Man Utd to menace Liverpool, Dortmund to derail Spurs in Europa League last 16
Holly Thackeray | March 9, 2016
Thursday evening is Europa League night, and there are some truly tantalising tussles featuring Premier League clubs set to steal the show.
First up, in a tea-time contest, Tottenham travel to Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund for their last 16 first leg fray. While, all eyes will be on Anfield as Manchester United make the short trek to bitter Northwest rivals Liverpool in a later kick-off.
So, read on as Coral writers preview some brilliant betting ahead of these exciting Europa encounters, but don’t forget to also check out our top tips for the non-English contingent’s continental clashes…
Borussia Dortmund v Tottenham
- Europa League
- Thursday, March 10th
- Kick-off: 18:00 GMT
- Westfalenstadion, Dortmund
- Live on BT Sport 2
Dortmund dangerous for travelling Tottenham
So, it turns out that Spurs were the first English team Borussia Dortmund ever faced, way back in 1950 for a non-competitive summer tour scramble.
Tottenham ran out triumphant 4-0 winners then, but will face a much sterner test this time around as they take on a Thomas Tuchel team in fierce form.
Dortmund are most dangerous in front of their own flamboyant yellow fans, with just one defeat across all competitions on home turf this term making the Germans odds-on 4/7 favourites over 90 minutes.
Unbeaten since December, the Bundesliga big-guns are an attacking force to be reckoned with, but Spurs will surely seek to expose a creaky defence on the counter.
Exciting attacking talents to keep an eye on
Hosts Dortmund have hit 20 goals in Europe this season, and so far have notched 59 on league duty, so expect them to go for Tottenham’s jugular.
However, Spurs are no shrinking violets themselves, as they rank second for goals scored in the Premier League, so back BVB for the win but both teams to score at a tremendous 5/2 (max stake £20).
Tuchel has sought-after sharpshooter Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to deploy against his guests, and the Gabon international goal machine will be confident of adding to his 32 strikes in all competitions against Spurs, with a 3/1 price for the attacker to open the scoring.
While, crafty Henrikh Mkhitaryan (7/4 in the anytime market) will also be attempting to poke holes in Tottenham’s midfield, which will miss a suspended Dele Alli.
Harry Kane (also 7/4 for a goal anytime) will of course be the main man sent to trouble Tuchel’s sometimes unreliable rearguard, while wing pair Nacer Chadli and Son Heung-Min (11/4 to bag back on German soil) will be pushing Erik Lamela for a spot in support.
Liverpool v Manchester United
- Europa League
- Thursday, March 10th
- Kick-off: 20:05 GMT
- Anfield, Liverpool
- Live on BT Sport Europe
Red Devils recent record cause for Klopp concern
And now the big one, as fierce historical foes Liverpool and Man Utd meet for, somewhat incredibly, the first time in European competition.
A shot at Europa League glory is crucial for these two teams’ Champions League chances, with the Premier League top four spaces slipping out of reach for both Louis van Gaal and Jurgen Klopp.
The Red Devils should be most confident on their away at Anfield, however, as the Mancunians have dominated the last four Northwest league derbies, taking maximum points from those meetings.
Odds of 14/5 for a Red Devils victory in normal time are tempting then, as form goes out of the window in a game such as this.
Liverpool looking for route past De Gea
United also hold the trump card between the sticks, and Liverpool (11/10 match favourites) will have to find a way past superb post protector David De Gea, with their forwards still toiling.
Struggling striker Christian Benteke came on as a late sub last time out for the Reds against Crystal Palace, converting the winning penalty, and could get the nod to test the Spanish stopper.
Who could forget the Belgian bruiser’s stunning solo effort at Old Trafford earlier this season? So, why not back the once formidable frontman to turn his troubled term around at 13/2 to fire the final blow again.
Klopp can also currently count on Brazilian schemer Roberto Firmino, with the flexible forward grabbing two goals in as many of his last outings and an enticing 15/8 anytime shout to continue his rich vein of form.
As for Man Utd net threats, playmaker Juan Mata will be keen to make amends after seeing red against West Bromwich Albion and has a penchant for poaching against the Reds, with three strikes from his last four against the Merseysiders.
While, France forward Anthony Martial (6/1 for first blood) will also be seeking to recreate the memorable magic which saw the striker sink a gorgeous goal past Simon Mignolet on his Red Devils debut.