UEFA Europa League

Getty Images

UCL, Europa League finals postponed

Leave a comment

UEFA have announced the the finals for the men’s Champions League and Europa League and the women’s Champions League have been postponed.

In a statement on their website European soccer’s governing body said they will “rearrange their showpiece fixtures due to the ongoing health crisis in Europe” as the coronavirus epidemic continues to hit the vast majority of Europe hard each and every day.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

All three finals were due to be played in May and this update was expected following UEFA’s previous announcement that it would extend its season until June 30 and canceled EURO 2020 to allow domestic leagues to finish play.

No details where given on whether the Champions League and Europa League finals will still take place in Istanbul, Turkey and Gdansk, Poland respectively for the men’s game or in Vienna, Austria for the women’s UCL final. This decision was taken by the new working group set up to manage UEFA’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and it suggests that domestic leagues and UEFA competitions will not be ready to return by the start of May when most have suggested that would.

Below is the statement from UEFA in full:

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis in Europe, UEFA has today formally taken the decision to postpone the following matches, originally scheduled for May 2020:

  • UEFA Women’s Champions League Final
  • UEFA Europa League Final
  • UEFA Champions League Final

No decision has yet been made on rearranged dates. The working group, established last week as a result of the conference call among the stakeholders of European football, which was chaired by UEFA President, Aleksander Ceferin, will analyse the options available. The group has already begun its examination of the calendar. Announcements will be made in due course.

Latest coronavirus connections to soccer:

Mini tournament for Champions League, Europa League?

Getty Images
Leave a comment

One option merging to try and finish the UEFA Champions League and Europa League tournaments is to host a mini-tournament held over a few days.

UEFA’s videoconference meeting takes place on Tuesday as European soccer’s governing body is expected to postpone EURO 2020 to 2021 as they remain eager to help European leagues finish their domestic seasons.

Invited to the meeting are UEFA’s 55 member associations, the boards of the European Club Association and the European Leagues and a rep from FIFPro.

The general plan for this tournament is to play it over a few days in one or two cities, potentially Istanbul and Gdansk where the Champions League and Europa League finals are due to be held respectively, which would minimise travel and any disruption to leagues.

Other options include having one leg for the UCL quarterfinals and semifinals this season as European games would likely coincide with extended league seasons.

More coronavirus connections to soccer:

Live, Europa League: LASK v. Man United, Olympiacos v. Wolves headlines

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Five of the six UEFA Europa League games will go ahead behind close doors across Europe on Thursday as the Round of 16 first legs, quite remarkably, will take place with Man United and Wolves in action.

[ LIVE: Europa League scores  ]

With the coronavirus outbreak impacting much of Europe heavily, special conditions are in place for Europa League games as two have been called off with Inter Milan v. Getafe and Sevilla v. Roma postponed due to travel restrictions between Italy and Spain.

The two Premier League clubs who remain in the Europa League, Man United and Wolves, travel to LASK in Austria and Olympiacos in Greece for their respective first legs but both games will be played in empty stadiums.

Wolves have issued a statement criticizing UEFA after they wanted their game at Olympiacos to be postponed due to Olympiacos’ owner Evangelos Marinakis being diagnosed with coronavirus. Olympiacos have since confirmed all of their staff and players have been tested and their tests have come back as negative and the game will be played in an empty stadium in Greece.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Nuno Espirito Santo will see this competition as a great way to secure Champions League qualification given the congested nature of the top four battle in the Premier League and both Man United and Wolves have taken this competition very seriously, albeit with a bit of squad rotation especially in United’s case. Both United and Wolves are heavily favored to advance to the Europa League quarterfinals are United are the favorites and Wolves the third favorites (behind Inter Milan) to win the whole thing.

Looking elsewhere there is what looks like a lopsided battle between Bayer Leverkusen and Steven Gerrard‘s Rangers as the German side continue their uptick in form, while Rangers have struggled in the Scottish Premiership after they knocked out Braga in the last round. Their game at Ibrox is the only one scheduled to have fans in attendance.

Eintracht Frankfurt against Basel will be an intriguing clash, so too will Istanbul Basaksehir v. Copenhagen as the former have the likes of Demba BaMartin Skrtel and Gael Clichy in their squad. Wolfsburg v. Shakthar Donetsk also takes place with the German side favorites to advance.

Below is the schedule in full for Thursday’s Europa League games, while you can click on the link above to follow all the action live and we will have analysis on Man United and Wolves right here on ProSoccerTalk.


