West Ham United will host Manchester United in the replay of the FA Cup on Wednesday, April 13, at Boleyn Ground as they look to book a ticket to Wembley Stadium. After playing to a 1-all draw almost a month ago, both teams will come out with guns blazing in order to win. The Red Devils haven't lost against The Hammers in the past six matches, and the home team will hope to put one over United in as many matches.
Atletico Madrid will welcome La Liga champions Barcelona to the Vicente CalderónStadium on Wednesday, April 13, in the UEFA Champions League second leg. The two Spanish rivals played to a 2-1 scoreline in the first leg in favour of the visitors. The home side will look to score one goal without conceding in order to progress to the next round, while Barca will hope to reach yet another semi-final on their quest to defend their title.
Benfica will host German champions Bayern Munich at the Estádio da Luz Stadium on Wednesday, April 13, in the second leg of the Champions League round 3. The home team go into this fixture having lost by a single goal in the first leg and will be hoping to turn the tide, while their visitors will be hoping to hold their own to progress to the semi-finals.
Sao Paolo will be at home against River Plate in the Copa Libertadores Group stage on Thursday, April 14, at the Cícero Pompeu de Toledo Stadium. The home team will be hoping to win their third match against their visitors, while their counterparts will be aiming at their second in five matches.
Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool will welcome his former club in Borussia Dortmund to Anfield on Thursday, April 14, in the UEFA Europa League second leg tie. The Reds go into this clash with an away goal after playing to a 1-all draw in the first leg in Germany, and if history between these two sides is anything to go by, Liverpool will surely go through.
Sevilla will host fellow Spanish outfit Athletico Bilbao in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, April 14, at Estadio Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan. The home side will be buoyed by their come-back in the first leg to beat Athletico away from home and look well set to go through to the next round.
If you are a betting person, here are tips ahead of the fixtures brought to you by Soccer 6 and fformer Orlando Pirates striker, Phumudzo Manenzhe.
West Ham v Man Utd (FA Cup)
League positions: West Ham 6th & Man United 5th (Premier League)
Useful facts: In historical terms, Louis van Gaal’s team have nothing to worry about in this tie, having not lost a single one of their last six games against the Hammers. However, the first tie at Old Trafford will make things look a little different. Slaven Billic’s team are having a truly remarkable season and have defied all the odds against many of the English giants, including Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham. Add to that, that West Ham have not tasted defeat in 10 games and haven’t lost at home game since August, and the Red Devils may have something to worry about. United’s form looks far worse, with two losses from their last six, including the 3-0 reverse fixture loss against Tottenham on Sunday.
Phumudzo Manenzhe: I’ll go with Man United.
Atletico Madrid v Barcelona (Champions League)
League positions: Atletico Madrid 2nd & Barcelona 1st (La Liga)
Useful facts: Barcelona have beaten Atletico in every one of their last seven encounters, but will go into this tie feeling uneasy. The Catalans looked unstoppable until the weekend before last, when they lost to Atletico’s neighbors, Real Madrid. Their 2-1 win over Atletico last week in the Camp Nou was sandwiched between the Classico defeat and a shock loss to Real Sociedad. Lionel Messi is currently on his worst scoring run in five years and a 1-0 result will see Atletico Madrid progress. In La Liga this season, Atletico have conceded only 16 goals in 32 games, which shows that their defence is more than capable of ensuring that Luis Enrique’s men do not score the vital away goal.
Phumudzo Manenzhe: Barcelona.
Benfica v Bayern Munich (Champions League)
League positions: Benfica 1st (Portuguese Liga Sagres) & Bayern 1st (German Bundesliga)
Useful facts: This tie looks pretty cut and dry, with Bayern having won last week’s game 1-0. Benfica’s failure to score in that game could prove costly, because if the Bavarians find the net even once, the Portuguese side will need to score three to avoid elimination. Form wise, Bayern have won all of their last six matches and are also undefeated in six in the Champions League. Benfica’s loss last week was the only one they have incurred in their last six games, but there is no room for error for the Eagles.
Phumudzo Manenzhe: Bayern, for sure.
Sao Paulo v River Plate (Copa Liberators)
League positions: Sao Paulo 4th (Brazilian Serie A) & River Plate 10th
(Argentinian Primera Division)
Useful facts: In this clash of the South American giants, Sao Paulo have the edge historically, with two wins to River Plate’s one in their last four meetings. However, River Plate’s form in the competition is marginally better with two wins to Sao Paulo’s one in the first four matches. Both sides have drawn two, including their earlier meeting on 10 March. The match is bound to be close, but the Argentines may fancy their chances, having avoided defeat in nine consecutive Copa Liberators ties.
Phumudzo Manenzhe: River Plate, because I know them.
Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund (Europa League)
League positions: Liverpool 8th (Premier League) & Borussia Dortmund 2nd (Bundesliga)
Useful facts: Jurgen Klopp plays host to his former club and will take the advantage of a 1-1 draw in Germany with him into the game. The Reds also have the historical advantage and have not lost to Dortmund in any of their four clashes in recent history. However, Dortmund are undefeated since December and, if they score even once, Klopp’s men will be in trouble. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang having netted 36 goals in all competitions this season, one would be audacious to rule out the possibility of Dortmund scoring at least once.
Phumudzo Manenzhe: I think Liverpool will win this.
Sevilla v Athletic Bilbao (Europa League)
League positions: Sevilla 7th & Athletic 6th (both in La Liga)
Useful facts: In an all-Spanish affair in the Europa League, Sevilla will have the edge over their Basque opponents as they have beaten them in three of their last six clashes. The 2-1 win at home also gives the Andalusians an edge in the context of the overall tie, but when looking at form, both sides aren’t at their best, with each of them having lost three of their last six games.
Phumudzo Manenzhe: Sevilla.