Europa League Quarter-Finals Preview, 18 April

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We take a look at the 4 quarter-final second leg matches taking place in the Europa League on Thursday night and suggest a bet in each game.

 

Chelsea v Slavia Prague click here to bet

Chelsea are the 16/10 favourites ahead of Arsenal priced at 59/20 (click here for outright betting) after they beat Slavia Prague 1-0 on the road in the first leg.  They have been excellent in this competition all season with 9 wins and a draw in 10 matches and 4 of their 5 home wins have come by more than a goal including a 3-0 home victory over Dynamo Kyiv in the last 16.

Slavia Prague have lost 2 of their away matches this season and although they did well to draw 2-2 at Sevilla in their away leg in the last 16, beating Chelsea on the road looks a step too far for them.

Suggested bet:  Handicap, Chelsea (-1) at 19/20

Chelsea have won most of their home games comfortably this season in the Europa League and I am expecting more of the same especially given they are battling a bit in the EPL and may need to win this Tournament to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

 

Eintracht Frankfurt v Benfica Lisbon – click here to bet

Frankfurt went down 4-2 away to Benfica in the first leg and clearly have a mountain to climb here.  It was their first defeat in the competition and they have had some good home wins this season including beating Shakhtar Donetsk 4-1 in the round of 32.

Benfica required extra time to beat Zagreb in their last 16 match, having edged Galatasaray 2-1 on aggregate in the last 32.  They will be disappointed to have conceded 2 goals at home, meaning a 3-1 or 2-0 defeat would see them exit the Tournament.

Suggested bet:  The draw at 59/20

Frankfurt are strong at home, but Benfica did look the better of the sides in the first leg and I think they will get a draw here.

 

Napoli v Arsenal click here to bet

Arsenal won the home leg 2-0 and Napoli will need to repeat the 3-0 victory they got over Salzburg at home in the last 16.  They also beat Zurich at home in the round of 32.

Arsenal’s defeats in Europe this season have all come on the road, 3-1 at Rennes in their last 16 encounter and 1-0 against BATE in the Round of 32.

Suggested bet:  Handicap, Napoli (-1), the draw at 3/1

Napoli won’t be an easy match at home, but I think Arsenal will do what is needed to progress and for this bet to arrive I need Napoli to win by exactly one goal.

 

Valencia v Villarreal click here to bet

Valencia were very impressive in the first leg winning 3-1 on the road and they are the 9/2 third favourites to win the Cup.  Their other home games in this competition saw them beat Krasnodar 2-1 and Celtic 1-0 in the Round of 16 and 32 respectively.

The defeat at home to Valencia was Villarreal’s first of the competition and their last 2 away games have been a 3-1 over Zenit Pietersburg and a 1-0 win over Sporting.

Suggested bet:  Over 2.5 goals at 8/10

With the home team forced to attack from the first whistle, I can see chances coming at both ends and over 2.5 goals would have arrived in Villarreal’s last 3 matches.

Note:  Prices correct at the time of posting but are subject to change

 

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