Europa League Tips: Thursday 18th March
We had a fantastic set of tips last week in the Europa League, landing £59.50 profit across the four games, with three of my selections coming in.
We’re also up in the Champions League already (I’m writing this after only two UCL games have been played) so things are going in the right direction.
Seeing as my tips on these games went so well last week, I have decided that I should stick with them this week.
The big game comes in Milan though where Simon Kjaer’s late goal for Milan gave them a deserved draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford. The Italians had a goal rule out for handball which didn’t appear to be so in the first half (Kessie scoring with a fine volley from it) and there could have been no complaints had that goal been allowed.
However, United have a superb away record and I think they are set up perfectly to catch the Serie A side on the counterattack as they have done to a number of teams in this competition, most notably Paris St Germain. With Zlatan Ibrahimović likely to return for AC Milan, this could well be one of the games of the tournament.
Don’t overlook Rangers game with Slavia Prague though as that is also poised delicately at 1-1 and as we know from their 2-0 win away to Leicester in the last round, this Czech team is capable of beating some of the top teams from Britain on the road.
Europa League Betting Tips: Thursday 11th March
Arsenal lead this tie 3-1 from the first leg, but once again their defensive issues cost them a goal on the night and although they snatched two late goals to make the scoreline comfortable, there is no doubt that they were slightly fortunate to have a two goal lead heading into the home leg.
Olympiakos have won on both their last two visits to London to take on Arsenal, so they won’t be unduly fazed by this, but the fact that the Greek side now need to win the game by two clear goals in order to progress does make this a very difficult task for them.
Generally Arsenal’s performances have been improving and Willian and Gabriel were particularly noteworthy in their performances in the first leg. However, they have to cut out giving away silly goals caused by defensive mistakes if they are to progress.
The fact Olympiakos will have to attack I think plays into Arsenal’s strengths however and as such, I am backing the Gunners to win again here but once again I feel both teams will find the net.
Dinamo Zagreb showed they were a very neat and tidy team in their 2-0 defeat in London last week. Harry Kane was their tormentor in chief scoring two goals, one in each half, to fire Spurs to the win which puts the English side in pole position in the tie.
Spurs away record in Europe this season isn’t blemish free. They were beaten in Antwerp and held to a draw by LASK Linz, however they have won their other two away games and with a solid lead, they should comfortably make it through into the next round of the competition.
Zagreb though looked a well-organised side, and they are a team that has been tough to beat at home. That said, this Tottenham attack has so much quality, especially on the counterattack, that Zagreb are not going to be used to playing against a team so potentially clinical in front of goal.
As such, I can see Spurs having the opportunity to hit the Croatians on the counter here and that is when the likes of Bale and Son in particular can shine. As such, I think Spurs may well even run out winners in the away tie too to make it into the Quarterfinals.
A draw in the first leg away from home is no guarantee you will progress against Slavia, as Leicester City found out in the last round. Slavia have also beaten Nice in this competition this season, home and away, as well as earning away draws at Inter and Barcelona in the Champions League Group Stages last season.
So this is no mug team and it is a game that Rangers manager Steven Gerrard, with the Scottish Premier League title already secured, will have renewed focus on as he attempts to push this Rangers team further into Europe than they have been for many, many years.
The Gers are sweating on the fitness of Ryan Jack and James Tavernier for this game, and both will be big misses if they are absent. However, at Ibrox they have been very good this season and it is worth noting that they remain unbeaten domestically and have also not been beaten in the Europa League this season.
As such, I think this will be a closely fought game between two sides who could surprise a team or two this season but I am going to go with the home team to land a narrow win here. Probably by a 2-1 scoreline.
There’s no doubt that Milan were well deserving of their draw at Old Trafford last week. Frank Kessie’s goal being ruled out looked very harsh and although they got their leveller late on, I don’t think anybody can deny they were full value for the draw.
United were not quite as sharp in that game as they have been in others this season but I think the absence of the likes of Rashford and Pogba played a big role in that and Solskjaer will be hoping he has one or both of those stars fit enough to play in the second leg in Milan on Thursday.
Rashford in particular would be a hugely beneficial player as his pace on the counter alongside James has been a big part of why United have had such a great away record over the last year or so. They are going to need it going into the San Siro to take on a Milan side who will also have a number of players potentially back from injury.
This is going to be close but I think United are a team set up to perform better away from home and as such, I am backing them to land a win here by a 2-1 scoreline.
*Tips are exactly that tips (predictions) and do not guarantee success.