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UEFA Europa League round of 16 second legs: What to look out for

West Ham must rally against competition titans Sevilla, while Galatasaray are out to make home advantage count against Barcelona. Who will book places in Friday's quarter-final draw?

Galatasaray's Victor Nelsson, West Ham's Declan Rice and Leverkusen's Moussa Diaby
Galatasaray's Victor Nelsson, West Ham's Declan Rice and Leverkusen's Moussa Diaby

Rangers and six-time winners Sevilla are among the sides to have claimed a first-leg advantage in the UEFA Europa League round of 16, but plenty of teams face uphill tasks to reach the quarter-finals.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car presents UEFA.com's guide to the potential headline-makers.

Highlights: Sevilla 1-0 West Ham
Highlights: Sevilla 1-0 West Ham

Will West Ham halt the Europa League kings?

"In the end, it was a lapse of concentration from a set piece and they got the winner, but I felt like we had the best chances in the match," said West Ham captain Declan Rice after his side's narrow first-leg defeat by Sevilla.

With this year's final to be held at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán, Sevilla have an added incentive to go all the way once again, but they need to beware an impressive Hammers side who topped their section on their long-awaited group stage debut – and now hope to harness the roar of their supporters at the London Stadium.

"The crowd probably got them over the line," said manager David Moyes of Sevilla's home backing in the first leg. "We need ours to do the same, and they will do because we'll give them something to shout about."

Highlights: Barcelona 0-0 Galatasaray
Highlights: Barcelona 0-0 Galatasaray

Have Galatasaray done the hard work?

Galatasaray will also take strength from their home cauldron after stifling Barcelona in a Camp Nou stalemate. The match stats showed that Barça typically bossed possession, but while Eric García rued that his colleagues lacked a "decisive final touch in front of goal", midfielder Pedri was concerned by the team's sub-par tempo. "We didn't move the ball quickly enough. We also lacked the right level of pressing."

Xavi Hernández triumphed in a winner-takes-all match against Galatasaray in the Champions League back in 2001/02, but his current crop must turn up the heat on the pitch amid a fervent Istanbul atmosphere. "We got the result we wanted," Cimbom's Kerem Aktürkoğlu warned. "It will be a very different match in the second leg with our fans behind us."

No away goals rule

Following the recommendation of the UEFA Club Competitions Committee and the UEFA Women's Football Committee, the UEFA Executive Committee approved in June a proposal to remove the so-called away goals rule from all UEFA club competitions.

With the decision to remove this rule, ties in which the two teams score the same number of goals over the two legs are no longer decided on the number of goals scored away but by two 15-minute periods of extra time and, if necessary, a penalty shoot-out.

Highlights: Atalanta 3-2 Leverkusen
Highlights: Atalanta 3-2 Leverkusen

Will Leverkusen hit back against Atalanta?

A breathless first leg ended with Atalanta earning only a slim advantage, winning at home by the odd goal in five. Indeed, the Italian outfit are no strangers to high-scoring knockout ties – who can forget their 8-4 aggregate victory against Valencia in the Champions League two years ago?

However, Leverkusen are made of strong stuff too, and Moussa Diaby's goal means that the deficit is as narrow as possible. Currently making their seventh tilt at the Europa League knockout stage – a German record – and having also just racked up their 50th game in the competition (again a German record), the 1987/88 UEFA Cup winners will feel they are due another trophy.

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When is the Europa League quarter-final draw?

The 2021/22 UEFA Europa League quarter-final and semi-final draws take place from 13:30 CET on Friday 18 March at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland. The live stream will appear here.

Key dates

Seville's Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán will stage the final
Seville's Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán will stage the finalGetty Images

Knockout stage
17 March: Round of 16 second legs
18 March: Quarter-final & semi-final draws
7 & 14 April: Quarter-finals
28 April & 5 May: Semi-finals
18 May: Final (Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán, Sevilla)

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