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Europa League preview: Liverpool-BVB headlines quarterfinal second legs


during a press conference ahead of the UEFA Europa League quarter final between Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund at Melwood Training Ground on April 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England.

Dave Thompson

There is not a single home team without a road goal in its pocket for the second leg of the UEFA Europa League’s quarterfinals on Wednesday.

[ MORE: First legs, rounded up ]

In some cases, that could provide some impetus for conservative play. Whether we see that or not is another story altogether.

All matches kickoff at 3:05 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Shakhtar Donetsk - Braga
Shakhtar leads 2-1

The Ukrainians, like Sevilla, are in the catbird seat with a pair of road goals, and simply need to avoid a total breakdown. Braga is a much better home team that road team, and has a heck of a hill to climb in Donetsk.

Sparta Prague - Villarreal
Villarreal leads 2-1

No upset would be bigger than Sparta snaring a semifinal berth, and a 1-0 win would do it. Cedric Bakambu has been fantastic for Villarreal in this tournament, and netting just once could go a long way towards advancement for El Submarino Amarillo.

Sevilla - Athletic Bilbao
Sevilla leads 2-1

Athletic Bilbao v Sevilla - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final: First Leg

BILBAO, SPAIN - APRIL 07: Aritz Aduriz of Athletic Club competes for the ball with (L) Federico Fazio and Adil Rami of Sevilla during the UEFA Europa League quarter final first leg match between Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla at San Mames Stadium on April 7, 2016 in Bilbao, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Neither team is a defensive power in La Liga, so it’s likely Bilbao has to hope for a big match from Aritz Aduriz (above) in making up for conceding twice at home. Sevilla should advance here, moving within two rounds of repeating at UEL champs.

Liverpool - Borussia Dortmund
Even at 1-1

How capable are Jurgen Klopp’s troops of shutting down the visitors at Anfield? The manager’s answer to that question will make a big difference as to what sort of tactics we’ll see on Thursday. Dortmund blew it by not taking advantage of the Westfalenstadion as a venue, and conceding to Liverpool. The Reds might just move onto the next round despite taking on the tournament favorites.

Follow @NicholasMendola