Europa League tips: Arsenal set sights on Europe; Man United target silverware

The Europa League quarterfinals are upon us as both Arsenal and Manchester United look to bag a place in the next round and meet their differing ambitions.

For Mikel Arteta's men, the Europa League represents their best hope of securing a Champions League spot for next season.

As things stand, the Gunners are tenth in the Premier League and are currently ten points behind fourth-placed West Ham.

With eight league games remaining, Arteta's men would need a miracle to qualify for the Champions League via the top four.

Can Mikel Arteta lead Arsenal to Europa League glory?
Can Mikel Arteta lead Arsenal to Europa League glory?

As for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the aim is simple - win his first piece of silverware as manager of the Red Devils.

It's been almost four years since Manchester United last won a trophy and in the eyes of many supporters, that is simply unacceptable for a club of that stature.

Here, we take a look at all four of the upcoming Europa League quarterfinals, including an appetising contest between Ajax and AS Roma. 

Ajax vs AS Roma - Johan Cruyff Arena 20:00 GMT

Cafu, Emerson, Rafael van der Vaart, Zlatan Ibrahimovic… even Steven Pienaar. Those are just some of the names that took part in the last head-to-head encounter between these two clubs.

That match took place during the 2002/2003 Champions League campaign and it ended in a 1-1 draw in Rome.

Ajax won the earlier group game 2-1; a win which helped them qualify for the following round of the competition.

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The names on the teamsheet may not sound as glamours this time round however, that's partly down to the injury problems that both sides are experiencing.

Roma, for instance, are missing a number of players including the likes of Stephan El Shaarawy, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Chris Smalling. 

AS Roma celebrating a goal against Sassuolo last weekend
AS Roma celebrating a goal against Sassuolo last weekend

Ajax, on the other hand, will be without Daley Blind, Andre Onana and Maarten Stekelenburg.

Nevertheless, the Dutch side are the in-form team having gone 24 consecutive games unbeaten across all competitions. Roma can't say the same having lost two of their last four. With that in mind, Ajax are the ones to back at around Even money.

Betting: Ajax to win at Evs (SkyBet)

Arsenal vs Slavia Prague - Emirates Stadium 20:00 GMT

Arsenal are in dreadful form having failed to win any of their last three competitive games. The Gunners marked their return from international break with a 3-0 home defeat to Liverpool; their first loss against the Reds at the Emirates since 2016.

Slavia Prague, on the other hand, are on a 21-match unbeaten run across all competitions. Their last defeat came in December when they lost 4-0 to Bayer Leverkusen.

Arsenal and Scotland’s Kieran Tierney out for up to six weeks with knee injury
Arsenal and Scotland’s Kieran Tierney out for up to six weeks with knee injury

Since then, they have won 16 of their 21 games and even scored ten goals in one game as they thrashed Karlovy Vary 10-3 in the Czech cup.

Realistically speaking, the level of opposition that both teams have played in recent months differs substantially however, an unbeaten run of Slavia's proportions must wield confidence.

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Slavia's last trip to the Emirates ended in a 7-0 defeat but that was all the way back in 2007. Arsenal should get the job done in this opening leg but it certainly won't be as easy as it was back then.

With that in mind, the recommendation is to back a home win and both teams to score at 13/5.

Betting: Arsenal to win and BTTS at 13/5 (bet365)

Dinamo Zagreb vs Villarreal - Stadion Maksimir 20:00 GMT

After spectacularly dumping out Tottenham of the competition, Dinamo Zagreb turn their attention to Villarreal.

In that game against Spurs, the Croatian side overturned a 2-0 first leg deficit to bag a place in these upcoming quarterfinals.

Dinamo Zagreb celebrate after knocking out Tottenham
Dinamo Zagreb celebrate after knocking out Tottenham

Villarreal, on the other hand, comfortably dispatched Dynamo Kiev, winning both legs by the 2-0 score line.

This is a tough game to call however, Zagreb have only lost two of their last 24 home games and they've not conceded a goal at the Maksimir stadium in over 750 minutes of football.

Villarreal's forward Gerard Moreno celebrates after scoring against Granada
Villarreal's forward Gerard Moreno celebrates after scoring against Granada

Villarreal certainly have enough quality to threaten that run and they'll certainly want to get an away goal.

With that in mind, our recommendation is to back a 1-1 draw at 6/1.

Betting: Correct score 1-1 at 6/1 (Betvictor)

Granada vs Man United - Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes 20:00 GMT

Granada's debut season in Europe couldn't have gone any better but let's not forget, the fairytale isn't over yet.

While the Spaniards are currently in the midst of a bad run of results, there's no reason why they couldn't turn on the style in this upcoming clash against Manchester United.

Can Marcus Rashford get amongst the goals away in Granada
Can Marcus Rashford get amongst the goals away in Granada

Three defeats on the trot is not a stat that will send shivers down the spines of United players. But then again, this is a side that's won four of their last five games at home; including previous Europa League games with Molde and Napoli.

Despite this, United are overwhelming favourites to not only win this game but also to progress to the semifinals. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men have lost just one of their last 14 away games and our recommendation is to back the Red Devils.

Betting: Manchester United to win and BTTS at 3/1 (bet365)

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