Following the conclusion of the last-eight ties, this year's UEFA Europa League semi-finals will be an all-Iberian affair, with three Spanish sides and one Portuguese team making up the final four.
Club Atlético de Madrid meet Valencia CF in European competition for the second time in two years, having defeated their Liga counterparts in the quarter-finals en route to lifting the trophy in 2010; while in the other tie Sporting Clube de Portugal will face Athletic Club across the Portuguese border.
With another group of teams eliminated, you may need to replace a number of your players before Thursday’s deadline – with that in mind, the Tipster is here to point out a trio of players you may wish to consider.
One of Atlético's unsung heroes on their European campaign – with fellow striker Falcao receiving most of the attacking plaudits – Adrián has played an equally important role his team's charge to the UEFA Europa League semi-final. The 24-year-old featured in every game from the third qualifying to the quarter-final; scoring nine times in his 16 appearances to date, and creating six others. Adrián lines up in a team brimming with confidence, with Atlético heading into the first leg on a nine-game UEFA Europa League winning streak.
He is available for €4.8m.
As well as featuring in five of Valencia's six UEFA Europa League games – and contributing to three clean sheets – with three goals the French international is also his side's leading scorer in the competition. A prevalent threat from set pieces, the defender heads to familiar territory when his side travel to Estadio Vicente Calderón – and Rami will be confident of a repeat shutout after the two team drew 0-0 in their recent Liga encounter in the Spanish capital. However a word of caution: while he represents a goal threat and great value for money, the 26-year-old does not come without risk; he has picked up two bookings and one red card in his five UEFA Europa League outings so far this term.
He is available for €6.5m.
The 33-year-old defender has been in inspired form this season and has been reinvigorated since the arrival of Ricardo Sá Pinto as Sporting coach. The 2002 FIFA World Cup winner has played every minute of his side's 11 UEFA Europa League games to date; recording five clean sheets in the process. As his side prepare to welcome Athletic Club, Polga lines up in a team in fine form at home, having recorded nine straight victories at the José Alvalade; shutting out the visitors on eight occasions – including notable opposition such as Manchester City FC and UEFA Champions League quarter-finalists, SL Benfica.
He is available for €5.3m.
Remember – you can make changes to your team right up until 20.50CET on 19 Apr and you have SIX free transfers to use.
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