Excitements builds in Spain as the return of European football gets ever closer

With the World Cup having been played in the winter last year, it has meant that the break between European football has been larger than usual. Many punters have been unable to place bets on continental matches, but from next week they finally can use bookmakers such as 188BET to stake their claims for European glory.

Real Madrid are still in contention with defending their Champions League crown, and they will take on Premier League giants Liverpool, who they defeated in last year’s final, albeit not until the following week. Los Blancos are Spain’s only remaining representative in Europe’s most prestigious competition, and they will look to do themselves proud.

Two of those that dropped out of the Champions League will be in Europa League action next week. Barcelona, who finished behind Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in their group, will take part in a mouth-watering tie against Manchester United. Both sides looked to be getting back to their bests after several years in the wilderness, and the tie promises to be an incredible spectacle. Xavi Hernandez has led Barca to an eight point lead in La Liga, and having already won the Spanish Super Cup, he will be targeting a won continental title.

Sevilla will take on Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven in the first leg of their Europa League last 32 tie next Thursday, as Los Nervionenses look to put their disappointing domestic season behind them to achieve continental success. The Andalusian club are the most successful side in the competition’s illustrious history, having won it a remarkable six times, and Jorge Sampaoli’s side will be aiming to make it seven.

Having topped their respective groups, Real Betis and Real Sociedad will bypass the last 32 stage of the Europa League, instead entering the knockout rounds in the last 16. Both sides have had solid domestic seasons, and will hope to take their campaigns to the next level by adding continental success.

Villarreal are Spain’s sole competitor in the Europa Conference League. The Yellow Submarine has been very successful in Europe in recent years, having won the Europa League in 2020/21, before following that up with a Champions League semi-final appearance last season. Quique Setien’s side will no doubt be one of the favourites to win the recently established continental competition, and with a bye into the last 16, they have an excellent chance.

European competition always brings about an extra level of excitement, and there is a genuine hope that all of the La Liga teams competing in the knockout stages have a realistic chance of winning their respective tournaments.

By Alejandro Fernandez

Tags Barcelona Champions League Europa Conference League Europa League Real Madrid
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