This week’s listening practice report looks ahead to some of the last 16 games of the Europa League that are taking place next week. You can listen to the report by clicking on the link above, and you can also read the transcript of the report (below). There are also explanations of key vocabulary (in bold) at the end of the post.
Listening Practice Report: 2016 Europa League Last 16 Previews
16 teams: 4 Spanish, 3 English, 2 German, and one each from Portugal, Ukraine, Turkey, Belgium, Switzerland, the Czech republic and Italy. The last 16 of the Europa League has some intriguing fixtures.
Shakhtar Donetsk – Anderlecht
Anderlecht will not relish the 1,400 kilometre trip to play Shakhtar, but Shakhtar do not have a great record playing at ‘home’. The Belgium side may hope to come away with a draw and outscore the Ukrainian side in the return leg. Prediction: Anderlecht to progress
Liverpool – Manchester United
Inconsistent Liverpool come up against a Manchester side that seem to have found some attacking flair recently – The Red Devils have won four on the bounce, netting eleven goals. Liverpool’s recent record isn’t too shabby either, though, as they recently put three past Manchester City and six past Aston Villa. Prediction: Liverpool to get one over their northwest rivals.
Borussia Dortmund – Tottenham
Tournament favourites Dortmund clash with a strong Tottenham side. The sides have met four times in friendlies and the London team have won three and drawn one, so they may feel confident, despite a slip up in the league when they lost 1-0 to London rivals West ham. Both teams are second in their domestic leagues, so are fighting on two fronts, and both also face massive games this weekend – Dortmund against Bundesliga leaders, Munich, and Tottenham against their fierce North London rivals, Arsenal. Prediction: Too close to call, but the bookies have Dortmund to win.
FC Basel – Sevilla
Sevilla have won this competition a remarkable 4 times in a decade, and have lifted the trophy for the last two years, so FC Basel face an uphill struggle. If the Swiss side do progress they could be playing the final in their home stadium, as that is the venue this year for the final. Sevilla have a poor away record in the competition so far, while Basel have not lost at home. Basel are also the only domestic champions still in the tournament. Prediction: Basel to pull off a shock.
Athletic Bilbao – Valencia
Both these Spanish teams are mid-table in La Liga, so this is a great chance for one of them to go for some glory this season. Evenly matched, the bookies have Athletic Club Bilbao slight favourites, probably based on the fact that Athletic beat Valencia at Valencia 3-0 earlier in the league. Athletic also have the tournament’s top score, Aritz Aduriz, so will be confident, especially at home. Prediction: Athletic to go through.
Fenerbahçe – Sporting Braga
Fenerbahçe have some injuries going in to this tie, Ba and Markovic are out and Meireles is a doubt. The Turkish side had been banned for two seasons following a corruption scandal, but they did manage a semi final appearance in the Europa League in 2013, while this is the first time Braga have featured in the last 16. Prediction: A comfortable win for Fenerbahçe.
Villarreal – Bayer Leverkusen
Based on domestic form, Villareal should just be favourites for this tie. They lie in fourth place, in a Champions League position, while Bayer Leverkusen are seventh in the Bundesliga. The Spanish side are extremely strong at home, with no goals conceded in the last four home games in Europe. Bayer are also poor on the road, with one win against Sporting Clube. Prediction: A narrow win for Villareal.
Sparta Prague – Lazio
The bookies have Sparta as the outsiders at 50 to 1 to win the cup. Neither side has lost since the group stage started, but Lazio carry a bigger goal threat: 17 goals to 14 from Sparta. Sparta also go in to this tie with the worst disciplinary record of any other teams in the competition. Prediction: The Italian team to get to the quarters.
not relish: not look forward to
attacking flair: have an exciting attacking style of play
on the bounce: in a row; one after the other
isn’t too shabby: is not bad; is quite good
a slip up: drop points; lose unexpectedly
fighting on two fronts: be involved in two competitions (in this case the league title and the Europa League
Too close to call: to difficult to decide a winner
uphill struggle: a very difficult challenge
pull off a shock: surprise people
the bookies: the companies that take bets on games; professional gambling companies
lie in fourth place: are in fourth position
conceded: were scored against; allowed a goal to be scored
carry a bigger goal threat: are stronger in attack; more likely to score
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