Europa League | Preview and odds

The hunt for the Europa League trophy is entering its penultimate stage, with the first leg of the semi-finals taking place on Thursday.

There have been a couple of surprise results along the way, with Red Bull Salzburg eliminating European giants Borussia Dortmund in the last 16, but in Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, and Marseille, there are still some heavy-hitters with their eye on the trophy.

Our football betting expert casts an eye over the some of the best bets across the two fixtures.

Arsenal v Atletico Madrid  

Since beating CSKA Moscow in the last round, plenty has changed at Arsenal – long-serving boss Arsene Wenger has announced he’ll be stepping down at the end of the season.

This means the final weeks of the season will turn into a long farewell for Wenger, but whether it will be a victory lap or not depends on how the Gunners fare in the Europa League.

Arsenal comfortably beat West Ham on Sunday, and are building a bit of momentum – though are far better at home than they are away.

The Gunners are 6/4 with

If they are to go through, they’ll need to breach an Atletico back line that has conceded just three goals in six Europa League games.

Diego Simeone’s men have reached the Champions League final twice in the past four years, and are experts at getting through knockout ties.

They too are 6/4 to pick up a first leg win on Thursday.

Semi-finals are usually cagey affairs – especially with Atletico involved.

I see this one finishing level, at 2/1 – and like the look of under 2.5 goals at 3/4.

Marseille v Red Bull Salzburg

Red Bull Salzburg are the only team on track to win silverware other than the Europa League trophy this season, with a nearly-unassailable 11-point lead atop the Austrian Bundesliga five matches from home.

Red Bull Salzburg shocked Borussia Dortmund in the last round – and the outsiders for the tournament (13/2 to take the trophy) will hope to cause another upset against Marseille.

They travel to a French side that have won seven of their eight home matches in this competition so far – with the recently renovated Stade Velodrome a fortress.

Marseille are a short-priced 8/13 to win this one, with Salzburg 4/1, and the draw at 3/1.
Unlike the other semi-final, I can see some goals in this one.

Marseille have scored 11 goals in their last three home Europa League matches, meaning the 7/2 on offer for over 4.5 goals could be a shrewd bet.

I wouldn’t put it past the visitors giving it a good go, though, or stealing a precious away goal in the closing minutes. Red Bull netted six times in their three games on the road during the knockout stages and top scorer Munas Dabbur is 7/1 to score last, which could also be worth a shot.










One response to “Europa League | Preview and odds”

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