The UEFA Champions League quarterfinals stole the show on Tuesday and Wednesday, but now it is Thursday, meaning it is Europa League time!
Likewise, this competition also enters the last-eight stage, with the likes of Barcelona, West Ham, Rangers, Lyon, and RB Leipzig all taking to the field in what should be an interesting round of fixtures.
Here's everything you need to know about the first leg of the UEFA Europa League quarterfinals.
What are this season's UEFA Europa League quarterfinal matchups?
Thursday night football is back! #UEL— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) April 7, 2022
Top games to watch in the UEFA Europa League quarterfinals 1st leg
RB Leipzig vs Atalanta
The Bundesliga's only remaining representative finally return to action, having received a bye in the round of 16 after Spartak Moscow were expelled from the competition. However, RB Leipzig enter this tie on the back of an excellent result, having beaten rivals Dortmund 4-1 in the German top-flight, with Konrad Laimer netting a brace and Christopher Nkunku continuing his brilliant form.
Unfortunately, their opponents are used to knocking out German teams from the Europa League. Atalanta faced Bayer Leverkusen in the previous round, winning 3-2 at home in the first leg before making the trip to the BayArena for the return tie. While La Dea do not boast the worst defense, Gian Piero Gasperini's side are known for conceding often. However, the Italians kept an impressive clean sheet at Leverkusen, triumphing 1-0 thanks to a Jeremie Boga goal in added time to seal progression. Unfortunately, Atalanta enter this tie on the back of a recent 3-1 loss to Napoli and will thus need to bounce back.
West Ham vs Lyon
Two of the favorites for the Europa League title go head-to-head in the quarterfinals, with West Ham hosting Lyon in the first leg of their highly-anticipated showdown. The Hammers booked their ticket to this round after beating Sevilla in the round of 16 in a thrilling encounter, with the London side overcoming the Spanish outfit in extra time. However, in the Premier League, Moyes' men have been somewhat inconsistent, losing two out of their last five matches.
Similarly, Lyon faced a tough test in the previous round, taking on Primeira Liga leaders Porto and beating the Portuguese giants 2-1 on aggregate. Their 1-0 victory at the Estádio do Dragão in the first leg did the job for the French giants as they now aim to make the semis. However, Les Gones still struggle for consistency in Ligue 1, winning only two out of their last five matches. Do not miss this fixture.
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Barcelona
All eyes will be on Barcelona as the Spanish giants look to maintain their brilliant form in their push to make the Europa League semifinals. The Blaugrana enter this tie on the back of a lovely 1-0 victory over Sevilla in La Liga, a result which lifted them up to second in the table. In fact, Xavi's men are unbeaten in their last 13 games, winning all but three of those matches. Will Frankfurt be their next victims?
The German outfit were very fortunate to reach this round, it should be pointed out. They eliminated Spanish side Real Betis, but this was thanks to a 121st-minute own goal from Guido Rodriguez which secured the Bundesiga outfit a 3-2 aggregate victory. Barcelona should present a whole new test for Oliver Glasner's side.
Who's in and who's out
Here are the list of players ruled out for the upcoming round from the UEFA Europa League's top clubs:
Barcelona: Ansu Fait, Alejandro Balde, Moussa Wague, Samuel Umtiti, and Sergi Roberto (all injured)l Luuk de Jong (doubtful); Dani Alves (unavailable for selection)
Frankfurt: Ragnar Ache and Diant Ramaj (injured)
RB Leipzig: Yussuf Poulsen and Amadou Haidara (injured); Philipp Tschauner (doubtful)
Atalanta: Rafael Toloi and Berat Djimsiti (injured); Bryan Cabezas (doubtful); Josip Ilicic (unavailable)
West Ham: Angelo Ogbonna (injured); Ben Johnson (doubtful); Manuel Lanzini (suspended)
Lyon: Maxence Caqueret, Rayan Cherki, and Sinaly Diomande (injured); Tete (suspended)
Braga: Nuno Sequeira and Roger Fernandes (injured); Jean Gorby (doubtful)
Rangers: Ianis Hagi and Alfredo Morelos (injured); Nnamdi Ofoborh (unavailable)