A preview of what’s happening in European football on Thursday:
Boreham Wood, a fifth-tier club and comfortably the lowest-ranked team in the FA Cup, are looking to cause a major shock when they visit Everton in the fifth round. The non-Championship club from a suburban London town have already won four matches to reach this stadium – the furthest in their history – but face their toughest test yet, even as Everton struggle in the Premier League and recently changed managers to bring in Franck Lampard. Everton have lost three of their four league games since Lampard’s arrival and are in a relegation battle. Boreham Wood are fourth in their league as the club seek promotion to the English Football League for the first time. Seventy-nine places separate the teams ahead of the game at Goodison Park.
Real Betis host Rayo Vallecano who are looking to return to the Copa del Rey final for the first time since 2005, when they won their last major trophy. Betis came from behind to win the first leg 2-1 in Madrid. Rayo is playing in the Copa semi-finals for the first time since 1982 and is trying to reach the final for the first time. Rayo have had a strong start to the season but lost five straight games in all competitions heading into Thursday’s game. Betis have been overhauled since the arrival of veteran Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini in 2020. They sit third in the Spanish league and are enjoying one of their best seasons in several years.
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