- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 17, 2021

A look at what’s happening in the second legs of the Europa League’s last 16 on Thursday:


The next few days will be key to Manchester United‘s hopes of ending its four-year wait for a trophy as Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side travels to Leicester in the FA Cup quarterfinals just three days after the Europa League match at San Siro. United will be smarting from the first leg, where Simon Kjær’s stoppage-time header saw AC Milan snatch a 1-1 draw. But United will be buoyed by the fact that it hasn’t lost away from home since early December, a run of 12 matches. AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimović will be fit enough to face his former club. The 39-year-old striker has missed Milan’s past four matches with a left thigh injury. Ibrahimović played for United from 2016-18, helping it win the Europa League in 2017.


Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has held clear-the-air talks with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after dropping the team’s captain for the north London derby against Tottenham for breaching pre-match protocol. Arteta said he cannot guarantee the striker will start against Olympiakos, though. “Everybody has to obviously perform at the highest level to earn his place in the team and there is no exceptions there,” Arteta said. “We will try and put a really competitive team out to try and win the game.” An unused substitute as Arsenal beat Tottenham 2-1, Aubameyang left the Emirates Stadium instead of joining his fellow replacements for a warm-down session on the pitch.


Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho is taking no chances despite a healthy lead from the first leg, with Harry Kane set to start in Croatia. The England captain has played 38 times already for Tottenham in a congested season and, with a worrying injury history, there are legitimate concerns about his fitness going into the final two months of the campaign ahead of the European Championship. Mourinho said Kane would be in the team against Dinamo but has called on England coach Gareth Southgate not to play the striker in the three upcoming World Cup qualifiers, against San Marino, Albania and Poland. Son Heung-min is out after sustaining a hamstring injury against Arsenal on Sunday. Dinamo heads into the match in chaos after its coach, Zoran Mamic, quit after Croatia’s Supreme Court confirmed his nearly five-year prison sentence for tax evasion and fraud.


Having sealed up the Scottish league title, Rangers has the chance to reach the quarterfinals of the Europa League for the first time since 2008 - when the team lost to Zenit St. Petersburg in the final. Steven Gerrard’s side has an important away goal but will be wary of what Slavia Prague did to Leicester in the previous round, drawing 0-0 at home but then winning 2-0 away.


More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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