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Europa League Tips: Thursday April 20th
by the Cheeky Punter
We absolutely smashed it last week with our Europa League bets hitting 3/4 correct at odds of better than even money for each winner. Lets hope we can produce the same results with this Thursdays tips and predictions.
It’s the second legs of the quarter final stage and all eyes will be on the Man United v Anderlecht game after the Belgian side rescued a late draw against United in the first leg. I’ve got tips for that match and some other great selections below.
Football Tips & Predictions: Thursday 20th April
April 20, 2017
April 20, 2017
Lyon hold a narrow 2-1 lead after the first leg in France, coming from a goal down to win.
Besiktas will be without Marcelo and Vincent Aboubakar, both of whom are suspended.
Lyon will be missing Rafael through suspension.
Besiktas have not lost a European game at the Vodafone Arena, EVER.
Lyon have lost just one of their last four away games.
Games involving Lyon have the most goals per game (3.6) of any team in this year’s Europa League.
Besiktas will feel they should be heading into this game at least level, if not with a lead following their late capitulation in Lyon a week ago. That turned a hugely promising 1-0 lead into a 2-1 defeat and now means that Lyon have the slight advantage for the second leg.
This is a game which does promise goals. Besiktas home games have seen both teams score in every European tie this season, while Lyon have the highest goals per game ratio of all teams that entered the competition. Add to that the fact this is a second leg and this is a match that promises plenty of goalmouth action at both ends of the pitch.
My gut feeling here is that Lyon will do just enough to get through, but I think it will be a dramatic night of action and I think that this is a game that will most likely end up as a draw on the night after 90 minutes.
Celta Vigo hold a narrow 3-2 lead from the first leg in Spain, but away goals could be key.
Genk have played Spanish sides on nine occasions, winning once drawing four and losing four.
Genk have played 8 at home in Europe this season, winning 7 and drawing 1.
In their 8 games this season at home in Europe, Genk have conceded just 2 goals
Celta have won their last three away Europa League ties by the same 2-0 scoreline.
Both teams warmed up for this game with impressive 3-0 away wins in the league.
This is a really tough one to call, Genk have a superb home record in Europe this season, but Celta Vigo’s away form in the competition, particularly in the knockout phase, is outstanding and they have beaten some top quality sides on their travels.
Celta have also never lost to a Belgian side in seven games, winning three and drawing four and while normally I think Genk’s two away goals would be crucial, Celta are so strong on their travels that I think they’ll fancy their chances of scoring at least once, if not more in Belgium.
I do feel both teams will score here and I also feel that Celta’s quality will probably be the difference, so I am going for another exciting match here but for Celta to snatch the win to claim that semi final spot.
Tie stands at 1-1 after a late Anderlecht equaliser in the first leg.
Anderlecht have never won a game on English soil.
United are unbeaten in their last 16 home games in UEFA Competitions.
The Europa League is the only UEFA trophy Man Utd have never won.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrik Mkhitaryan are likely to feature after missing the weekend game.
Anderlecht have won only 7 of 33 games against English teams, all at home.
All the stats seem to point to a relatively comfortable night for United at Old Trafford. The Red Devils were upset at conceding a sloppy late equaliser in Belgium and should really have won that game to make the second leg considerably easier.
That said, with key players rested for this tie following United’s impressive 2-0 win at Chelsea at the weekend, I can see little hope for any Anderlecht fans here, especially when you consider Ibrahimovic once put four past them when playing for PSG a few years back.
I think United look very strong defensively and they have scored plenty of goals in Europe, in contrast to the Premier League, so I am backing the home side to win this game by a comfortable amount to move smoothly into the semi finals.
Ajax hold a 2-0 lead from the first leg thanks to two Davy Klaasen strikes.
Schalke have won by 3 clear goals in their last 3 games against Dutch opposition.
Schalke 04 are unbeaten in five European games this season at home.
Ajax have lost just once on their travels in Europe this season.
Schalke will be without Thilo Keher who is suspended .
Both teams have won this trophy previously, Ajax 1991/92 and Schalke 1996/97.
Of all the teams heading into the second leg this week in the Europa League, Ajax are arguably in the strongest position. A 2-0 lead from the first leg, allied to a strong record against German sides in general mean Ajax will be confident of making it through to the semi final.
Schalke meanwhile have it all to do but the German side have a good record at home against Dutch teams in particular and they are certainly capable of overturning the deficit. However they will know that keeping a clean sheet is vital if they are to stand any chance of winning the game.
I think Schalke will likely do enough on the night to win the game, but I am not sure it will be enough to book themselves a place in the semi final, so while I am backing Schalke to win, I think it will be Ajax celebrating at the final whistle.
The Cheeky Punter is an professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has worked for a number of top bookmakers including Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. He's also written for a number of leading news outlets including the Guardian, i (newspaper) and Soccer Lens. More about him here.