Despite not posting a win between them in their respective first-leg matches, there are reasons to believe that Tottenham, Manchester United and Liverpool will all seek safe passage to the last 16 of the Europa League.
It wasn’t pretty, especially where United were concerned, but three home legs to come mean even that Danish damage can be reversed.
All the Premier League sides are odds on to win their return legs, which in Spurs’ and Liverpool’s cases would definitely seal qualification within 90 minutes.
Fiorentina 1-1 Tottenham (Spurs are 4/9 to qualify at White Hart Lane)
Without doubt it is Mauricio Pochettino’s certified title chasers that constructed the best platform for qualification thanks to a tidy night’s work in Florence. An away goal is a precious commodity in knockout European competition and when your home form is as faultless as the Lilywhites’ is in the Europa League this season, a last-16 sealing victory should be on the cards. Spurs are three from three at the lane in Europe this term, where Monaco were thrashed 4-1 last time.
FC Midtjylland 2-1 Manchester United (Red Devils are 2/7 to qualify at Old Trafford)
Although this was another result to grease the wheels of the Louis-Van-Gaal-out bandwagon, the deposit of an away goal should help install some potentially lost perspective. With respect to FC Midtjylland and a fine performance in front of their own, if Wolfsburg and CSKA Moscow could be toppled in the Champions League group phase at Old Trafford, then so can the Danes. Wayne Rooney is sure to be a miss, but Memphis Depay’s strike at least gives hope to Red Devils that the £31m signing can step up to the plate in his skipper’s absence.
Augsburg 0-0 Liverpool (Reds are 4/11 to qualify at Anfield)
Anyone who sat through the full 90 minutes of this match should be given some sort of Duke of Edinburgh award for perseverance. The Jurgen Klopp homecoming storyline couldn’t even deflect from the game’s turgid nature, however the result wasn’t actually a bad one for Liverpool. More positives for the Reds could be found in the performance of Philippe Coutinho, back to his scheming best, and Daniel Sturridge posting plenty more game time without snapping. Arguably the biggest plus for Klopp, though, is the lack of an intervening fixture, whereas his opponents play Hannover four days before travelling to Anfield.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.