Europa League acca: £5 pays £314
The best of the best on Thursday
The football just keeps coming this week and, with the Champions League results in the bag, we turn our attentions to matters in Europe’s support act, the Europa League, where Man Utd and Spurs look to make an impact.
A sure-fire way to increase your enjoyment of the evening’s football is with a bet, and you can have your say on all the fixtures here. We aim to give a helping hand with our seven-fold. £5 down pays £314.75 if we are on the money, with prices and returns mentioned correct at the time of writing.
Man Utd beat St Etienne
United’s form going into this is simply superb and if Jose Mourinho values the competition highly enough, they can go on and win it. Would he risk lifting the trophy against finishing in the top-four of the Premier League? It’s not likely.
United finished as runners-up behind Fenerbahce in Group A, but they never got out of first gear during the group stages and have plenty more to give, as we will see here. Etienne topped pool C, and were unbeaten in doing so, but a record of three wins and three draws is hardly anything to fear. Man Utd, on their own patch, are taken at 3/10.
Tottenham beat Gent
Spurs drop in from the level above and, similar to United, if they want this trophy then it looks there for the taking. We have seen the Londoners treat the competition with little more than a passing interest in previous years, and will be hurting from their Champions League exploits, but in this match, they’re surely a good thing.
Pochettino will demand an instant answer from his side, after going down to Liverpool at the weekend, barely featuring in the first-half – where the damage was done. A couple of fringe players will be given their chance to shine here, and it looks a great time to catch the eye. We support Spurs at 3/4.
Fenerbahce beat Krasnodar
The Turks, led by a former winner of this competition in Dick Advocaat, strolled to a Group A win, leading Manchester United home by a point. They delivered when it mattered, winning each of their last three, and face a side winless in their last four, a run including three defeats. This looks simple at a very worthwhile 2/1.
Olympiakos beat Osmanlispor
Olympiakos are an easy selection to have in front of their own fans. They are runaway leaders in the Greek Superleague, and won at the weekend to stretch their recent run to four in-a-row. If taking that form into this one, they will lend a helping hand at 8/15.
Athletic Bilbao beat APOEL
Another side handling themselves domestically, and another who should get this tie completed in the first-leg at home. Bilbao are unbeaten in three in the Europa League and have lost just one of their last seven in La Liga. 1/4 is tight, but it should give us no drama.
Villarreal beat Roma
One to boost up the returns now and Roma are opposed on the road, despite their league form. The Spaniards have suffered defeat only once in their last nine La Liga fixtures, with the spare coming against Valencia last month. Roma are a top side, and have every chance of going through, but I expect Villarreal to give nothing away. 13/8 does the job.
Lyon beat AZ Alkmaar
Another that goes in on the basis that they look to have been overpriced. Lyon were unlucky to have been dropped into a tough Champions League group, but did well to finish third, ahead of Dinamo Zagreb. They are a bigger side and can prove it at 5/6.