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Europa League Preview

Three English teams remain in the Europa League as the competition reaches the quarter-final stage. We preview the three games concerning Newcastle, Chelsea and Tottenham.

Who needs the Champions League when you have the Europa Cup? That's what Chelsea, Newcastle and Tottenham fans will be saying as they set out to reach the semi-final stage of the competition, tonight.

The quarter-finals of the Europa Cup has not looked this strong for a very long time- with our three sides being joined by the likes of Lazio, Fenerbahce and Benfica. With giant clubs like that in the mix, audiences around Europe will be watching the games unfold.

So what does tonight hold for the Premier League sides? Below, we give you a preview of the nights games, which all kick-off at 8:05 pm.

Benfica v Newcastle

Undoubtedly Newcastle have the hardest opponents out of all the British clubs. Benfica are currently sitting 3 points clear of FC Porto at the top of the Portuguese league, whilst Newcastle sink down the Premiership and are uncomfortably close to the drop zone. It could be argued that the side from Portugal are favourites for this tie. However, Europe has bought out the best in Alan Pardew's men so far this season- so don't write The Magpies off just yet!

Chelsea v Rubin Kazan

Much has been made of Rafa Benitez apparently favouring cup glory over fourth place in the Premier League, in recent weeks. Chelsea are definitely taking the Europa League very seriously. Along with this, Benitez has a very impressive record in Europe from his time at Liverpool. So Chelsea should do a job here against the Russian side, right? Wrong. Fixture congestion and the fact they will be missing Cahill and Cole have put The Blues hopes of cup success in jeopardy.

Tottenham v FC Basel

Spurs will be without striker Jermain Defoe due to a knee injury. However there is good news on the injury front for Andre Villas-Boas, who sees French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris return from another knee injury. But all eyes will be fixed on the wonderful Welsh wizard Gareth Bale, closely followed by in-form defender Jan Vertonghen. As for Basel- they are no push-overs. The Swiss side knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League group stages last season.


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