Krasnodar vs. Valencia
Krasnodar lost out to Sevilla in the group stages as they finished behind the Spanish side but level on points, though they didn’t travel well and were thumped 3-0 by Pablo Machin’s men in December when the two met in Seville, while they were also beaten 2-1 when visiting Spain to face Valencia in the first leg of this tie.
However, they’re certainly no pushovers on home turf as they beat Sevilla in front of their own fans back in October, though the Russian outfit were in much better form at the time. Indeed, they’d won their previous six matches across all competitions, while this time around they’ve drawn six of nine winless competitive outings since early December.
By contrast, Valencia have won eight of 13 unbeaten games since late January, though six of those victories came at the Mestalla and they may have to settle for a stalemate here.
Krasnodar knocked out Bayer Leverkusen in the previous round without even beating them over 90 minutes in either leg, and as La Liga’s draw specialists this term with a league-high of 15, the visitors certainly know how to keep things tight in a game they don’t have to win.
Villarreal vs. Zenit
Another Spain versus Russia tie should also see the La Liga side progress to the next round after Villarreal secured a 3-1 victory in the first leg. The hosts may be enduring a dreadful season overall but will be on a high after their win over Levante at the weekend, which lifted them outside the relegation zone in the process.
It means they’ve chalked up consecutive victories following the first leg, while they’re a much-improved W4-D1-L2 since mid-February as they’ve started to establish some momentum, with the defeats coming against Atletico Madrid and fifth-placed Deportivo Alaves.
Russian sides have lost 15 of 22 away days to Spanish opposition in Europe’s second-tier tournaments this century, conceding at least twice in 13 of these, while it’s seven defeats from nine such encounters in the Europa League since 2014/15.
Moreover, when including a play-off tie with Norwegian outfit Molde, Zenit have lost six of eight winless road trips in this competition since the commencement of last seasons’ knockout rounds.
Inter vs. Eintracht Frankfurt
Inter have surrendered third place in the table to bitter rivals Milan following some fine displays from the Rossoneri, with January signing Krzysztof Piatek making a real difference while Inter’s own frontman, Mauro Icardi, continues to be jettisoned from the squad. That makes the Derby Della Madonnina this coming weekend an absolutely massive encounter, while Inter are not best prepared for the big games they have coming up.
The Nerazzuri picked up a much-needed victory on Sunday hosting SPAL having failed to win any of their previous three games, including their 0-0 stalemate with Frankfurt in the first leg, though these were all on the road and they’ve won their last three at the San Siro.
However, aside from their 4-0 with over Rapid Vienna in the previous round, they haven’t been especially convincing and with Lautaro Martinez and Kwadwo Asamoah suspended here, while Miranda, Radja Nainggolan and Marcelo Brozovic out injured and Dalbert, Roberto Gagliardini and Joao Mario not even in the squad, this is an opportunity to take the Italian outfit on.
Frankfurt are unbeaten in 11 outings since the resumption of play after the winter break, with the first leg the only time in their last five where they failed to win, even netting a minimum of three times in each of these wins. The German outfit have been sensational in the Europa League this term, winning seven of nine unbeaten games overall as they netted over two per game on the road, and are the better option at the prices.
*all odds are subject to change