Thursday’s UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg schedule

LASK Linz v. Man United – 1:55 p.m. ET
Eintracht Frankfurt v. FC Basel – 1:55 p.m. ET
Istanbul Basaksehir v. Copenhagen – 1:55 p.m. ET
Olympiacos v. Wolves – 4 p.m. ET
Bayer Leverkusen v. Glasgow Rangers – 4 p.m. ET
Wolfsburg v. Shakhtar Donetsk – 4 p.m. ET
Inter Milan v. Getafe – Postponed
Sevilla v. Roma – Postponed

Europa League last 16 preview: Man United, Wolves favorites

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg games take place on Thursday but postponements and games played behind closer doors have hit the competition hard.

[ LIVE: Europa League scores  ]

With the coronavirus outbreak impacting much of Europe heavily, special conditions are in place for many Europa League games as two have been called off with Inter Milan v. Getafe and Sevilla v. Roma postponed due to travel restrictions between Italy and Spain.

The two Premier League clubs who remain in the Europa League, Man United and Wolves, travel to LASK in Austria and Olympiacos in Greece for their respective first legs but both games will be played in empty stadiums. In fact, five of the six Europa League games on Thursday will be played behind closed doors as governments across Europe move to limit crowds of over 1,000 people at events.

Wolves have issued a statement criticizing UEFA after they wanted their game at Olympiacos to be postponed due to Olympiacos’ owner Evangelos Marinakis being diagnosed with coronavirus. Olympiacos have since confirmed all of their staff and players have been tested and their tests have come back as negative and the game will be played in an empty stadium in Greece.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Nuno Espirito Santo will see this competition as a great way to secure Champions League qualification given the congested nature of the top four battle in the Premier League and both Man United and Wolves have taken this competition very seriously, albeit with a bit of squad rotation especially in United’s case. Both United and Wolves are heavily favored to advance to the Europa League quarterfinals are United are the favorites and Wolves the third favorites (behind Inter Milan) to win the whole thing.

Looking elsewhere there is what looks like a lopsided battle between Bayer Leverkusen and Steven Gerrard‘s Rangers as the German side continue their uptick in form, while Rangers have struggled in the Scottish Premiership after they knocked out Braga in the last round. Eintracht Frankfurt against Basel will be an intriguing clash, so too will Istanbul Basaksehir v. Copenhagen as the former have the likes of Demba Ba, Martin Skrtel and Gael Clichy in their squad.

Below is the schedule in full for Thursday’s Europa League games, while you can click on the link above to follow all the action live.


Thursday’s UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg schedule

LASK Linz v. Man United – 1:55 p.m. ET
Eintracht Frankfurt v. FC Basel – 1:55 p.m. ET
Istanbul Basaksehir v. Copenhagen – 1:55 p.m. ET
Olympiacos v. Wolves – 4 p.m. ET
Bayer Leverkusen v. Glasgow Rangers – 4 p.m. ET
Wolfsburg v. Shakhtar Donetsk – 4 p.m. ET
Inter Milan v. Getafe – Postponed
Sevilla v. Roma – Postponed

Inter v. Getafe, Sevilla v. Roma postponed

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Two Europa League games on Thursday have been postponed due to concerns over coronavirus as Inter Milan v. Getafe and Sevilla v. Roma will not go ahead.

UEFA released a statement on Wednesday confirming the news as Getafe’s president had previously said they would not travel to Milan to play the Round of 16 first leg game, while Roma issued a statement saying the Spanish authorities would not allow their plane to land in Seville.

Here is the statement in full from UEFA on the postponements:

“The UEFA Europa League Round of 16 matches between Sevilla FC (Spain) – AS Roma (Italy) and FC Internazionale (Italy) – Getafe CF (Spain) will not take place as scheduled. As a result of the travelling restrictions between Spain and Italy imposed yesterday by the Spanish authorities, the following UEFA Europa League Round of 16 matches will not take place as scheduled tomorrow, 12 March 2020. Further decisions on the two matches will be communicated in due course.”

Wolverhampton Wanderers have also issued a statement criticizing UEFA after they wanted their game at Olympiacos to be postponed due to Olympiacos’ owner Evangelos Marinakis being diagnosed with coronavirus.

Olympiacos have since confirmed all of their staff and players have been tested and their tests have come back as negative and the game will be played in an empty stadium in Greece.

Coronavirus fears have also caused the postponement of Man City v. Arsenal, and the sequestering of several Arsenal players due to coming in close contact with Marinakis 13 days ago after a Europe League game against Olympiacos.

More coronavirus connections to soccer: