Europa League Round of 16, 2nd legs. Betting tips and previews of the 8 matches scheduled on Thursday 17th February.
OFFER OF THE DAY
BAYER LEVERKUSEN - VILLAREAL
- Villarreal will carry a 2-0 lead into the second leg and crucially avoided giving Bayer Leverkusen an away goal. They are strong favourites to go through here, even though they aren't in their best form right now. Wedged either side of their first-leg victory are two league defeats that stopped a run of 14 games without loss.
- Goals away from home have also proven tricky for the Spanish outfit in recent weeks. In fact, the two they grabbed away to Sevilla at the weekend was as many as they had managed in the previous four games combined. With a two-goal advantage, they aren't likely to be set up to attack too often.
- Bayer Leverkusen aren't in the best of form either, however. Their 1-0 win over Hamburg at the weekend ended a run of four games without a win and was also the first time they have kept a clean sheet in seven matches. The home side may have just given themselves too much to do in the return leg and could live to regret not grabbing an away goal.
HOME WIN (1.95, Matchbook)
POSSIBLE SCORE: 1-0
MANCHESTER UNITED - LIVERPOOL
- Manchester United need a miracle to overturn the 2-0 first-leg defeat and progress into the next round of the Europa League. Every week has been billed as Louis van Gaal's last at United, but this really could be it for the Dutchman, who in the resulting seven days could find United are knocked out of Europe, the FA Cup and out of the running for fourth place in the league.
- Liverpool, meanwhile, will be high on confidence after battering United in front of their own fans last week. They will, however, have been slightly disappointed not to have put the tie to bed at Anfield and will be desperately hoping they don't live to regret numerous missed chances at Anfield.
- United will need to score at least three goals to progress in normal time, which is something they've only managed six times in front of their own fans all season. Incidentally, one of those occasions was against Liverpool earlier in the campaign, but both teams are in a different place compared to when Old Trafford hosted these sides back in September. It's hard to see anything other than Liverpool progressing with relative ease.
SEVILLA - BASEL
- Sevilla, who have won the Europa League for the last two years in a row, have still got it all to do in order to progress into the next round after only managing a 0-0 draw in Switzerland last week. The Spanish side have won their last 10 home fixtures in the Europa League and an 11th successive home win would be a record in the Europa League.
- Basel have conceded five goals in each of their last two trips to Spain and have they have lost 10 of their 17 matches against Spanish opposition.
HOME WIN (1.40, Betfair)
POSSIBLE SCORE: 2-0
TOTTENHAM - BORUSSIA DORTMUND
- Spurs were well and truly shown up in the first leg in Germany, succumbing to a 3-0 defeat, though it could easily have been more. After bouncing back commendably with a 2-0 win at Aston Villa, the north London side will hope to make it back-to-back competitive wins.
- Dortmund are unbeaten in their last six games away from home, winning five, with the Bundesliga outfit continuing to impress. A trip to White Hart Lane will be tough to navigate, but Spurs have been somewhat inconsistent on home turf this season.
- This is a tough one to call, but in the end Dortmund should progress with consummate ease.
AWAY WIN (2.20, PaddyPower)
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE (1.75, PaddyPower)
DORTMUND DOUBLE CHANCE + OVER 1.5 (1.50, PaddyPower)
POSSIBLE SCORE: 1-2
ANDERLECHT - SHAKHTAR DONETSK
- Shakhtar are firm favourites to progress having beaten Anderlecht 3-1 in the first-leg. They will also be able to call upon a host of fresh players after resting them at the weekend and will require a professional performance to ensure they don't throw away the tie.
- Anderlecht are unbeaten at home this season in all competitions and will be confident they can spring an upset. They have also won all three of their previous encounters with Ukrainian opposition on home soil. They are unbeaten in six European home ties this season but have only recorded one victory by a winning margin that would be good enough for them to progress here.
ANDERLECHT DOUBLE CHANCE (1.45, BetVictor)
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE (1.70, BetVictor)
POSSIBLE SCORE: 2-1
VALENCIA - ATHLETIC BILBAO
- After a brief up-turn in results, the pressure is back on Gary Neville after three straight defeats and it will be interesting to see the reaction of the players after he was ruthless in his analysis of their performance in the wake of their 1-0 defeat to La Liga's basement club Levante in the Valencia derby at the weekend.
- Athletic Club, on the other hand, come into this fixture in a rich reign of form having won their last five in a row in all competitions, which includes two wins over Valencia. They have also kept a clean sheet in each of their last three matches on the road.
- Valencia have only won four of their 12 home matches since Neville took over and another defeat appears on the cards here.
AWAY WIN (2.75, 5Dimes)
ATHLETIC DOUBLE CHANCE + OVER 1.5 (1.65, 5Dimes)
POSSIBLE SCORE: 1-2
LAZIO - SPARTA PRAHA
- Lazio are favourites heading into the second-leg after grabbing a crucial away goal in Prague last week. Even more so when you consider Prague have failed to win any of 11 trips to Italy in the past, but Lazio should still be cautious of the threat Prague can possess.
- The Czech Republic outfit travel having won five of their last six matches away from home and they are still unbeaten in the Europa League this season. They have already secured a 2-2 draw away to Schalke in their European campaign thus far.
- Lazio are also not in the best of form and haven't been all season. They have won four of their last six home matches in all competitions, but there have been far too many draws this season for them to gather any real momentum.
HOME WIN (1.67, William Hill)
POSSIBLE SCORE: 2-1
BRAGA - FENERBAHCE
- Fenerbahce hold a slender 1-0 advantage going into Thursday's fixture and will back themselves to see the job out in Portugal. They have won each of their last five matches and have only conceded one goal during that time. They will need to be at their very best to stop a free-flowing Braga attack from scoring on home soil, as they have done all season.
- In fact, Braga have only failed to score in two matches at home all season and they've found the back of the net at least twice in eight of their last nine matches on home soil.
- The Turkish giants are unbeaten in their last five Europa League matches on the road and they could see it out here.
DRAW (3.40, 10Bet)
POSSIBLE SCORE: 0 - 0
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