The Europa League playoffs are in full swing, and the quarterfinals have concluded in a crazy, historic stage.
FC Barcelona came crashing out of the competition after a shock loss to Eintracht Frankfurt.
The Spaniards were the clear favorites to win the whole thing, but now, the final four is a toss-up between who wants it the most.
The Europa League winner gets an automatic bid into the Champions League groups, which is a huge achievement for any of these four teams left involved.
Rather than play tight and harder domestically, a win in the Europa League will help ease the shoulders and let managers relax.
Let’s get into the last two matchups of this season’s Europa League!
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Game 1 - West Ham FC Versus Eintracht Frankfurt FC - First Leg - April 28th, 2022
This matchup between the hammers and the men from Germany will be a true test of organization and heart.
West Ham has been solid in the Premier League this season; however, they are not currently in a Champions League spot.
Declan Rice and company need to aim for a great result in this tie, and hopefully advance to further their capabilities in Europe.
Looking at the matchup holistically, West Ham are the firm favorites because of the level of competition they play and maintain throughout the year.
Premier League games have a different aura and vibe around them, and this should make West Ham prepared for a tough two legger.
Eintracht Frankfurt shocked Barcelona in the best way possible at the Camp Nou this past week.
Although they are not doing well in Germany, they have a chance to make things right with a great last run here in the Europa League.
The game plan and style that Frankfurt plays with results in a lot of opportunities for both teams.
The key for them is to limit mistakes defensively and press to get attackers off the ball.
They have a great attacking sense, and can be dangerous on the counter, so making sure the back end is cleaned up will be crucial.
Prediction - West Ham convincingly takes this matchup over two legs and wins this first leg at home.
Game 2 - RB Leipzig FC Versus Rangers FC - First Leg, April 28th, 2022
Another German team getting involved in the semi-final action, Leipzig are a team that has been consistent with European and domestic competition year in and year out.
The talent is always on the team, but they serve different rosters season to season because of transfer market moves.
This year, Dani Olmo will be the man looking to lead Leipzig to an EL Final berth.
The Spanish attacker has been playing sensational for them and is going to be a key piece on whether or not they will score goals throughout two legs.
Leipzig has gone against the big dogs of the world, many times. They will be the more experienced of the sides, in what should be an entertaining matchup.
Rangers FC are proudly representing the country of Scotland in European competition, which is always a welcome sight.
One of the consistent top teams in the country of Scotland, Rangers have attacking power for days. Ryan Kent is one of the key performers of the team, and his play on the forward wing will indicate how far this Rangers team can really go.
They do not have the necessary defensive capabilities; however, they will believe they have a chance in any tie. Especially with that gnarly home crowd of theirs!
Prediction - RB Leipzig to dominate over two legs and berth themselves a chance to win the Europa League.