UEFA Europa League 2012: Six Of 16 Ties Still Interesting

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 21: Hulk of FC Porto faces the media during a press conference ahead of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg match between Manchester City and FC Porto at Etihad Stadium on February 21, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Manchester United and Manchester City are all but through, along with Valencia and Atletico Madrid. Schalke, Athletic Bilbao and Udinese are the biggest teams that still need good results to get through.

Wednesday is usually a day reserved for Champions League football, but since there aren't any English or Portuguese teams in action in the Champions League this Wednesday, Manchester City and FC Porto have decided to get their Europa League tie out of the way. Their tie is the only one that will be played ahead of time, with the other 15 going on this Thursday. City scored twice at the Dragao and appear to be all but through.

Approximately six of the ties remain competitive, though only one (Metalist Kharkiv vs. SV Salsburg) is truly over before the start of the second leg. Any team that put up an away win or multiple goals in an away draw is likely through, leaving six ties that are still very much up for grabs.

The best viewing will probably be at San Mames, where Athletic Bilbao take on Lokomotiv Moscow. Les Leones have an away goal, but suffered a 2-1 loss in Moscow last week. They're coming off of a 3-0 win over Malaga in La Liga and are probably slight favorites to progress.

Anderlecht failed to get an away goal, but they only lost by one in Holland to AZ and are still very much alive. Schalke got an away goal in a 1-1 draw at Plzen and will like their chances to go through at home. Club Brugge lost away to Hannover last week, but grabbed an away goal and will go through with a 1-0 home win.

Udinese denied PAOK Salonika a goal in Fruili, but will not be happy with their 0-0 home draw and will have trouble finding a goal in Greece. Standard Liege and Wisla Krakow round out the competitive ties, with Standard favored to go through after getting a 1-1 draw in Poland.

Fixtures (Goals from first leg in parentheses)

Wednesday, 12:00 p.m. ET, 5:00 p.m. local

Manchester City (2) vs. FC Porto (1)

Thursday, 1:00 p.m. ET, 6:00 p.m. GMT, 7:00 p.m. CET

Athletic Bilbao (1) vs. Lokomotiv Moscow (2)
Club Brugge (1) vs. Hannover 96 (2)
PAOK Salonika (0) vs. Udinese (0)
PSV Eindhoven (2) vs. Trabzonspor (1)
Standard Liege (1) vs. Wisla Krakow (1)
Valencia (1) vs. Stoke City (0)

Thursday, 3:00 p.m. ET, 8:00 p.m. GMT, 9:00 p.m. CET

Anderlecht (0) vs. AZ Alkmaar (1)
Atletico Madrid (3) vs. Lazio (1)
Besiktas (2) vs. Braga (0)
Metalist Kharkiv (4) vs. SV Salzburg (0)
Manchester United (2) vs. Ajax Amsterdam (0)
Olympiakos (1) vs. Rubin Kazan (0)
Schalke 04 (1) vs. Viktoria Plzen (1)
Sporting Lisbon (2) vs. Legia Warsaw (2)

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