Europa League is moving out of the Champions League shadow
The Europa League is mostly overshadowed by the Champions League, but it still has lots to offer
It is there to see that the Europa League holds more meaning this year than any other.
Boasting a wide range of top clubs such as Inter Milan, Chelsea, Lyon and Liverpool, it has grabbed my attention and I'm sure I am not the only one.
With the opportunity to supply games that can exceed the excitement shown in its more prestigious sister, the Champions League, many fans are revelling in the ever-growing Europa League.
Being able to watch teams such as Tottenham and Lyon battle it out for their spot in the next round has many football fans drooling and as it's only the round of 32 – it can only get better.
With quality players such as Juan Mata, Radamel Falcao, Edinson Cavani and many more gracing this competition, I would not be surprised to see viewers getting as excited for some of these games as they would for Champions League matches such as Porto v Malaga or Galatasary v Schalke.
Teams like Zenit St Petersburg have much to prove since splashing money out on big name signings like Hulk and Axel Witsel.
Having gone 10 league games unbeaten, including games against CSKA Moscow, Spartak Moscow and Anzhi Makhachkala, they are in the middle of their league break but still managed an impressive 2-0 win over Liverpool in their first leg.
Liverpool went into this tie with an enthusiastic spirit after thumping five past a weakened Swansea side, but they fell agonisingly short in the end after a terrific performance.
It is not all about the big name players in this competition, as managers such as Rafa Benitez understand that their jobs are more than likely gone if they don’t come away with the trophy.
Many already believe that it is too late for Benitez but if there is any hope he will most certainly have to win the Europa League.
Although they may never challenge the interest in Champions League ties like Manchester United v Real Madrid, I'm sure fans will not be too disappointed with the opportunity to see teams Tottenham play Inter Milan or Newcastle United take one big-spenders Anzhi Makhachkala.
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