It’s a knockout stage
for British sides
EVERTON secured their place in the next stage of the Europa League with an impressive 2-0 win in Germany against Wolfsburg. The Toffees had been 7-2 shots but won with a goal in each half from Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas.
The Merseysiders will be joined in the knockout stage of the competition by Tottenham and Celtic who progressed despite contrasting fortunes on a good night for the British sides.
Spurs edged past Partizan Belgrade with a 1-0 win thanks to a goal from Benjamin Stambouli while Celtic made it into the latter stages despite a 3-1 loss at home to Salzburg.
Dynamo Zagreb’s defeat at Astra Giugiu means the Bhoys go through with Salzburg from Group D.
Paddy Power make Tottenham 12-1 joint-favourites with Napoli despite the Italians not having qualified yet, with Inter and Seville next best at 14-1. Everton are 16-1 shots and Celtic 60-1.
Arsenal had a bitter-sweet night on Wednesday as their 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund was marred by injuries to Mikel Arteta and Yaya Sanogo which further stretched their injured-ravaged squad.
And the situation got even worse yesterday after it was confirmed that Jack Wilshere has undergone ankle surgery and is facing an estimated three-month spell on the sidelines as a result of the injury sustained in last Saturday’s 2-1 loss at home to Manchester United.
Mesut Ozil and Mathieu Debuchy are also crocked for the Gunners, who are 10-11 from 17-20 to win tomorrow’s Premier League clash at West Brom.
Chelsea and Arsenal are safely through to the Champions League last 16 and Hills go 15-8 that they are joined by Liverpool and Manchester City in the draw for the knockout stages.
It is a case of win or bust for Liverpool against Basle and they are 4-6 to get the three points they need to stay in the competition.
Despite Liverpool’s qualification hopes improving with the 2-2 draw away to Ludogorets (they were 10-11 for a top-two finish before the game) they look ill-equipped to compete with Europe’s elite and are out to 80-1 to win the trophy.