Unirea Urziceni v Liverpool
UEFA Europa League Round of 32 2nd Leg
Stadional Steaua – Bucharest, Romania
25 February 2010 – 18:00 GMT
Liverpool will take a slim 1-0 lead into the second leg against underdogs Unirea Urziceni in the Europa League on Thursday.
Unirea Urziceni v Liverpool Preview
Unirea Urziceni are such a small club that they weren’t allowed to play any of their UEFA Champions League matches at their own stadium. Because their stadium does not meet UEFA’s guidelines (only holds 7,000), they will be playing at Steaua Bucharest’s stadium, about 200 KM from Unirea.
Both teams were in the UEFA Champions League group stage but failed to make the knockout stage. Unirea Urziceni had a 2-2-2 record while Liverpool had a 2-1-3 record. Unirea were not expected to advance in the Champions League but it was a major disappointment for Liverpool.
The Reds have won the UCL recently but have struggled in competitions this season. They are finally starting to find their form and will have Fernando Torres available for the match. Torres was a late substitute in the weekend match against Man City and won’t be starting against Unirea. He will likely be a second half substitute and play about 20-30 minutes in the match.
Even without Torres for the entire match, Liverpool has plenty of firepower to score goals in the match. Steven Gerrard has shown his ability to score goals in European football and there’s still many quality players on the roster including Dirk Kuyt and Javier Mascherano. The leader scores for Liverpool are Torres (12), Kuyt (9), Gerrard (5), and Benayoun (5). Unirea has not scored a lot of goals in any competition and is led by Bilasco with five, Onofras with four, and Semedo with three.
Liverpool are expected to content for the Europa League title so a loss in this round would be devastating. Unirea Urzceni do not have the same expectations or pressure. Can Rafa Benitez have the Reds ready to play in Bucharest or can they continue to salvage a season by advancing to the round of 16 in the Europa League?
Unirea Urziceni v Liverpool Prediction
Liverpool are the better team and will have prevail 1-0 (2-0 on aggregate).
Unirea Urziceni v Liverpool Video Highlights
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