Friday Kickoff: Europa League quarters set; Roma to bid for Jovetic in summer; and more

EuropaLeaguequarterfinaldraw1-2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Juventus’ path to glory now goes through France.

The Italian side were drawn in the UEFA Europa League quarterfinal round on Friday with former French champions Lyon, with the two legs taking place on April 3 and April 10. Amazingly, the two clubs have never played each other in an official European competition

U.S. Men’s National Team striker Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar face a tough road after being drawn against SL Benfica. FC Basel face Valencia, and FC Porto meet Sevilla in the other quarterfinals.

Andrea Pirlo’s superb free kick proved the difference for Juventus on Thursday in a 1-0 (2-1 on aggregate) victory over Fiorentina. Juventus are hoping to make it to the final, where they’ll get to play in their home stadium. Juventus Stadium was selected to host the Europa League final in 2012.

Here are some more stories to kick off your weekend:

ROMA INTERESTED IN ACQUIRING JOVETIC

With AS Roma likely to be in the UEFA Champions League next season, the club are already looking to bolster their attacking options.

The latest report from Gazzetta Dello Sport has AS Roma linked with signing Manchester City forward Stevan Jovetic this summer, who has played as the fourth-string forward this season since moving last summer. Jovetic, a Serbian international, has the same agent as current Roma midfielder and Jovetic’s international teammate Adem Ljajic.

Jovetic wouldn’t be easy to acquire though. According to the report in Gazzetta, he’s earning a €4 million per year salary and was acquired by Man City from Fiorentina last season for around £22-24 million.

CRUZEIRO HELD AT HOME, LANUS TOP DEPORTIVO CALI

Defending Brazilian league champions Cruzeiro suffered a massive collapse at home on Thursday night in Copa Libertadores action.

Holding a two-goal lead in the second half, Cruzeiro allowed two goals in the final 24 minutes of the match, drawing with Defensor Sporting of Uruguay, 2-2. Everton Ribeiro and former Arsenal and Real Madrid man Julio Baptista gave the home team a 2-0 lead, but goals from Felipe Gedoz in the 66th minute and Emilio Zeballos in the third minute of stoppage time finished off the incredible Defensor comeback.

In Argentina, two goals inside the first five minutes helped Lanus top Deportivo Cali, 2-0, in Buenos Aires. Maximiliano Velasquez set up the opener scored by Jorge Pereyra Diaz in the second minute before Velasquez scored himself three minutes later on an absolute blast from outside the box.

Elsewhere in South America, Brazil’s Atletico Paranaense downed Peruvian side Universitario, 3-0, Cerro Porteño of Paraguay topped Chilean club O’Higgins, 2-1, and Chile’s Union Española defeated Argentina club San Lorenzo, 1-0.

QUICK KICKS

Jose Mourinho is expected to appeal his charge of improper conduct from the FA. (REPORT)

Brazil captain of the 1958 World Cup winning side Bellini passed away on Friday at the age of 83. (REPORT)

Reports in Spain state that it’s unlikely for Barcelona to be fined after an investigation into Neymar’s transfer. (REPORT)

Germany will face Argentina in a friendly match on Sep. 3 in Dusseldorf. (REPORT)

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers wants the club to give Jon Flanagan a new contract. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you think Juventus could progress against Lyon? Think that Jovetic would be a good signing for Roma?

Share your thoughts below.

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15 Responses to Friday Kickoff: Europa League quarters set; Roma to bid for Jovetic in summer; and more

  1. Jay in Florida says:

    Hate to nitpick but Stevan Jovetic is a Montenegro international, even played on there u-21 team before joining there senior side in 2007.

    • Travis says:

      Was going to mention that as well. Regardless it’s hard to see Roma ponying up the cash to get him, doubt City is going to want to lose much (if any) money on the deal.

    • Chris says:

      Hate to nitpick, but the possessive form is spelled “their”.

    • bryan says:

      i’m convinced Dan does it to mess with people. i believe he’s the senior editor, so i’d hope the constant errors on his articles are just a joke.

  2. Expat4455 says:

    Regarding very good players going to other teams. It looks like Bayern will sell Shedan Shaqiri (22 yr old attacking mid-fielder) this summer. He had La Liga (Real,Barca) at to top of his list.

    But with how good Brendan Rodgers is doing in the Premier League, it seems the odds are now in favor of Shaqiri moving to Liverpool.

    Heard it through the grapevine.

  3. Beckster says:

    Will Packwood getting a lot of great press today on BBC site and Birmingham City FC for winning the young footballer of the month award. Great to see such an amazing comeback!

    • Increase0 says:

      The BBC talked about him playing for England. Get your own players! (I know I know I kid. I kid.)

      I wonder if he gets called in to the 30 man squad. I wish we could take one CB. I dunno if it will him him of Brooks. Goodson is 3rd CB then who?

      • bryan says:

        could just be Cameron. or if JK wants to bring a 4th, i’d say Orozco and Gooch will battle it out.

  4. Aaron says:

    Yeah describing Jovetic as a Serbian international is a pretty big error….

  5. Brett says:

    Get ready to have your comments deleted while you get no credit for editing the guy’s amateur article.