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Juve handed Lyon tie

21 Mar 2014 13:01:53

Juve handed Lyon tie

Italian champions Juventus will face Lyon in the quarter-finals of the Europa League as they bid to keep alive the dream of playing in the final at their home stadium.

Juve, who appear well on course to defend their Serie A title, are targeting a European and domestic double after seeing off Fiorentina in the last 16, and will make the relatively short trip across the French border for the first leg on April 3, returning to Turin a week later.

Juve's domestic dominance makes them the clear favourites in Europe's secondary competition, and the knowledge that the final will be played at their Juventus Stadium has given them added motivation from the start.

Last year's beaten finalists Benfica, top of the Portuguese Liga, have been partnered with AZ Alkmaar, whose performances to date in the Europa League have provided some relief from a difficult campaign which has left them down in seventh in the Dutch Eredivisie.

Basle, who reached last year's semi-finals, must beat Spanish side Valencia in order to repeat what was their best-ever run in European competition, while the final tie is an intriguing match-up between Porto and Sevilla.

Sevilla advanced with an emotional derby victory over neighbours Real Betis on penalties on Thursday night, but will recognise the significant challenge posed by a Porto side who scored two late goals in Naples to knock out Napoli with a 3-2 aggregate victory in the last 16.

Basle also won in difficult circumstances away, playing for almost 80 minutes with 10 men at Red Bull Salzburg but advancing with a 2-1 win on the night after a goalless first leg, in stark contrast to Valencia who breezed by Ludogorets 4-0 on aggregate.


PA

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