As have so many other sporting events in the world, there will be a completely different feel to how many of the top tournaments will take place and be laid out over the foreseeable future and it is no different for the Europa League.
Whilst some of the Round of 16 ties will be played behind closed doors at the originally scheduled venues, the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and the final will all be played as single-leg fixtures across Germany. Matches have been scheduled to take place at various different stadiums across the country, with RheinEnergieStadion, Cologne; Merkur Spiel-Arena, Düsseldorf; Arena AufSchalke, Gelsenkirchen; and MSV-Arena, Duisburg all being used. The final, though, will be held at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne, which usually hosts matches for Bundesliga outfit, 1. FC Koln.
The tournament still has a number of top-quality sides competing in the latter stages of the competition, therefore making it a little difficult to predict a winner. Nonetheless, Manchester United will likely be favoured by many to pick up the trophy once it is all said and done. However, it is far from a single-horse race and those that follow horse tipsters know that it is not always straight forward.
The RhienEnergieStadion, which will be known as Stadion Koln for the Europa League final because of sponsorship reasons, has been picked as the new venue for the showpiece because of the current pandemic and is certainly a venue that has all the potential of hosting a spectacle as big as the match.
The 50,000-seater capacity venue has been used for World Cup and Confederation Cup matches in the past, having had the responsibility of hosting four group matches as well as one Round of 16 tie in the 2006 tournament. The stadium also hosted matches in the 1988 European Championships as well, with two fixtures taking place at the venue.
The RheinEnergieStadion has also been host to a number of concerts over the years as well, with the likes of Coldplay, AC/DC, Rihanna and Pink having all performed whilst on their respective tours.
The stadium will host the meeting between Manchester United and Kobenhavn in the quarter-finals before going on to host the winner of QF3 and the winner of QF1 in the semi-final on 16th August.
Once the two finalists have been determined, the RheinEnergieStadion will then be prepared to host the 2019/20 edition of the Europa League’s final showpiece on 21st August.
With the competition having originally been scheduled to take place in Gdansk, Poland, that particular venue will now have to wait until the 2020/21 Europa League campaign to get their chance to host a top-club match.