Europa League Quarter-Final Tips – Thursday 15th April
We had Manchester United to thank for a solid profit of £35 on our Europa League tips last week, as Bruno Fernandes last minute penalty put United 2-0 up and meant that my correct score tip was bang on the money and gave us a very nice return.
I was expecting there to be a few more goals last week than there actually were and I was surprised at some of the results, notably Villarreal’s win in Zagreb against Dinamo and especially AS Roma coming back from 1-0 down to beat Ajax 2-1 in Amsterdam.
It’s the second leg of the four Europa League quarter-finals this week and I think in three of those ties, things look pretty much well settled, barring a collapse by the home team. I think AS Roma, Villarreal and Manchester United look pretty much certainties to reach the semifinals.
The big game with the question mark is the Slavia Prague v Arsenal tie which is balanced precariously at 1-1 after a dramatic end to the first leg in London. Yet oddly, Slavia have been better away from home against English teams in this competition so maybe this is Arsenal’s best chance of progressing.
It should be an interesting set of games and here are my tips for each of the four matches taking place on Thursday night.
Europa League Betting Tips: Thursday 15th April
In the last two rounds, Manchester United have won the away leg of their Europa League tie very comfortably and then progressed on the back of a home draw that saw them safely through. After a 2-0 win in Granada in the first leg, I can see something very similar happening here.
United will be without three key players for this game in Maguire, Shaw and McTominay and I think that does weaken them defensively. Granada ended their streak of four losses at the weekend and they’ll know that any chance of them progressing depends on them scoring first here.
At Old Trafford this season, United have been fallible at times but their form has been much improved of late at home and I can’t see them allowing Granada enough chances for the Spanish team to put them under real pressure. Granada may get a goal, but I think United will keep pace with the Spaniards and progress that way.
As such, I think a 1-1 draw is the most likely outcome here and that I feel would make for relatively simple progress into the next round of the tournament.
Ibanez’s stunning late volley in the first leg handed AS Roma a commanding position in this tie and capped a fine second half fightback from the Italians. Davy Klaassen had given Ajax a first half lead but Roma’s excellent form in the Europa League drove them on to victory.
That put Ajax in a very difficult position in this second leg. Roma have won all their home games in the Europa League this season, some of them by commanding margins and they will be confident that they can pick up the right result against an Ajax side that were a little naïve at times in the first leg.
Roma have won home and away in both legs of the knockout phase of the Europa League and an away win in the first leg here puts them in a great position to do the same. This Ajax team, in my view, doesn’t seem to have the same quality as teams of the past and I think they are going to find this a step too far.
As such, I am backing AS Roma to land the win here relatively comfortably and for the Italians to progress into the semifinals.
The first leg between these two teams was a very tight affair but Arsenal looked to have won it with Pepe’s late goal, however Holes injury time header handed Slavia a priceless away goal and a draw to take into the home leg.
The Czech side are unbeaten at home in a long time, 30 games to be exact and they have held the likes of Rangers and Leicester in some of their most recent home games. As such, Arsenal look set to be in for another very tough evening in the Czech Republic.
The Gunners could have snatched a win had they taken their chances in the first leg. They did hit the woodwork twice and perhaps on another night, may have taken a narrow lead into the second leg, however their erratic form and their inability to keep clean sheets (14 games and counting) means that Slavia will feel they have a real chance here.
That said, I think we are in for a very tight second leg and I would not be surprised if the match requires extra time or even penalties to decide the winner, hence I am going for the draw here.
Villarreal’s superb form in the Europa League continued last week with a fine 1-0 win in Zagreb over Dinamo. The Spaniards managed to blunt a Zagreb attack that had scored plenty of goals at home in the competition so far this season and emerge with a fantastic win to bring into the home leg in Spain.
I fancied Villarreal to go through from this tie anyway on the back of their brilliant Europa League form and the fact that they have now won their last five games in all competitions. That away leg win means that a solid home performance is all that is needed to take the Spaniards through and I think that is precisely what we will get.
The Spanish side have played some nice football at times this season and they are at the right end of the La Liga table. They should also progress into the semifinals of this competition too as I can’t see Zagreb scoring a goal in Spain.
It won’t be the most exciting game in the world I feel, but I do feel Villarreal will win the match either 1-0 or 2-0 to make solid progress into the next round.
*Tips are exactly that tips (predictions) and do not guarantee success.