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Europa League Tips: Thursday 27th February
by David Lenton
Last week we posted a small profit on our Europa League tips, thanks to the Copenhagen v Celtic game finishing as a score draw…
I was on for another £75 when Braga led Rangers 2-1 and looking likely to increase their lead, only for Rangers to come back to claim a 3-2 win and scupper that result.
All in all, one or two goals apart, I was pretty close to being on the money in my tips last week in the Europa League so I am quietly confident having had a set of first leg games to get the taste of what is to come this week, that we should be pretty close on all the tips this week.
Once again, I am going to focus mainly on the teams in England and Scotland for these tips as they are simply teams that I am more familiar with and who I feel I can more accurately predict the performances of.
Europa League Betting Tips: Thursday 20th February
February 27, 2020
February 27, 2020
Wolves were superb in the first leg, recording a convincing 4-0 win at Molineux.
Wolves reached the final of this competition in May 1972, losing to Spurs.
Espanyol won just one of their Group Stage games (6-0 v Ludogorets).
The Spaniards are twice losing finalists of this competition in 1988 and 2007.
A hat-trick from Diego Jota as well as a stunning volley from Ruben Neves has put Wolves in a very strong position for the second leg in Spain against an Espanyol side that remain at the foot of La Liga and who have never come back from a deficit of this size before in Europe.
Wolves were by far the better and more clinical team and in truth, the Spanish sides best chances tended to come from uncharacteristic defensive misfires by Wolves, but even then they could not capitalise on those fleeting and few chances.
With such a big first leg lead, I cant see Wolves going gung ho here. They don’t need to and I think Espanyol will know that, miracles apart, this tie is dead and buried. As such, I think the second leg will be a low key affair and if Wolves get an early goal, then I think they will just sit back to see the tie out.
I think a Wolves win or a draw is the most likely here and I have just gone for the draw as Espanyol will not want to be beaten on home soil in front of their own fans, even in a tie they are already out of.
The first leg finished 1-1 Martial equalising for United after Bonaventure’s early strike.
Head to head United have won two of the three games the teams have played.
Bruno Fernandes will likely start for Utd after an impressive subs performance in the 1st leg.
Brugge drew two of their three away games in the Champions League Group Stage.
I have to be honest here and say that while United will feel that they got the better of things in this game with the draw, it was a very disappointing performance by United, who only came to life really when Bruno Fernandes was introduced as a late substitute in the game.
Until then, Brugge had been the equal of United for long stretches and were well worthy of the draw. They also have the benefit of knowing they can pick up points on the road, having drawn away to Real Madrid and Galatasaray in the group stages of the Champions League, as well as losing narrowly to Paris St Germain 1-0.
United will be the firm favourites in the second leg at Old Trafford, but we have already seen this season (and recently) that their home form has been far from consistent and this Brugge side is a danger on the counter attack. As such, I think the potential for this game to be taken to extra time and even penalties is a real possibility.
I am going to go with the draw here, probably 1-1 and extra time and penalties maybe being required to decide the winner.
Ndoye equalised Edouard’s early strike to give Copenhagen a draw in the first leg.
Fraser Forster’s second half penalty save from Stage could prove crucial in the tie.
Celtic had more than twice as many shots and shots on target than Copenhagen.
Celtic have never got past the Round of 32 stage since it was introduced in the competition.
Having watched the first leg of this game in full, I was very surprised that it did eventually end all square. In truth, Celtic could have been 3-0 up after Odsonne Edouard missed two great chances before converting the third he had in the 14th minute. Even then, the Scottish side had some gilt-edged chances to claim the win in the second half.
However, in that second half Copenhagen came much more into the game and they too looked dangerous and it was not a huge surprise when Ndoye equalised. However, the home side then missed a penalty when Forster tipped Stage’s penalty onto the post and that could be absolutely crucial in the second leg.
With a home crowd roaring them on, I think Celtic will be keen to replicate the number of chances that they created in Denmark only on home soil, I would expect them to be a bit more clinical in front of goal and if they do that, then I feel they could make it through this tie.
I can see Celtic getting two or even three goals, the question is whether Copenhagen will score and in truth, given Celtic’s home form, I think the odds are against that. Hence I am backing the Celts to win to nil here.
Arsenal won 1-0 in the first leg thanks to Lacazette’s late strike in Greece.
The Gunners also fielded a full-strength side for this game in the first leg.
Olympiakos have only reached the Round of 16 once, in 2017.
Arsenal were beaten finalists in this competition last year, losing 4-1 to Chelsea in Baku.
The first leg of this game saw Arsenal produce a determined and stoic performance as they silenced a passionate home crowd to grab a vital late goal to earn a 1-0 win and give themselves an excellent chance of, once again, making progress in this competition.
The Greek side started the game very well with Arsenal under a lot of pressure, but as the game wore on the Gunners began to gain more control and the late goal from Lacazette was a very welcome bonus from a game that perhaps, deserved to end in a draw.
With Arsenal now reverting to a full-strength team, as opposed to a younger, more inexperienced side that they fielded in the Group Stage, things bode well for the Gunners in the second leg against a Greek side that don’t tend to travel all that well in Europe.
As such, I would expect Arsenal to have an easier time of things at home and they know if they keep a clean sheet, they will progress. I expect them to do that but also grab a goal or two the other way just to sure things up.
David 'the Cheeky Punter' Lenton is an ex professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has also worked for a number of top bookmakers including Bet365, Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. With such a long time spent dedicated to the gambling industry no one is better placed when it comes to advising punters. Follow on Twitter @thecheekypunter