Play in the Europa is tightening, and a few squads out there are barely hanging on by the fuzz of their eyelids.
They can’t all make it to the final, but the following clubs will have to show up and show out in a big way in order to ensure they make it past the round of 16.
Shola Ameobi’s second-half penalty kick put Newcastle United past Metalist Kharkiv and into the round of 16, but the Magpies’s strikers will need to make themselves more productive in order for them to continue surviving.
After gutting out a close series with Dynamo Kyiv, Bordeaux has advanced to 16 and will face Benfica.
Fresh off an easy handling of Leverkusen both home and away, Benfica will look to hand the resurgent Girondins backs all they can ask for.
They’re glad to be winning in the Europa, but if they want it to last a bit longer Stuttgart will have to buckle down, stiffen up at the back and continue being more decisive with their possessions.
After surrendering an early goal to Lyon’s Maxime Gonalons off a Clémente Grenier free-kick, the Hotspurs awakened.
Stalwart defending along with a healthy helping of last minute heroics from Mousa Dembélé allowed the Hotspurs to squeak past Lyon and advance.
The Hotspurs will face Fredy Guarin and a red-hot Internazionale in the round of 16, however, and will need to be hitting on all cylinders in order to make it to the eight.
Winning the Europa will not be an easy affair for Chelsea. Eden Hazard’s goal against Sparta Prague in stoppage time barely eeked out a narrow and unconvincing victory for the Lions.
And with a scrappy Steaua side coming fresh off a penalty kick thriller, you can bet the Romanian club smells blood in the water and will do everything they can to take Chelsea down.