The first round of the round of 16 of the Europa League was played last week. Only a couple of teams managed to take a solid advantage ahead of the second leg. The match-ups are now reversed and all eight will be played on Thursday. Here we will take a brief look at what we should be expecting.
DYNAMO KYIV VS CHELSEA
This is probably the least interesting of all eight matches on Thursday due to the outcome of the first leg. Chelsea were excellent on both ends of the pitch in the first leg in London and won by an easy 0-3. Dynamo Kyiv do have the advantage of the cold weather but they are much worse than Chelsea overall. Maybe they can pressure them but I see no upset here. Chelsea have a tough match coming up in the Premier League and will probably play it very safe here.
Prediction: Under 2.25 Goals (-103)
KRASNODAR VS VALENCIA
This was a really balanced match between the two sides. Valencia were excellent in the first half but Krasnodar were better in the second. Valencia did score twice in the first half but conceded a goal at the 63rd minute for the final 1-2. This is not an easy match for Valencia, as the hosts have been solid at home this season. I see goals from both sides here and at least Over 2.5 Goals in total. Also the repeat of the 1-2 of the first leg goes straight into my system.
Prediction: Over 2.5 Goals (+100) / Krasnodar to win by 1-2 (+961)
SALZBURG VS NAPOLI
Napoli did a really good job in the first leg when they won by 0-3 at home. That is actually a massive advantage to take ahead of the second leg, but there are some things we need to see. First of all, Salzburg were tremendous in the league stage and can certainly score three goals here. Napoli will be missing their three best central defenders so their defense will be massively tested. I expect a home win here, and will take my chances with the correct score.
Prediction: Salzburg -0.25 (+106) / Salzburg to win by 0-3 (+2156)
ARSENAL VS RENNES
Arsenal fell victims to a huge upset in the first leg, losing by a harsh 1-3 in France. They actually took the lead in that match but saw a red card shortly after. They did hand out the lead to their opponents when they scored an own goal with the score at 1-1. And they conceded another late goal to lose by a dangerous 1-3. But I fully expect them to win the home match and quite possibly to repeat the score of the first match.
Prediction: Arsenal -1.5 (-124) / Arsenal to win by 1-3 (+875)
BENFICA VS DINAMO ZAGREB
Benfica didn’t have much luck in the first leg where they lost by 0-1 on the road. Dinamo Zagreb scored the only goal of the match through a penalty kick at the end of the first half. It was a really poor match in terms of quality and there were not a lot of solid chances. But it was just a slim loss for Benfica who will try to make use of home advantage. I will go with Benfica here and I expect them to cover the correct score of the first match on their way to qualifying.
Prediction: Benfica -1.25 (+106)
INTER MILAN VS FRANKFURT
I did mention in the article that Inter Milan are one of the most unpredictable teams. They can beat a team by five goals but can also lose to a bottom side. I truly expected a lot of goals in the first leg in Germany but we actually had none. Inter Milan missed a penalty kick and both goalkeepers had 11 saves combined. Both teams had their fair share of scoring chances but somehow got stuck at a goal-less draw. Frankfurt will bring almost 14,000 fans with them and I doubt the two teams will remain score-less again.
Prediction: Over 2.5 Goals (-112)
SLAVIA PRAGUE VS SEVILLA
Sevilla were the better team in the first leg but they somehow didn’t win. They took the lead twice in the first half but their opponents responded to both goals. To be honest, Slavia Prague’s second goal was a really lucky goal that even the scorer didn’t realize it went it. In any case, Sevilla are in some kind of trouble now and will need to win here. They did blow off some steam with a nice 2-5 win in their domestic league over the weekend, but their defense is always shaky.
Prediction: Sevilla to win (+104) / Sevilla to win by 2-1 (+722)
VILLARREAL VS ZENIT PETERSBURG
Villarreal were excellent in the first leg where they pulled a massive 3-1 win in Russia. They were much better than their opponents and took a massive advantage. However, they have been really struggling in their domestic league. They have a crucial match coming up on Sunday against a team that is also battling to avoid the relegation. So Villarreal will use a lot of reserves here and it is a really tricky match. Zenit Petersburg will surely need goals in order to have qualifying chances here and this match looks like a goal-fest.
Prediction: Over 2.5 Goals (-120)
For our correct scores I will create a Yankee Bet. The Yankee is a 4 selection wager consisting of 11 bets: 6 doubles, 4 trebles and a four-fold accumulator. I will pick four correct scores and hope that at least two of them are correct for a MASSIVE pay-out. Needless to say that with more than three correct scores you will be running straight to the bank. I will also bet on all four singles for some extra safety. A single correct score is enough to pay back at least half the investment here.
Krasnodar vs Valencia: 2-1 (+961)
Salzburg vs Napoli: 3-0 (+2156)
Arsenal vs Rennes: 3-1 (+875)
Slavia Prague vs Sevilla: 1-2 (+722)