Manchester United, Inter Milan, and Seville, Spain, will be among the five teams of former champions that will travel to Germany to compete in the quarter-finals of the European League “Europa League”, starting today, Monday, with a one-match elimination system, where the tournament will be completed on This way, due to the emerging coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, two matches will be played, involving Manchester United and Inter, the two most prominent favorites to win the title, with the first meeting between Copenhagen in Cologne and Bayer Leverkusen in Dusseldorf.
The continental competition resumed its activity last week after a hiatus of nearly five months due to the “Covid-19” pandemic, as the second leg of the final round was held in the stadiums of its clubs, with the exception of the Italian-Spanish confrontations between Inter and Getafe on the one hand, and Rome and Seville on the other hand, because the two countries were the most. They were affected by the pandemic in the continent, which led to the closure of the borders between them, and thus it was impossible for the teams to travel and go for the two first-leg meetings.
The European Union for the “Wifa” game took a decision last July to complete the competitions with a one-game knockout system in the German cities of Cologne, Duisburg, Gelsenkirchen and Düsseldorf behind closed doors and according to a strict health protocol, from the quarter-final round until the final match scheduled for August 21 (August).
“There are rules and laws in the bubble where we will travel,” said Norwegian Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester United coach. We have to stay together in and around the hotel and in training. “
Players, coaches and workers will undergo tests to detect “Covid-19” before traveling to Germany and on the eve of each match until the end of the tournament. Wifa advised the teams to travel on private jets and not to come into contact with the general public and to stay in private hotels, where the players would be subjected to severe isolation in order to avoid any possible transmission of infection.
Reserve players and members of the coaching staff will not be forced to wear masks on the bench, but they must adhere to the safe distance, and players are also asked to avoid friction during the warm-up process, and the match balls will be sterilized before the start whistle and at the halftime break.
United, who held the title of the 2017 competition under the supervision of coach Jose Mourinho at the time, will be a candidate for qualifying at the expense of Copenhagen today due to the levels he presented after the resumption of the Premier League competitions last June.
The “Red Devils” team secured a seat in the quarter-finals by easily defeating Austria’s Lask 7-1 in the aggregate of the two matches (5-0 and 2-1), while Copenhagen was delayed 0-1 in front of Turkish Basaksehir to a 3-0 victory.
Although United were eliminated from the England Cup semi-finals against Chelsea, they have made high levels since the arrival of Bruno Fernandes, who arrived from Sporting Lisbon in January, and he has not lost in his last fourteen matches in the Premier League, including nine after appeal. Enabled him to finish third at the expense of Chelsea and Leicester City.
United will rely on its attacking strength represented by Fernandes, the French Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba, strikers Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood.
And Jesse Lingard, who scored the equalizer against Lusk on Wednesday, and who was in the squad that lifted the 2017 trophy, said the team could win a second title this year.
“We cannot wait to go and play the match,” he said in an interview with the club’s official channel. Undoubtedly, I want to win it again. ”
“Lifting the cup is a distinct feeling that you cannot explain … We have a mixture of young and experienced players in the team and winning a cup for youth would be ideal for them,” he said.
In the event United reach the semi-finals, they will meet the winner from facing the defending champion Sevilla on five occasions (a record), including three consecutive times between 2014 and 2016, and Wolverhampton, England, who reached the quarter-finals of a continental competition for the first time since 1972, who was punished Friday by Wafa for violating the fair financial play, and the two teams meet tomorrow, Tuesday, in Duisburg.
In the second match today, Inter meet Italian runners-up Bayer Leverkusen in a strong match between two former champions.
Inter, who won the title three times, most recently in 1998, beat Getafe, 2-0, in their match in Gelsenkirchen on Wednesday, while Leverkusen, title holder of the 1988 edition, outperformed the Scottish Rangers.
“It’s an important tournament,” said Dane Christian Eriksen, the Nerazzurri midfielder. It doesn’t matter where and in what circumstances you play, you have to focus on the upcoming matches only.
“Of course it is not nice to play without fans, because there is no atmosphere.” We will try to enjoy them while they are watching on TV, and we hope that we can embrace our supporters again soon. ”
Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine, champion of the 2009 competition, will meet with Basel, Switzerland, in Gelsenkirchen, on Tuesday.
The Polish city of Gdansk was scheduled to host a final this year in the final of May, before the Corona pandemic, to become the host of the final next year.