Today’s Europa & Conference LeagueSemi-finals matches

Unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen host Roma 

With one foot in the Europa League final, unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen host Roma on Thursday evening, as they conclude their semi-final tie at the BayArena.

For the second season running these clubs are meeting in the semi-finals, but events in the first leg make the new German champions favourites to overturn last year’s result.

In addition to gaining revenge for losing to Roma at this stage 12 months ago, Leverkusen took a giant stride towards meeting either Marseille or Atalanta BC in the Europa League final by running out 2-0 winners at Stadio Olimpico. The Bundesliga winners are now only 90 minutes away from booking their place in Dublin later this month, and a historic treble remains very much on the cards for a team that simply refuses to be beaten.

Leverkusen have recently produced several late goals to keep their proud undefeated streak intact, but they easily extended that run to 48 games with a 5-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.

Much-coveted coach Xabi Alonso has already confirmed he will stay in situ for another year at least, so everything is in place for the 1988 UEFA Cup winners and 2002 Champions League runners-up to make their first Europa League final appearance.

Roma’s away record is far from special, and Leverkusen are an immovable object, so an almighty upset is required to send the away side through.


Atalanta  welcome Olympique Marseille in Europa League

A place in the Europa League final will be at stake when Atalanta BC welcome Marseille to Bergamo on Thursday, with their semi-final tie finely poised after last week’s first leg.

The Serie A side are just one game away from their first European final, but OM are also intent on meeting either Roma or Bayer Leverkusen in Dublin.

Atalanta players

At the end of their first-ever meeting, Atalanta and Marseille could not be split at Stade Velodrome, as La Dea proved unable to retain a lead earned by Gianluca Scamacca‘s 11th-minute opener.

Having now extended their unbeaten away run in Europe to 11 matches – including last month’s superb 3-0 win at Anfield – Atalanta return to home turf, where they have won 11 of their last 14 matches.

While Atalanta are yet to make it all the way to a continental final, their opponents boast a rich tradition in that respect, having been crowned champions of Europe in 1993 and subsequently lost the 1999, 2004 and 2018 UEFA Cup/Europa League deciders.

Furthermore, Marseille have won each of their last three semi-final ties in UEFA’s second-tier tournament, but they must now try to improve on their recent away record in order to progress past La Dea.

Given their goalscoring options and impressive home form, Atalanta surely start favourites to progress past Marseille, who can be flaky away from home.

The French side certainly possess a genuine threat on the counter, but their hosts should have sufficient firepower to reach the Europa League final.



Aston Villa have a mountain to climb againstOlympiakos

Trailing 4-2 from the first leg, Aston Villa visit Olympiakos in the second leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final at the Karaiskakis Stadium at 8pm BST on Thursday, live on TNT Sports 1.

A hat-trick from Ayoub El Kaabi sank the hosts in Birmingham last Thursday and anything less than a two-goal victory will result in Villa’s elimination.

The odds are stacked against Aston Villa in Piraeus on Thursday with Unai Emery’s men needing to win by three goals or more to see off Olympiakos at the Karaiskakis Stadium.

Emiliano Martínez – Aston Villa Goalkeeper

Victory by two goals would take the match to extra-time and potentially penalties but even that could be a big ask for a Villa team who have been out of form.

The Villans have posted just one win in their last five matches in all competitions and risk finishing an impressive season on a sour note.

Olympiakos, meanwhile, are bidding to become only the second ever Greek club to reach the final of a major UEFA competition and will do so if they avoid defeat on their own patch.



Europa League

Atalanta 20:00 Olympique Marseille

Bayer Leverkusen 20:00 Roma

Conference League

Olympiakos Piraeus 20:00 Aston Villa


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