The second legs of this season’s Europa League quarter-finals take place across the continent this Thursday night with a position in the last four of the competition the tantalising prize on offer to each of the eight teams in action.
The promise of Champions League qualification next season for the victors has added an extra kick to the pot since its introduction and it’s there to be claimed by any of these teams between now and May 16.
We’ve run through the best online bookies' odds for these fixtures with the aim of selecting the best value bets on offer for those of you who might be looking to have a wager on the fixtures.
The Austrian side fell to their first defeat in the competition this season last week in a high-scoring affair that finished 4-2 to the Italians. They’ve been chalked up at 6/5 with BetBright to get a win on their return to home soil, with the visitors at 21/10 with 888Sport and the draw priced up at 27/10 with Matchbook.
The odds-against prices available for all three options in the win-draw-win section smack of a bit of value and mean we don’t have to get to intricate to find a bet worth taking on. Red Bull Salzburg were impressive in the first leg in Rome - despite the scoreline - and are a force to be reckoned with at the Red Bull Arena.
They held perennial Champions League participants Borussia Dortmund to a scoreless draw here last time and can be relied upon to run Lazio close in the battle to qualify. Incidentally, they’re 3/1 to do so with Bet365 but, once again, there’s no need to be too cute here with the aforementioned quotes of 6/5 with BetBright about them getting a win on the night looking more than fair.
RB Leipzig’s ascent to European football has been rapid but they’ve looked just at home on this stage thus far. Timo Werner’s single goal in the first leg gave them the narrowest of advantages to take with them to Marseille’s Stade Velodrome.
Rudi Garcia’s Marseille are old hands on the continental scene but they couldn’t make that experience tell in Germany, where they failed to get on the goalsheet. That sets the scene for a cagey affair at this most picturesque of grounds and the 13/5 available with Matchbook about a draw here appeals.
With their hopes of Champions League qualification via league position all but gone, the significance of this tournament to the North London side’s season cannot be overstated. They brushed past a sub-par CSKA side at the Emirates last week by a 4-1 margin and that should, in truth, be enough to bring them through the tie with ease. They’re as short as 1/100 to qualify.
An angle that might be worth examining in this tie is the chance of there being a significant haul of goals. The hosts, with nothing to lose, will surely have to take a swing at Arsenal at some point and that could leave their hollow backline exposed. Another goal-heavy affair looks likely. Over 3.5 goals in the Total Goals market can be backed at an attractive 6/4 with Black Type.
The task that Sporting had on their hands in this tie, in taking on an Atletico side that are undoubtedly the best in the competition, looked above them last week as they fell to a comprehensive 2-0 defeat at the Metropolitano. It won’t be made any easier by the public scalding that much of the squad were handed down by the club’s chairman in the aftermath of the game.
This tie looks a foregone conclusion and the quotes of 1/14 about the Spanish side progressing from the tie being offered by 888Sport speak volumes about the line the bookies are taking on this one. As for the game itself, the struggling Sporting CP can be backed at 4/1 on Matchbook, with the visitors available at 10/11 with Unibet and the draw at 23/10 with BetBright.
With the gulf in quality between these two sides apparent, we’re keen to side with the visitors in one manner or another. One avenue of approach that might prove worthwhile is looking into the Anytime Goalscorer markets.
Antoine Griezmann has been in sparkling form in front of goal of late, scoring both in the reverse fixture and in the Madrid derby over the weekend and he’ll fancy his chances of extending his scoring run to three games on the spin. He’s 6/4 to find the target with an 888Sport bet and that’s a price worth taking.