mata (Man United) – Even
- Leroy Sane (Man City) – Down 4
- David Silva (Man City) – Down 1
- Eden Hazard (Chelsea) – Down 9
- Anthony Martial (Man United) – Down 4
There are eight Premier League games in Week 26 as the EFL Cup final sees Southampton and Manchester United both out of PL action.
[ STREAM: Every PL game live ]
With the FA Cup break over, we are now looking forward to plenty of big battles across the league as some teams try to scramble for points in their quests to finish in the top four, while others are scrapping away for their lives at the wrong end of the table.
With 13 games to go, it’s all getting rather tense out there…
Below you can find previews, team news and score predictions on every game coming up this weekend.
Tottenham vs. Stoke City
Everton vs. Sunderland
Chelsea vs. Swansea City
West Brom vs. Bournemouth
Leicester City vs. Liverpool
Crystal Palace vs. Middlesbrough
Hull City vs. Burnley
Watford vs. West Ham