A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Thursday:
Manchester United hosts Real Betis in the round of 16 as it tries to move on quickly from Sunday’s 7-0 loss to Liverpool in the Premier League. With the hopes of challenging for the league title fading, the Europa League represents a better chance for coach Erik ten Hag to win another trophy in first season in charge after the English League Cup. Still, Ten Hag is expected to rotate his starting lineup for the first leg against Betis, another Spanish opponent for United after it knocked out Barcelona. Led by former Manchester City coach Manuel Pellegrini, Betis might have midfielder Sergio Canales available. The Spanish team is coming off a home draw against Real Madrid. Arsenal will travel to Lisbon to face Sporting boosted by a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Bournemouth on Saturday. The Portuguese side has former Arsenal right back Hector Bellerin, who is on loan from Barcelona, available. The two sides last met in the competition in 2018, with Arsenal winning away 1-0 and drawing 0-0 at Emirates. Two Italian powerhouses will be in action at home with Jose Mourinho’s AS Rome hosting Spain’s Real Sociedad and Juventus playing Bundesliga’s Freiburg.
EUROPA CONFERENCE LEAGUE
West Ham travels to Cyprus to face AEK Larnaca in the round of 16 of the third-tier European competition. The Hammers have been struggling in the Premier League but kept a perfect record in the group stage, the only team to win all six games. Serie A’s Fiorentina faces Turkey’s Sivasspor and Anderlecht takes on Villarreal in other notable matchups.
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