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Europa Conference League round of 16 second legs: Game-by-game preview

A rundown of all this week's Europa Conference League last-16 second legs.

Marseille lead Basel 2-1 going into the second leg
Marseille lead Basel 2-1 going into the second leg DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Roma and Leicester take useful leads into the second legs of their UEFA Europa Conference League round of 16 ties, but PSV Eindhoven and Marseille look rather more vulnerable ahead of Thursday's games.

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Roma vs Vitesse (first leg: 1-0)

Highlights: Vitesse 0-1 Roma
Highlights: Vitesse 0-1 Roma

José Mourinho will be without first-leg match winner Sérgio Oliveira and Gianluca Mancini – both suspended – as Roma set out to protect a slender lead. Vitesse, meanwhile, will be buoyed by their first-half showing in Arnhem, Loïs Openda fluffing their best chance. "The tie is only halfway over," said coach Thomas Letsch. "If we don't think we can win, we shouldn't bother showing up in Rome."

Did you know?
Roma are unbeaten in their four previous home outings against Dutch opposition, while Vitesse have yet to win in Italy.

Basel vs Marseille (1-2)

Highlights: Marseille 2-1 Basel
Highlights: Marseille 2-1 Basel

"I would have taken 2-1 straight away," enthused Basel captain Fabian Frei as he looked back on a torrid first leg. Marseille should have been out of sight after peppering their opponents' goal with shots, but a late Basel strike has changed the picture. "There could have been four goals' difference between the two sides," added OM boss Jorge Sampaoli, who will be without the suspended Dimitri Payet in Switzerland.

Did you know?
Arkadiusz Milik is the first Marseille player to score in five successive European games (excluding qualifiers) since Jean-Pierre Papin did the same between 1988 and 1989.

Rennes vs Leicester (0-2)

Highlights: Leicester 2-0 Rennes
Highlights: Leicester 2-0 Rennes

Kelechi Iheanacho's added-time goal was a blow for Rennes, but defender Nayef Aguerd feels his side have plenty left in the locker: "We can do it in front of our crowd at home. We'll go into it with confidence." Rennes caused the Foxes problems early on and Marc Albrighton expects them to do the same in France. "It's going to be very difficult out there," explained the industrious wing-back.

Did you know?
Rennes' home record against English sides is W2 D1 L1; one of those wins was by a two-goal margin, 3-1 against Arsenal in March 2019.

AZ Alkmaar vs Bodø/Glimt (1-2

Highlights: Bodø/Glimt 2-1 AZ Alkmaar
Highlights: Bodø/Glimt 2-1 AZ Alkmaar

Owen Wijndal was nettled after AZ conceded a late penalty in Norway, and the Dutch side's captain is determined to make amends: "We just have to make sure we straighten things out at home and I am confident we will do that." The Norwegian champions are no pushovers on their travels, though: they are unbeaten in their last five away games in Europe (W1 D4), and won 3-1 at Celtic in the last round.

Did you know?
AZ are unbeaten in 16 European home games (W9 D7), including qualifiers, and have not conceded in the last three.

No away goals rule

There has been a rule change for 2021/22: ties level after the second leg will go to extra time and a penalty shoot-out if required, irrespective of the number of away goals a team has scored.


Copenhagen vs PSV Eindhoven
(4-4)

Highlights: PSV 4-4 Copenhagen
Highlights: PSV 4-4 Copenhagen

The first half of the first leg was dire for PSV but, having recovered from a 3-1 deficit, they can at least start again from scratch, with forward Eran Zahavi saying: "The important thing is that in the second half we got stuck in, worked hard and got back to business." Copenhagen will again be without Khouma Babacar as they look to reach only their second quarter-final in UEFA club competition history.

Did you know?
PSV last visited Copenhagen in the Europa League group stage in November 2009: the sides drew 1-1.

LASK vs Slavia Praha (1-4

Highlights: Slavia Praha 4-1 LASK
Highlights: Slavia Praha 4-1 LASK

"Nothing is impossible in football, but our chances are small," said LASK coach Andreas Wieland after the opening game – which left his team needing to overturn a three-goal deficit in Austria. On the other side of the equation, Slavia boss Jindřich Trpišovský will seek to avoid disaster as his charges head 300km south to Saint Polten. "They are not a nice team to play away," he said. "But we have a three-goal lead so we should get chances to counter."

Did you know?
LASK conceded just once in their six Europa Conference League group stage games.

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Feyenoord vs Partizan (5-2)

Highlights: Partizan 2-5 Feyenoord
Highlights: Partizan 2-5 Feyenoord

Feyenoord would seem to have one foot in the quarter-finals, but Partizan may note that coach Arne Slot was less than thrilled with his side's performance in the first leg, citing their tendency to concede sloppy goals. "We seem to be able to cut our fingers at any moment," the 43-year-old lamented. "We've been doing it too often in recent weeks, and maybe all season."

Did you know?
Feyenoord have not lost a European knockout game by three goals since the 1998/99 UEFA Cup first round, when they went down 3-0 to Stuttgart after winning the first leg 3-1.

Gent vs PAOK (0-1)

Highlights: PAOK 1-0 Gent
Highlights: PAOK 1-0 Gent

"We are lucky that it's over two legs," said midfielder Julien De Sart after Gent underwhelmed in Salonika during the first leg. Indeed, coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck remains hopeful as the Belgian outfit take on a PAOK side shorn of Andrija Živković and Jasmin Kurtić due to suspension. "If we manage to attack as well as we can in the return game then we can do something against this team," he explained.

Did you know?
Gent conceded just two goals en route to topping Group B with 13 points.

What next?

Winners of the ties earn a place in the quarter-final draw on 18 March. There will also be draws for the semi-finals and, for procedural purposes, the final which takes place at Tirana's National Arena on 25 May.